Online Classes for K-12 Students: 10 Research Reports You Need to Know

From Advanced Placement courses offered by state-run virtual schools to credit recovery classes delivered via third-party software, supplemental online education courses have exploded in K-12 education.

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To help policymakers, administrators, educators, parents,and students make sense of it all, Education Week published an overview explaining the many varieties of online classes now available to K-12 students. It’s part of our new special report on the state of classroom technology, which you can read here.

For those who want to dig deeper, here are the reports and research studies that have shaped what we know about the still-murky field of K-12 …

 

Only 2.47% students requested for verification of marks: CBSE

Amid allegations of “faulty evaluation process” adopted for class XII exams, the CBSE on Monday clarified that it has received requests for verification of marks from only 2.47 per cent of the students.

A total of 10,98,891 students appeared for the CBSE Class 12 exams this year.

According to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the percentage of students applying for verification of marks in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 2.31, 2.09 and 2.53 respectively.

The clarification by the board comes amid news reports claiming that there has been an increase in the number of verification requests by students who allege that there have been severe faults in the evaluation process.

“This year out of total answer scripts evaluated by the CBSE for Class XII examination 2017, only 2.47 per cent answer scripts were applied for verification by the students.

CBSE re-evaluation

“Similarly figures for examination 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 2.31 pc, 2.09 pc and 2.53 pc respectively. This shows that there is no unprecedented increase in the number of applications for verification as stated in some news reports,” a CBSE statement said.

The board also said that it had done away with the process of re-evaluation on the basis of a decision taken by its examination committee and the Governing Body in June 2016 as data suggested that there was no change in marks after re- evaluation in more than 99.98 per cent cases.

 

Pay scholarship to Kashmiri students studying in Mewar University: HC asks GoI

The High Court has directed the government of India to register and pay scholarship to more than 250 Kashmiri students who had been asked by Mewar University in Rajasthan to vacate the campus because a Central education body had not released students’ scholarship money to the varsity.

However, the relief for the students is one-time exception and will be valid only till they complete their courses, a bench of justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir said. The bench also directed that the students shall be registered for scholarship that should be released in their favour through respective institutions.

Pay scholarship to Kashmiri students studying in Mewar University: HC asks GoI

The students had taken admission in various programmes during the academic year 2014-15. However, when the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) did not release scholarship money, the varsity asked the students to deposit hostel and tuition fees or vacate the campus by 28 February 2015.

The High Court was hearing the aggrieved students’ petition that pleaded for quashing a notification issued by the AICTE, which said no scholarship will be provided to students admitted in any educational institution beyond counseling under the Special Scholarship Scheme 2014-15.

The students had also requested the court to annul the decision of human resources development ministry’s panel, which had declined scholarships to the students beyond the stage of counseling.

The scholarship scheme had been formulated on the recommendations of an Expert Group chaired by former RBI governor Dr C Rangarajan. The AICTE then conducted counseling for admissions from 30 August 2014 to 5 September 2014 at the SP College, Srinagar.

The petitioners submitted that they took admission in Mewar University in accordance with applicable scheme following previous year’s practice under the impression that since they had registered on the AICTE website and got their documents verified on the verification counter approved by the AICTE.

But they could not reach the counseling centre because of the heavy rains and the ensuing devastating flood.

The government of India, in its reply, submitted that for the academic year 2014-15, the HRD ministry panel had recommended that only those students who applied through AICTE portal will only be eligible for the scholarship from the academic year 2014-15 onwards.

 

How Lasell College Uses Online Programs to Lower Costs for Students

Getting a college education is hard enough as it is nowadays. Prices are high, acceptance rates are low, and the constant competition is hard. Thankfully, universities like Lasell College are trying to make getting a higher education easier, with a growing online education program. This college’s online curriculum lowers costs for students at a surprising rate.

This past month, we interviewed Michael B. Alexander, President of Lasell College, in Newton, MA. We discuss Lasell’s online services, which include an immense amount of purely online courses as well as hybrid online courses for students. Lasell even made the U.S. News and World Report list for the best online graduate business programs (non-MBA).

