agMOOCs focus on capacity building and training for students and professionals in areas that engage with agricultural education and new technologies.

The first course on the Fundamentals of ICT for Agriculture began in March 2015 and attracted a total of 2,000 learners. Since then, 18 offerings of courses have been delivered attracting 20,100 unique registrants with a certification rate of 23%.

A report is available which provides insights on learners’ feedback on the course pedagogy and its relevance, content, convenience and ease of use of the technological medium, and overall perceptions of learners towards five delivered courses.

Courses include:

  1. Agricultural Value Chain Management
  2. Fundamentals of ICT for Agriculture
  3. Basics of Entrepreneurship (multiple offerings)
  4. Fundamentals of Agricultural Extension
  5. GIS in Ag-Essentials and Applications
  6. Integrated Disease Management
  7. Integrated Pest Management (multiple offerings)
  8. Nutrition, Therapeutics and Health
  9. Weather Forecast in Agriculture and Agro-advisory

The agMOOC Consortium

Food and agriculture is a critical sector in achieving sustainable development, however, there are few online courses or massive open online courses (MOOCs) available on related topics. To help address this, COL facilitated the formation of a consortium of well-known institutions to offer MOOCs in agriculture.

In 2015, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) took a leap forward in making MOOCs more accessible by bringing together some of the world’s top minds and institutions in information technology and one of the Commonwealth’s largest government agencies to form the agMOOC Consortium. The members of the multi-institutional consortium are the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK); the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC); the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur (UASR); and COL. The consortium is supported by the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), a major OER publisher under India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The consortium is a direct outcome of COL and IITK’s efforts with three previous MOOCs, offered in 2013–2014, which attracted over 6,000 learners.

Front row: left to right: Runa Sarkar (IIMC), K Mangalasunder (NPTEL), TV Prabhakar (IITK), Indranil Manna (Director, IITK), V Balaji (COL), N Yaduraju (advisor), A Prabhuraj (UASR).

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