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Indian Tech Universities Put Lectures Online For Free

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the happy-music-too dept.

Education 40

sas-dot writes "The most sought-after Indian institutions like IIT and IISc have put their course lectures on YouTube. The site is up from last December and is slowly gaining momentum in terms of lectures available online. This is India's own program similar to MIT's OpenCourseWare. Good to see the competition, and that students have many sources of knowledge for free."

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Now... Will they be indexed... (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23506766)

It would be nice if you find the particular lecture you want to refesh information you may have learned. Say for Computer Science go over the lectures on C++ Templates because you haven touched them in about a decade or so, but you found that you need them again. Or somehow use the to help with affordable degrees. Say read the lecures and take a couple of classes to upgrade a BA in Computer Science to a BS for about $200 or so. Or have some placement test to get out of taking some required courses.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507240)

isn't the difference between a BA and a BS whether or not you've had Calculus? That seemed to be the difference at my school -- I knew a few people who got BS in English... of course, I have a BA in English and it was mostly B.S.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507492)

No for my school the difference between a BS and a BA in computer science is weither you have taken Formal Languages and Atonoma and an additional upper level math course. As Calculus was required for any degree in computer sciecne.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23511682)

isn't the difference between a BA and a BS whether or not you've had Calculus?

Depends entirely on your school. Sayeth the wik [wikipedia.org] :

In the United States, many colleges (particularly what are known as "liberal arts colleges") and universities award the BA for all "academic" subjects (whether it be for English or for Chemistry, for example) -- often these colleges and colleges within universities only offer academic (rather than pre-professional) courses. Schools that have professional training ("Police Science", "Finance", "Nursing", and so on) often reserve the BS degree for these subjects. Some schools award the BA for humanities academic courses and the BS for courses in the natural sciences and/or the social sciences. In some cases a student may choose between a BA course of study and a BS course of study in the same subject at the same college (for example, at the University of Chicago); in that case, the BS program is typically the more strenuous of the two. At least two American schools (Caltech, MIT) and the five service academies (United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy and United States Coast Guard Academy) award the BS for all subjects, including, e.g., Literature.

When I was a young 'un at the University of Maryland, techies got a B.S., arties got a B.A.; there was no B.A. in comp. sci.

The only problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507304)

is that people who I know educated in india have mainly been taught to memorize.

Re:The only problem (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507710)

What is the difference, most of the world education is based like that. The United States tends to be more project and skills building based, however there is still a lot of Memorize and regurgertate that is required to pass. But if I got my Degree in Indea or the United states my degree would count the same. Having access to professors lectures would be nice for people who want to learn without the expense. And if colleges can allow them to get some credit for what they learned all the better.

First hand experience.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508750)

If we are only talking about degrees, you may be right. But when it comes to education, Indian universities do suck - take it from somebody who committed 4 of potentially most productive years to the blackhole of Indian IT school.

Now I don't have firsthand experience of a US school, but from my visits to campuses, from the experience of my wife and my friends here, I can tell you that Indian schools can't even think of providing such a conductive environment for learning.

yes, a degree is a degree. But good learning will shine within one year in real job versus just a degree.

Re:First hand experience.. (1)

transonic_shock (1024205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515988)

you obviously didn't go to an IIT.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507406)

BA in Computer Science?

Who even offers such a thing? I've never heard of CS being taught at university anywhere other than the School of Science/Math. I was unaware you could get anything other than a BS/AS in CS as an undergrad.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507634)

Well my University did. As computer science was part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The difference was an extra CS Class required and an extra Math Class. People who took the BA usually did so when they were in a Duel Major program Say Major in Music and Computer Science as not having to take 2 extra classes. Made getting both degrees possible.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

rdaugherty (237637) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507872)

Well a quick search shows lots of places. Including Yale.

When I received my BA in computer science (not from Yale) the dividing line was because my first major was mathematics (which could be granted as either a BS or BA -- depending on how much applied math was taken.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (3, Interesting)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23511398)

At Cambridge (the UK one) you get a BA in *science*. And it's still called Natural Science [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515270)

Can I study Unnatural Science? That sounds fun.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519266)

Sure. That would be Josephson [cam.ac.uk] 's group.

Re:Now... Will they be indexed... (2, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23510478)

Have you tried second hand book stores or campus book sales? With the former, you can books at 10% of the retail price, while with the latter, you can get textbooks for less than 1 pound/dollar each. And they will have everything from architecture to biology, chemistry and zoology.

As a student from one of these institutes (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23506774)

I am just happy that some of the lectures are from those exceptional professors who are about to retire.

Hopefully this will be a lot helpful to those who, like me, miss all the morning classes :)

Re:As a student from one of these institutes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23511146)

Ewww morning classes...

