IIT Bombay (IITB), one of the most respected technology institutes in the country, provides great emphasis on research and development to emerge as a global leader in advanced technology, as well as to reach out to the national and social needs of the country. Some of the examples of innovations and technology-enabled educational project implementations of IITB include Centre For Distance Engineering Education Programme (CDEEP), National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), Parimal and Pramod Chaudhari Centre for Learning and Teaching (PPCCLT), Spoken Tutorial, T10KT and IITBombayX.
“IITB is one of the few premier institutes in the country with a strong inter-disciplinary Programme in Educational Technology (ET), working towards improving teaching and learning practices in education. ET is a broad field, which involves the use of technology to either support existing practices in helping people learn, or discover new ways to support learning, that weren’t possible without facilitation of technology,” informs a spokesperson of IITB.
The research goals of the department of ET at IITB are categorised into different focal areas. One of the key focal areas, named Technology-Enhanced Learning of Thinking Skills (TELoTS), focuses on building students’ thinking skills, which can be transferred across disciplines. Thinking skills, such as design skills or estimation skills, which manifest differently in various disciplines, have a common abstract nature, which is imparted through creation and implementation of interactive learning environments built for students.
“Remarkable efforts have been made by the department in training of teachers across India as a part of another focal area, named Teacher Use of Educational Technology (TUET). More than 1,77,000 teachers have been trained through workshops or MOOC initiatives on research-based teaching strategies, which have been known and established to be effective both with and without technology,” the spokesperson says.
Modern technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, eye tracking, GSR, etc, are being employed by ET researchers at IITB to augment learning, and to understand the complex interplay of effect, cognition and motivation in the teaching-learning process. Several emerging technology applications, grounded in established learning theories, are being developed by the group to facilitate technology-enhanced learning.
Some of these projects include ‘Speak Up’ to improve oral presentation skills for anxious speakers using virtual reality, ‘Geometry via Gestures’ to enable learners to build 3D Geometric abilities, ‘Stereochemistry via Augmented Reality’ to enable learners to spatially visualise and interact with 3D molecular models, and ‘Corrective Myo Band Badminton Trainer’ to help novice badminton learners in visualising muscular effort and swing of the arm.
“The applications of these various emerging research areas in ET are gradually addressing the contemporary challenges of school and university education. In the coming years, the multi-disciplinary nature of technology-enabled learning analytics of educational data will provide richer insights into learning behaviour, and will further influence the existing and future education models. Moving forward in educational technology, one of the common visions of ET researchers is the effective integration of technology as an integral part of a strong pedagogical model,” the spokesperson adds.