Fresher’s at IIT Kharagpur to get virtual help to cope with academics

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IIT Kharagpur has charted a unique way to help its first-year students get acclimatized with IIT-style class lectures and lab experiments even before they start their full fledged classes!
After coming to IIT Kharagpur all they need to do is check their inbox for an email from the Moodle support centre of the Institute, click on it and create an account to access the online platform. Once in, the fresher’s will be able to see course materials and even short online videos uploaded by their teachers introducing important topics from their courses. The course materials may be accessed by the students to get an idea of the topics before they attend a class. The short video clips will explain beforehand the lab experiments that they need to do and the apparatus they would require to use for it.
Already in its attempt to help newcomers have a better understanding of life at IIT Kharagpur from this year the institute is starting a 9-days special induction program. And now the Moodle support for the first year students is expected to further ease their stress related to academic life in the Institute.
Moodle is an open source software, which is a learning platform designed to provide educators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system and can be personalised as per the requirement of the users. “We started giving this support with Moodle from the Autumn Semester of 2015. Since then it has been helping the teachers and the students to make learning a pleasant experience. This time we are aiming to upload in advance introductory course videos and upcoming lab work videos for the fresher’s. This will help the students familiarise themselves with the teacher, have a basic understanding about the course they would take and lab work required for them,” said Raja Datta, Professor of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering and Principal Investigator of the project which is extending Moodle support to IIT Kharagpur.   
The entire first-year batch size of IIT Kharagpur is approximately 1400, which is the largest intake among all the IITs. Since all the first year students go through foundation courses, the batch size for each course is huge. The Moodle platform would help teachers manage the academic activities of a huge class easily. Course teachers will be able to give assignments, which the students will complete and upload on the Moodle platform. This will help the faculty along with his teaching assistants to expedite the evaluation process.
“We get students from various backgrounds and not everyone has seen a high-tech lab. The lab experiments are preceded by PowerPoint presentations by the teachers explaining the process. The lectures at IITs too are very different compared to the ones they had witnessed in school. The course materials and short online videos will help the students have a better understanding of the courses they are to attend and will put them at ease about academics, lab, assignments and exams,” explained Prof. Datta.
Teachers at IIT Kharagpur are also using the Moodle platform to conduct online quizzes and class tests with assorted questions for each student. And the software helps to run through the MCQ’s and declare the results of the students of a large class almost instantly. So far over 18 courses in each semester have been conducted with the help of Moodle for both under graduate and post graduate students of IIT Kharagpur.
Note to the editor on Moodle facility at IIT Kharagpur: Moodle facility at IIT Kharagpur is provided to the faculty members and students for enhanced teaching and learning experience. Moodle is being used for uploading of course materials, support for class assignments and evaluation, making and uploading of Video clips for better understanding of theory topics and laboratory experiments and support for online Class test, Quiz and their evaluations