Video lessons edited and delivered through television sets
Reach and educate the largest student population in the world
Create engaging visual aids to help students understand complex ideas
Use technology to improve how students receive and understand lessons
Create more equal learning opportunities for students in India across all geographical zones with or without high-speed networks
Helping India reach and educate its greatest resource: its youth
2,000 courses, 100,000+ video lessons edited and delivered through television sets
100+ content creators develop multimedia content and edit video
Delivered more engaging lessons with images, graphics, animations and visual effects
Dr Mangala Sunder Krishnan
Professor of Chemistry, IIT Madras
Dr Mangala Sunder Krishnan has spent his career sharing his love of science with students. For the past 25 years, he has worked at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras focused on inspiring the next generation of learners and advancing research in the field of physical and theoretical chemistry.
“India has the world’s largest youth population,” says Dr Sunder. “They are our biggest resource and the gift of God. By educating our youth, we invest in the future of India.”
With support from Dr Sunder and other educational leaders like him across the country, the Indian government has taken massive strides to provide high-quality education to more students. Through the National Programme on Technology enhanced Learning (NPTEL) funded by the then Ministry of Human Resource Development, platform and content development models were provided for online collaborations between premier institutions in India to understand and utilise visual and interactive tools and technologies in teaching and learning programmes in science and engineering for a decade.
The National Mission on Education through ICT (NME-ICT), a landmark initiative that aims to support teaching and learning across higher education using technology, expanded NPTEL to all domains. NME-ICT also brought forth connectivity and devices for online teaching, delivering many virtual courses that use streaming video, discussion forums, emails and other digital methods to educate students and eventually launch one of the world’s largest online certification programmes, the SWAYAM.
Swayam Prabha is one of the newest and most ambitious education projects from NME-ICT. Started in 2016, Swayam Prabha consists of 34 direct-to-home (DTH) television channels broadcast over GSAT-15 satellite. Each channel is devoted to several connected subjects, such as Language & Literature, Social & Behavioural Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Applied Sciences and more. From the beginning of NPTEL in 2003, Adobe has been helping with creative applications, which are now provided through Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise. Media teams across India work with educators and use the software to create visuals and edit videos for these courses.
“Studies clearly support that video leads to higher engagement than text,” says Dr Sunder. “The current generation of students particularly love digital displays, so even if students don’t understand the lesson at first, having a professional-looking video with strong visuals will attract students and keep them watching. Adobe Creative Cloud gives us special tools to create compelling visuals that reach students across India.”
To date, Swayam Prabha has delivered nearly 2,000 courses and more than 100,000 individual lessons through its television channels. Professors from across IIT Madras and other top Indian institutions develop the structured courses that are aired throughout the day on each DTH channel. Dr Sunder, for example, is a channel coordinator and contributor to Channel 15: Engineering Sciences and Biosciences.
More than 100 content creators across universities work at creative centres using Adobe Creative Cloud apps and other tools to develop the visuals for the lessons. Many lessons start with a video of a professor delivering their lecture to a home audience. The video production team records the lecture in a studio and then editors clean up the footage using Adobe Premiere Pro to create a polished recording ready for the television screen. Video editors can add title cards, inserts and music as needed. The video might cut between the lecturer and diagrams, images or slideshows created with apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
For one of Dr Sunder’s lessons, he wanted to create an animated representation of 3D rotations in space to demonstrate Euler’s theorem in the kinematics of rotations. He worked with a designer to create slices in Adobe Illustrator and then animate the slices with Adobe Animate to show the rotation under different conditions.
“After a week, the design student came to me and told me that he was having issues with the animation,” says Dr Sunder. “He was manipulating the animation according to my instructions, but the result was always the same. He didn’t realise that that was the point—to show that the two series of rotations are equivalent. He essentially proved the theorem through the logic of the animation. It was interesting to see how clearly a student with no physics background could understand the results by representing it visually.”
Dr Mangala Sunder Krishnan
Professor of Chemistry, IIT Madras
While envisioned primarily as a method of reaching higher education students, Swayam Prabha has also begun expanding to K-12 students. The video learning played a role in India’s support for younger students affected by the global pandemic.
Swayam Prabha continues to grow every year to reach even more students. While many of the participating universities, such as IIT Madras, traditionally focus on science and technology, Swayam Prabha is increasing participation from non-technical institutes to deliver a wider variety of studies. The programme also focuses on language support — an important factor in reaching students in a country with 22 major languages. By offering more classes in more languages, Swayam Prabha provides more students with an opportunity to receive education in their native language.
In addition, training will be a big part of enabling the Swayam Prabha project take its next steps. Exposing lecturers to more Adobe Creative Cloud apps will allow them to better understand how visuals, animations and other features can be used to communicate complex ideas to students. Coordinators are also exploring workflows that will allow lecturers to record sessions remotely instead of coming to a studio to encourage more contributions from educators around the country.
““Design is an important element in creating lessons that connect with remote students in the digital age,” says Dr Sunder. “Adobe itself is a very good teacher. It offers many tutorials and an intuitive approach that makes creating content easy for beginners and experts alike. The partnership with Adobe will continue to help educators reach more students across India.”