And of course they don't have course notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507148)

They don't have course notes and homeworks. But I think the fact that they are putting these lectures up is good - atleast the teachers will have to study these correctly

Why should it be seen as competition? (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507306)

I would consider it to be complimentary, or supplemental. It adds to the knowledge base. The more the merrier. There's no need to "compete", or put down the other. Cooperation, not competition will bring about faster progress in most endeavors.

Re:Why should it be seen as competition? (1)

lazy_nihilist (1220868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23514812)

Even if this is seen as a competition, it benifits the students. There is an added benifit that it puts extra pressure on the Professor/Lecturer to actually make the class more interesting and worthwhile because it is open to wider scrutiny. Sort of like Open Source forces you to code properly.

Major misread (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507328)

Did anyone else read that title as:

Indiana Tech Universities Put Lectures Online For Free
I was about to shed a tear of pride for the corn-producing hoosier state ;(

Did you know that both Orville Redenbacher and John Gotti came from there?

Can't understand them (1)

allanw (842185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507338)

I wish they had closed-captioning though. No offense, but the accents combined with poor Youtube/recording audio quality make it really hard to understand what they're saying. It's a shame, because the material covered is pretty good and broad.

Re:Can't understand them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23510558)

I wish they had closed-captioning though. No offense, but the accents combined with poor Youtube/recording audio quality make it really hard to understand what they're saying.

Also no offense: learn their accent.

The ones I've watched weren't paced too quickly, and involved a chalk board. Add that you've got pause & rewind, and I really don't think it's that much to ask you to learn an English accent that's a little heavy, but entirely without opaque localisms. It's just differences of pitch and rhythm.

You'll get it. You probably won't have to use pause and rewind much after the first one or two, if at all. And then you've got an increased skillset to get you through the rest, and whatever more opportunities the future brings.

I won't say it'll help you understand tech support though. I still find that opaque. Some of those guys (Linksys anyone?) really do seem to have rocks in their mouth. Or maybe it has something to do with I can't see them.

Re:Can't understand them (1)

ConcreteJungle (1177207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23512446)

It still isn't a bad idea to have some subtitles. It's not too hard to add them and would save a lot of inconvenience (going back and forth to exact times in youtube videos is not the easiest). Making the videos more accessible/user-friendly will only widen the audience, which is what they have been put up for in the first place.

Good for them! (1)

Singularitarian2048 (1068276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507380)

Professors, teachers, please start recording your lectures and putting them online. It is invaluable for a student to be able to press pause, in order to think over a difficult point, or to rewind to see a difficult argument explained again. It is inefficient for thousands of mediocre teachers to give the same lectures all across the world, year after year. It would be much more efficient for the best teachers to give the lectures once, and for everyone else to watch them on video. Professors/teachers would then have much more time for their greatest contribution--answering questions, providing feedback on work, and mentoring students. With video lectures, those words and explanations you prepared so carefully are not simply lost forever the moment you deliver them. A lecture series can now be a lasting contribution to society, like a great novel or great textbook. This makes it much more worthwhile and provides more motivation to prepare excellent lectures, at those times when you do give lectures. If only the Feynman Lectures on Physics had been videotaped and we could see them on youtube...

Re:Good for them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23510568)

It is inefficient for thousands of mediocre teachers to give the same lectures all across the world, year after year. It would be much more efficient for the best teachers to give the lectures once, and for everyone else to watch them on video.
We already take advantage of that efficiency by writing textbooks. The Feynman Lectures on Physics are already written down, so go and read them. And how about we stop posting 101 level lectures. This material doesn't have much value. It is already covered in plenty of textbooks, and we have video of lectures for most of it online at this point as well. IIT and MIT run classes and seminars on advanced topics. They should start writing up the notes for those and posting them, just like Terry Tao is doing for his class on Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture [wordpress.com] .

Re:Good for them! (1)

Singularitarian2048 (1068276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23511292)

Do you believe we should abandon lectures entirely, and only use textbooks? If not, my point stands. In some ways, a lecture explanation is more clear than a book explanation. The teacher can point to an expression and say, "now this thing over here looks a lot like this thing over here, and if I just factor out a so and so they will be even more similar..." and things like that. Harder to do that in books. Also, tone of voice can help, for example to know what the professor thinks is hard, what is easy, etc. But the main point is that most people who give lectures just don't have time to write a textbook, or they are unwilling to do so. It is these people to whom I am speaking---if they don't want to write a textbook, at least they could record their lectures, and it would be very valuable.