Wikimedia Commons

Lasell offers a variety of online courses, all led by educators in their designated fields. Some are specifically aimed at graduate certifications, while others are MBA programs. These courses range from programs on emergency crisis management, to public relations, and even hospitality and event management.

Alexander goes in depth into Lasell’s pricing for online courses, and discusses their newest pilot program. He hopes to grow the individual’s experience while at college, even when enrolled in online classes. Lasell College is part of a group of small colleges who are working to create lower cost models for independent colleges.

“There is no way to significantly lower the cost without changing the way we deliver the education,” Alexander noted.

But even with this, Lasell manages to shell out credits for around $600 a piece, significantly lower than other colleges around the Massachusetts area, and something the Lasell administration is immensely proud of. The college hopes these online courses can help students get ahead of their current academic plan. Lasell is able to create these interactive online courses with the help from Moodle, an online learning platform.

As more students turn away from the standard four year college experience, online programs like Lasell’s will continue to rise and bring in students who want a better shot at getting a higher education.

 

CBSE to release NEET answer keys for students

Two days after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) released the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets along with students’ marked answers for the he National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), the board will release answer keys for students. Students will be allowed to challenge any answer from June 15 to 5pm on June 16.

The board announced these dates on Monday, after the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed any plans of re-conducting the NEET. A number of petitions were filed across the country as students were unhappy with CBSE’s decision of setting different question papers for those who appeared for NEET in English language and those who gave the paper in other vernacular languages. The exam was held on May 7.

Mumbai city news

“The answer key for NEET-UG 2017 will be displayed for challenges only for two days instead of three days this time,” said a statement released by CBSE, late on Monday evening.

While the result for NEET 2017 was originally supposed to be announced on June 8, the SC has now asked CBSE to announce results before June 26. “Since CBSE is cutting down on time given to students to send in their challenges, it seems like there’s a possibility that results will be announced before June 26,” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent.

While CBSE is open to challenges, parents and students are upset about the system followed for NEET exams when it comes to accepting challenges, if any. “In other national or state exams, if a challenge is accepted, the marks are awarded to all students who appeared for the exam. However, for NEET, the board gives marks only to those students who have challenged the questions, which is unfair,” said Amruta Rege, a medical aspirant. Students have to pay Rs 1,000 for every challenge made, and if the challenge is not accepted, then there is no refund offered either.

For further information, students can log on to www.cbseneet.nic.in.

 

DU’s summer school helps poor students realise dreams of higher education

Delhi University’s pre-entrance summer school is a boon for poor students, who want to pursue higher education.

The university provides free coaching to students belonging to the economically weaker sections, SC/ST, OBC (non-creamy layer), minorities and persons with disabilities (PwD) to prepare them for the postgraduate admissions tests.

This year, the university is holding free classes in five disciplines – English, Law, Mathematics, Physics and Zoology. The coaching, designed as a two-week course, started on June 7. The classes will end on June 19.

The entrance exams for postgraduate courses will be held between July 1 and July 6.

The initiative was started last year by the vice-chancellor. Officials said summer school coaching had 200 seats but after receiving an overwhelming response they decided to admit all 500, who applied.

“The classes will be held in the departments concerned. Last year we had only 275 applications,” said Shrikant Kukreti, the head of the Chemistry department and the initiative.

One of the 500 students studying at the summer school is 23-year-old Raksha, who hopes to become a lawyer and open up an NGO for children, women and differently-abled people after she completes her studies.

“The teachers help us understand the basic concepts. They teach in Hindi as well, as I am not very fluent in English. I hope that after I finish my studies, I can help other students,” she said.

Kukreti said the teachers at the summer school have volunteered to teach without any pay. “Last year the success rate was up to 30% and a student got admission in AIIMS with the help of these classes. We also plan to open up a Centre of Academic Empowerment in the coming years,” he said.

 

Top ten rank holders in AIIMS MBBS entrance test our students, say rival schools

India’s coaching centres sell dreams to millions of young students, often claiming sureshot formulas to crack the country’s tough medical or engineering exams. Many of them also deliver on their promise.

