How TISS, Tata Trusts are making MIT's teaching programme CLIx with students in rural India

Friday 30th March, 2018

Article Details
Publication  The Hindu Business Line
Source  Varun Aggarwal
CCM  100.89
Edition  Mumbai
Supplement   NA
MAV  171,513
Language  English
Page  14
Circulation  17,718

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How TISS, Tata Trusts are making MIT's teaching programme CLIx with students in rural India
Modelled around MIT's Edx platform, CLIx uses simple digital techniques to teach . most complex of subjects
Mumbai, March 29
Robert Lalngaihawna, a high school mathematics teacher at the Government Hrangch-huana High School in a small village near Mizoram's Aizawl city had been struggling to teach complex concepts to his students who come from nearby villages with almost half of them failing exams each year.
But now thanks to the new tripartite initiative 'Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx)' of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tata Trusts, 95 per cent of Lalngaihawna's students are able to dear the math exams.
Graphic-based learning
Modelled around MIT's EdX platform, CLIx brings together the concepts of Massive Open Online Courses (MooC) to primary education, wherein teachers can use graphics-

based digital techniques to explain the most complex of topics in the simplest of ways.
"We saw how successful MlTs EdX model was at the undergraduate level. That got us thinking about how we can apply the learnings in the Indian context at high school level," Padma Sarangapani, Project Director, CLIx and Professor, TISS, told BusinessLine while talking about the inception of the CLIx initiative, which recently won UNESCO's prestigious King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize, an international recognition for the use of Information and Communication Technologies in the field of Education.
"We studied the ecosystem and realised that while there are offerings for digital learning, there was nothing available in Indian languages at the high school level. Moreover, there were not many programmes for teacher education," Sarangapani said.
CLIx has helped improve the education outcomes in a total of 478 government schools, covering 32,437 students in the States of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana
By 2015, the three institutions together initiated the curriculum development and setup the team. While MIT helped build capacity for the Indian team, which meant getting the technology right to build an EdX kind of platform for students and teachers at school level. TISS also brought in a pool of people with different skill sets including Indian language expertise.
"We tried avoiding the idea of converting existing text
With h four pronged approach that includes Classroo n Activities, Lab Activities, IT ?nabled Activities and
aims to learning Telugu
nd Assessment to de-
liver lea ning outcomes, CLIx
provide high quality experiences in Hindi, nd English. CLIx has
books into e-textbooks. We've stayed away from such applications. We picked up, in consultation with teachers, con* cepts in Maths and Science that are difficult to understand for students," Sarangapani said.
Four pronged approach
Several math modules created are now game-based. These games encourage students to deduce solutions and arrive at the answer, thereby helping improve learning rate.
helped i nprove the education outcomi is in a total of 478 gov-emmen secondary schools; covering 2,130 teachers and 32,437 st idents in the States of Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan i ind Telangana.
Curre itly, CLIx is being offered n over 15 modules in Matherr atics, Science, English and Digital Literacy in three languag es in these schools in which I< 1 labs have been activated. Ab out 1,770 teachers have particip ited in Teacher Professional Development workshops ind are on mobile-phone e nabled Communities.
And t tie results are speaking for themselves. In Lalngai lawna's class, recent tests sh )w that 95 per cent students have been able to clear the mat h exams while less than 60 per :ent could do that just last ye? r before the CLIx pro-
gramme was introduced for class 9 students. "I find the different applications (within CLIx) very useful in my teachings. Arfirst, the students were hesitating to use the computers as most of them are from the rural areas who do not have computer system at their homes. After 2 to 3 classes, they catch up with the system and their progress was fast beyond imagination," Lalngaihawna said.
TISSx platform
While CLIx is currently open only for select schools, TISS is planning to open it up completely within the next few months so that any school teacher or students across the country can get access to the digital classroom. Once opened to everyone, the platform will be called TISSx.
"TISSx platform will be open to anyone who wants to access it. Moreover, Ministry of HRD is in the process of setting up teacher developer platform called Diksha. One of the first few teacher professional courses to be offered on Diksha will be CLIx.