Feynman in Second Life or enacting the lectures (1)

rootpassbird (1276000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23511476)

Too ambitious to expect someone to have all three abilities:
1. understand the stuff well
2. know how to teach that stuff
3. know how to act well (drama, plays)

But, is there a shortage of geniuses?
I think not.

Or better still, get Feynman in Second Life to do all the explaining!!

Well done .... (1)

rskrishnan (543735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507518)

I for one am very glad that the IITs and IISc have decided on this path. This is definitely a step in the right direction. I used to watch some of the UGC programs in India when I was in high school. These seem to be better in quality and provides the on-demand access. Would be even better if we could get some rich metadata for these videos (like year, course, very brief summary etc.) This may sound like a "me too" compared to MIT's initiative. There nothing wrong with a me too at all! "Me too" beats "why should I" any day.

Geronimo is DEAD !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507950)

He was laying down his weapons when they filled him full of lead !!

Re:Geronimo is DEAD !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508116)

"Indian Sunset"

As I awoke this evening with the smell of wood smoke clinging
Like a gentle cobweb hanging upon a painted teepee
Oh I went to see my chieftain with my warlance and my woman
For he told us that the yellow moon would very soon be leaving
This I can't believe I said, I can't believe our warlord's dead
Oh he would not leave the chosen ones to the buzzards and the soldiers guns

Oh great father of the Iroquois ever since I was young
I've read the writing of the smoke and breast fed on the sound of drums
I've learned to hurl the tomahawk and ride a painted pony wild
To run the gauntlet of the Sioux, to make a chieftain's daughter mine

And now you ask that I should watch
The red man's race be slowly crushed
What kind of words are these to hear
From Yellow Dog whom white man fears

I take only what is mine Lord, my pony, my squaw, and my child
I can't stay to see you die along with my tribe's pride
I go to search for the yellow moon and the fathers of our sons
Where the red sun sinks in the hills of gold and the healing waters run

Trampling down the prairie rose leaving hoof tracks in the sand
Those who wish to follow me I welcome with my hands
I heard from passing renegades Geronimo was dead
He'd been laying down his weapons when they filled him full of lead

Now there seems no reason why I should carry on
In this land that once was my land I can't find a home
It's lonely and it's quiet and the horse soldiers are coming
And I think it's time I strung my bow and ceased my senseless running
For soon I'll find the yellow moon along with my loved ones
Where the buffaloes graze in clover fields without the sound of guns

And the red sun sinks at last into the hills of gold
And peace to this young warrior comes with a bullet hole

lectures from the edge of physics (3, Interesting)

sweetser (148397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23508570)

Hello:

I am a fringe physicist, which I define precisely as someone without an advanced degree in physic yet tries to make a contribution. I know that the majority of people with my background produce (how do we say this politely?) muddled duck dung. Our talks get slotted into the 8am slot at APS meetings, or put on the last day of a long meeting. Such is our station in research.

The only other folks in the audience are other people giving presentations. Important people are too busy.

My interest is to find out where I am wrong. If I can establish this, then instead of spending $900 to go to an APS meeting or $3k to go to an international meeting, that money can go into a 60" flat screen fund.

With YouTube, my talks are on line, http://youtube.com/my_playlists?p=E602756BE43B04E4 [youtube.com]
I'll be traveling to Brazil to see if I can find someone to puncture my balloon. If you are in Campinas Brazil next Thursday, then my talk is at 5:30 - the next to last day of ICCA 8. If not, I should be putting up the talk within a week.

Later,
Doug

PK? (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23509064)

So do we get to learn Asok's forbidden telekinetic powers?

Won't change the fact IIT is an awful school (2, Interesting)

axlr8or (889713) | more than 6 years ago | (#23509086)

I attended it back in the mid 90's. All they were back then were money grubbers (not much different from today but) were completely blatant about it. There facility was awful and they really had some bad professors. I guess I'll try to get their lectures online to make up for all the money I gave them for nothing.

Re:Won't change the fact IIT is an awful school (1, Troll)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23510512)

Oh really? How much did you pay? Because when I studied I paid 20,000 INR per semester (~300 € today - that's RIDICULOUSLY high!1!!) and IITs spent more than that on me.

See, I am no fan of IITs. My userid here is relic that I could have gotten rid of it, but my Karma is "exceeeeeelent". But before you say they were money grubbers, can you tell me how much do you make today?

Re:Won't change the fact IIT is an awful school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23511230)

How does it matter how much money he/she makes? Are you implying that its okay for the tech schools to charge as much as they can so long as you make shitload of money today?

Also, aside from the money part, how does charging less make any school better? IITs are nothing but my-penis-is-larger-than-your schools where all the megalomaniacs come together and participate in a huge orgy.

