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IIT-Madras, Tamil Nadu Launch Digital Learning Management Tools

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) and the Tamil Nadu state Department of School Education are collaborating to improve and update the digital learning platform for school students to an assessment-focused Learning Management System. It will be deployed in newly-built high-tech labs in 6,000 government schools. It will improve the quality of learning for around nine million students.

Currently, education in Tamil Nadu’s schools is supplemented through a digital learning platform called the Education Management Information System. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras will use their artificial intelligence (AI) and data science expertise to come up with ways to improve the way assessments are conducted and develop a framework to disseminate educational material.

According to a press release, the researchers will build on the education department’s recent efforts of a taxonomy-based content mapping to build several tools. These include assessment creation, performance evaluation, and various dashboards to monitor the learning progression of students, as well as school and district-level monitoring.

The purpose of the initiative is to provide the educational community of Tamil Nadu with a richer learning experience, one which is enabled by the latest digital innovation in AI and machine learning technologies, the press release said.

The entire initiative will be executed in three phases: the first phase will focus on content management for educational material and assessment. The second phase will work on delivery and feedback for educational material and assessment. The third phase will focus on data analytics, dashboards, and a reporting system.

The initiative will be led by faculty, students, project associates and channel partners of IIT-Madras’ centre of data science and AI (RBCDSAI). Education is a key area of research at RBCDSAI, and the centre is currently pursuing a study that aims to determine successful delivery methods for ICT in education to improve learning outcomes.

Speaking about the project, an expert from the centre explained that a digital medium will allow educators to customise content and monitor progress in ways that would otherwise be unimaginable. The team is seeking ways to improve the quality of education by building a data-driven framework and a set of useful tools that run on this medium.

A representative from the Department of School Education of Tamil Nadu noted that the state is moving towards a competency-based teaching and learning model. The partnership with IIT-Madras is a critical step towards making this a reality for all government and government-aided school students, he said. Through this initiative, the state hopes to make personalised learning pathways and targeted improvement in teaching and learning practices a possibility for students and teachers. This initiative will also be made completely open for students and teachers in private schools.

In February this year, OpenGov Asia reported that the IIT-Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation was working to bring computer science literacy to students at government schools in the remote, rural areas of Tamil Nadu. It set up two Rural Technology Centres in the Kanakamma Chathram and Seethanjeri villages of the Tiruvallur district. After assessing the students, the centres teach basic digital literacy and the basics of programming. The IIT-Madras provides the project with financial and technical support. Students from government schools in Classes 9 to 12 learn about advanced technologies like drones, 3D printing, robotics, AI, animation, webpage design, and hardware-based programming.

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