But the cut-throat nature of the business played out in a bizarre manner on Thursday with two institutes laying claim to the top ten rank holders in the MBBS entrance exams conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The results were declared at around 2 am on Thursday. AIIMS does not declare a list of toppers.

AIIMS MBBS 2017

One of the institutes is based in Kota, a city in Rajasthan which is known as the coaching centre of the country with 40-odd institutes that admit 1.5 lakh students annually.

A few hours after the results were declared, the Kota-based Allen Career Institute said the top ten were its students, led by all-India topper Nishita Purohit from Surat in Gujarat.

Institute director Naveen Maheshwari gave out the names and positions of the others as well — Archit Gupta (2) followed by Tamoghna Ghosh, Nipun Chandra, Harsh Agarwal, Rishav Raj, Harshit Anand, Rinku Sarmah, Abhishek Dogra and Manish Moolchandani.

Later in the day, another coaching institute, Aakash Educational Services Pvt Ltd (AESPL), came out with its own list of 11 students who were placed in the top twelve position. These students included several on Allen’s list.

“Out of the top 12 ranks, from our classroom programme, Tamoghna Ghosh secured 3rd AIR, Nipun Chandra secured 4th AIR, Harsh Aggarwal secured 5th AIR (classroom+distance), Abhishek Dogra secured 9th AIR,” an AESPL statement said.

AESPL also laid claim to the first and second toppers, Nishita Purohit and Archit Gupta, saying they were pursuing distance learning programmes. It said Harshit Anand (AIR 7), Rinku Sarmah (AIR 8) and Manish Mulchandani (AIR 10) were took distance cources.

At a press conference in Kota, Purohit, Gupta and Moolchandani (spelt Mulchandani by AESPL) said they were regular classroom students with Allen.

A relative who answered an HT call to Tamoghna Ghosh said he was a distance learning student of Allen and a regular with AESPL. Nipun Chandra’s family also said he was a regular with AESPL and had pursued two to three online tests with Allen.

Harshit Anand said he was a regular with Allen, as were Harsh Agarwal and Rishav Raj. Abhishek Dogra had done part of his coaching with Allen and part of it with AESPL.

The business of coaching in India is said to run into crores of rupees with lakhs of students seeking help to crack the competitive exams to secure a seat in one of the prestigious colleges, which in turn could land them a well-paying job. Experts, however, say the competition puts students under pressure, driving many to suicide.

 

Top ten rank holders in AIIMS MBBS entrance test our students, say rival schools

India’s coaching centres sell dreams to millions of young students, often claiming sureshot formulas to crack the country’s tough medical or engineering exams. Many of them also deliver on their promise.

But the cut-throat nature of the business played out in a bizarre manner on Thursday with two institutes laying claim to the top ten rank holders in the MBBS entrance exams conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The results were declared at around 2 am on Thursday. AIIMS does not declare a list of toppers.

One of the institutes is based in Kota, a city in Rajasthan which is known as the coaching centre of the country with 40-odd institutes that admit 1.5 lakh students annually.

AIIMS MBBS 2017

A few hours after the results were declared, the Kota-based Allen Career Institute said the top ten were its students, led by all-India topper Nishita Purohit from Surat in Gujarat.

Institute director Naveen Maheshwari gave out the names and positions of the others as well — Archit Gupta (2) followed by Tamoghna Ghosh, Nipun Chandra, Harsh Agarwal, Rishav Raj, Harshit Anand, Rinku Sarmah, Abhishek Dogra and Manish Moolchandani.

Later in the day, another coaching institute, Aakash Educational Services Pvt Ltd (AESPL), came out with its own list of 11 students who were placed in the top twelve position. These students included several on Allen’s list.

“Out of the top 12 ranks, from our classroom programme, Tamoghna Ghosh secured 3rd AIR, Nipun Chandra secured 4th AIR, Harsh Aggarwal secured 5th AIR (classroom+distance), Abhishek Dogra secured 9th AIR,” an AESPL statement said.

