1. Massively Empowered Classrooms (MEC)

This project is being undertaken jointly with Microsoft Research (India). A significant number of academic institutions around the world face a shortage of well-trained faculty to handle the courses they offer. Thus, courses may be taught by faculty without sufficient knowledge of the subject matter, and it is only the most motivated students who can make up for such deficiencies by seeking better content elsewhere (e.g., by registering for a MOOC). The objective of this project is to empower instructors by (a) giving them access to high-quality video lectures and other course content (e.g., quizzes and projects) to enable them to conduct courses at a suitable baseline in quality, and (b) allowing them to further develop the course content in a manner they see fit (e.g., by tailoring it to the needs of their particular institution’s curriculum). MEC course content currently targets undergraduate courses in Computer Science, and content can be accessed via a web portal or via a mobile device.

2. Micro-notes for enhancing NPTEL videos

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is an initiative of the government of India to provide high- quality video lectures to students in educational institutions where lecture standards are considerably lower. Our project is funded by NPTEL and aims to develop an ecosystem of electronic notes to enhance this high-quality lecture content in several ways. Specifically, the project aims to (a) develop an open framework for creating targeted content (micro-notes) associated with specific segments of NPTEL videos, (b) create a freely accessible web- repository of micro-notes which can be rated by users (instructors and learners) seeded with high-quality micro-note content for at least two courses, and (c) develop a mobile application for learners to select relevant micro-notes and access them during video playback.

3. Mathematics Tutoring using Mobile Apps

E-Learning has blossomed into an active research domain and industry, using computation to enhance educational content, pedagogy and administrative support for teachers and institutions. These efforts to complement traditional education, however, are dwarfed in scale by shadow education: a system of private tutoring that students with limited financial resources cannot access. This system, in turn, creates disparities that threaten social cohesion. In this project, we investigate whether computation can provide key benefits of private tutoring at substantially lower costs. For mathematics tutoring, we investigate whether computation can help students by (a) guiding students step-by-step through a particular problem, and (b) by automatically generating problems in the same domain that are matched to students’ observed skill-levels. This project is being conducted in partnership with VidyaNext, which offers tablet-based private tutoring.