Tell me how much of a contribution IIT (the school, not the alumni) has made in terms of research compared to MIT or any other schools here? That's the best way to judge how good/bad a tech school is.

Re:Won't change the fact IIT is an awful school (0, Flamebait)

ConcreteJungle (1177207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23512532)

I agree that it does not matter how much he/she makes, but the original poster's point of them being "money grubbers" does not hold up for me either. IITs spend more on every student in terms of facilities provided than they charge as fees, education being substantially subsidized at the IITs by the government. The professors are a mixed bunch, some of them are awful yes, but some of them are experts in their field and very good at teaching too (not always found together). And oh, next time you feel so insecure about the size of your member, its best not to draw attention to it in a public forum. Your post degenerates to a troll, and I won't be surprised if some mod soon comes along and does the needful.

Re:Won't change the fact IIT is an awful school (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23517540)

Wow, I am marked troll while you are the one throwing strawman arguments.

I have already said that each IIT spends more per student that they take. IITs are formed by central government directives and are heavily subsidized.

How does it matter how much money he/she makes?
Here is how it matters: it will tell us if he is a hypocrite, if he is making a shitload of money due to education after spending a very little amount of money on that education, and then is bitching about it.

Are you implying that its okay for the tech schools to charge as much as they can so long as you make shitload of money today?
No. You are implying that. I am implying that IITs spend more than they take. And benefits from IITs far surpass anything reasonable. But tell me, are you implying that whatever you are earning today had nothing to do with your educational background?

IITs are nothing but my-penis-is-larger-than-your schools where all the megalomaniacs come together and participate in a huge orgy.
I wish I could understand what you are trying to convey. But if I am correct, you are the kind of guy who didn't had to do any hardwork to actually get there. Either you are a DASA (the abolished system: people from abroad used to pay 10-20 times more than average student to bypass extremely tough entrance exam, and used to get butt-kicked in exams), or just someone who didn't pass the entrance exam. Let me just say this: keep your frustration to yourself - IITs are famous for a reason and that's their alumni (here [wikipedia.org] ). I don't need to babysit you through the facts, now do I. You know about them, don't you?

Tell me how much of a contribution IIT (the school, not the alumni) has made in terms of research compared to MIT or any other schools here? That's the best way to judge how good/bad a tech school is.
And why should I leave alumni? You asking this question just proves that you don't think your education had any role in your success. Tell me, aren't these alumni the one who would say "my-penis-is-larger-than-yours"?
I have never been to US, and US has definitely the best schools, but in comparison to Germany I can definitely say that IITs do a lot better job in a very small budget.

Due to this exact attitude of people like you, I have learned how to avoid telling my educational background to anyone. In every conversation everything goes fine just before some one asks me, "from where are you?" - and then everything becomes us vs. them. Well, it is not my fault that alumni from IITs gained a lot of recognition. Of course there are bad eggs in every basket, and I know that people who didn't go through IITs had to work a lot harder to achieve things that were a lot more easier for IITans. Tough luck, but that's life. People with more money buy luxurious stuff, people in west spend more than people earn in India, and good colleges carry a prestige behind them making a lot of things easier for their students.

Idiots have been given mod points, so fuck karma. But just get your facts corrected. India is a third world country and basic technologies are banned to import, thanks to historic friendliness to USSR. Only a fool will compare IITs to MIT.

Students getting gyped (1)

Tabernaque86 (1046808) | more than 6 years ago | (#23516302)

It's all very nice that everyone now gets to watch lectures on-line for free, but what about the students? If my professors started posting their lectures on-line, I'd be pretty angry. Part of my tuition is for the opportunity to sit in class and listen to these professors give a lecture. So if others are getting this privilege for free, it basically means I'm paying for everyone else in the world to have it.

If professors feel that they're lectures aren't worth paying for, I expect a sharp decrease in the cost of tuition next year. But then again, knowing the school, they'll probably just say "Oh, well while the cost of the lectures dropped, the cost of printing the tests just went up. So really you still owe us more money".

Re:Students getting gyped (1)

lbarbato (410651) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518438)

See http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/ocw.html [mit.edu] to read about how MIT answers your charges in explicit detail. They clearly state that what you're paying for is the interactive experience, the ability to ask and have questions answered, and, oh yeah, the degree. It's from 2001 so you're getting angry 7 years after the fact.

Personally, I think that if someone has the time, energy, and drive to learn something this way, more power to them.

I also believe that these lectures are less useful than a book would be in learning as they can't possibly go into the same depth. And just like I'm not going to complain about my professors putting a free book online, I don't care about the lectures.

I think you may have missed the altruistic mission that many universities have of encouraging learning in all forms, by all people - not just those sitting their butts in a local classroom.
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