AESPL also laid claim to the first and second toppers, Nishita Purohit and Archit Gupta, saying they were pursuing distance learning programmes. It said Harshit Anand (AIR 7), Rinku Sarmah (AIR 8) and Manish Mulchandani (AIR 10) were took distance cources.

At a press conference in Kota, Purohit, Gupta and Moolchandani (spelt Mulchandani by AESPL) said they were regular classroom students with Allen.

A relative who answered an HT call to Tamoghna Ghosh said he was a distance learning student of Allen and a regular with AESPL. Nipun Chandra’s family also said he was a regular with AESPL and had pursued two to three online tests with Allen.

Harshit Anand said he was a regular with Allen, as were Harsh Agarwal and Rishav Raj. Abhishek Dogra had done part of his coaching with Allen and part of it with AESPL.

The business of coaching in India is said to run into crores of rupees with lakhs of students seeking help to crack the competitive exams to secure a seat in one of the prestigious colleges, which in turn could land them a well-paying job. Experts, however, say the competition puts students under pressure, driving many to suicide.

 

Students can opt for fully online degree courses soon

Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, official sources told HT.

Once the rules are in place, institutes will be able to offer online degrees in all fields, except engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.

Online education

At present, the commission does not recognise any course offered solely through the online mode. A student can get a degree by enrolling in a university and attending classes or through a distancing-learning module. From this year, the government has allowed universities to offer 20% of their course material through the Massive Open

Online Courses (MOOCs) platform called Swayam. But if a student gets a degree through any online course, it’s not recognised. A number of private universities offer online degrees but not many students opt for them as they are not recognised by the UGC.

The ministry has now started preparing draft regulations for online programmes that will allow universities and higher educational institutes to offer degrees by conducting exams online; students will not have to attend classes physically. The draft came up for discussion before the UGC and the HRD ministry recently.

“World over online degrees and courses are offered by institutes and they have gained respectability. Students will not be required to attend classes but will take e-tutorials to help them understand the concepts. Institutes will have to apply to the UGC for approval and degrees by such institutes will be recognised,” said a senior official.

To qualify, a university would have to be NAAC-accredited with a minimum score of 3.25 on a four-point scale to ensure quality.

According to the official, the online platform will be integrated with Aadhaar to verify the identity of learners at the time of application as well as through the duration of the programme, including examinations. “The programmes can be designed for conventional learners, as well as working professionals depending on what the institute is looking for,” the official said.

Apart from the actual programme delivery, components such as the counselling process, online application processing and fee payment will also be provide online.

 

MSU STUDENTS FINALLY GET UGC SCHOLARSHIP

After a legal battle for almost two years, engineering students of MS University finally got justice when the UGC released grant for their monthly stipend following the intervention of Gujarat High Court. The HC was hearing a plea filed by couple of students regarding their scholarship. As per the case details, two former students of Maharaj Sayajirao University (MSU), Vadodara, had filed a petition in the HC against the varsity, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for nonpayment of scholarship due to them for three out of four-semester course. The unpaid total scholarship amounted to Rs 1.5 lakh each.
MSU students finally get UGC scholarship
One of the students had secured admission in Post Graduate Engineering course at MSU in 2010, while the other had secured admission in the same course in 2011. There are a total 45 such students who haven’t received scholarship. According to submissions by the students, they were entitled to Rs 8,000 per month scholarship-cumstipend after clearing the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and getting admission in 2010. They got the scholarship for the first semester but didn’t receive it for the rest three. The MSU and UGC are blaming each other or citing procedural lapse for lack of scholarship disbursal.

As per the scheme floated by the MHRD, those who take admission in Masters in Engineering after clearing GATE were eligible for a monthly stipend of Rs 8,000. In 2014, the amount was revised to Rs 12,500 per month. UGC was tasked with responsibility to disburse the amount to eligible students through the respective universities. One of the aggrieved students Bhavesh Brahmbhatt said, “The UGC has submitted before the court that they released grant of Rs 34,34,000 for 47 general category students and 21 SC category students towards first semester scholarship. The HC has directed MSU to disburse it to the students.