Education technology and computer mediation have given rise to newer perspectives about the education system, creating means of teaching that are more inclusive and accessible. Aspects of online learning expand the domain by transcending time and space limitations, empowering learners to learn 'anytime, anywhere'. This has led to emerging practices arising from existing pedagogy in combination with technology.
Rapid changes have been observed in light of the CoViD-19 emergency, which has altered the way we think and work. More so than ever, we find ourselves thrust into a new definition of normalcy, where online mediation helps keep knowledge transactions uninterrupted.
Arising from a need for updated teaching-learning practices, the BodhiTree project is under development in IIT Bombay from the perspective of catering to the online component of new age education. It involves the concept of 'multimedia books' (known as BodhiBooks), i.e., interactive online-learning artifacts created by instructors as a part of a course.
This project aims to redesign these multimedia books and courses such that they might become a tool for university teachers today. The solution focuses on instructors as content creators and compilers. It attempts to make the process of compiling and disseminating knowledge as effortless and comfortable for them as possible, encouraging them to teach online so that more learners may gain access to what they have to offer. The objective is to do this via a designed intervention that promotes practices suitable to the pedagogical approaches undertaken.
The project clarified the distinction between Bodhi Books and courses by establishing them as separate workspaces. It built on this ground to incorporate features that would ease online teaching across a range of subjects and modalities, expressed in terms of learning setups—lives (synchronous), scheduled (hybrid), self-paced (asynchronous). It introduced the possibility for synchronicity as the next logical step, featuring flexible integration of existing practices, content, and tools, as per the instructors' contexts and preferences.
Some physical classroom behaviours were modified by appropriating them to the online environment, while some potential behaviour was introduced. The broader purpose was to add value for the users with minimum friction. The result was a set of possible interventions and growth areas for Bodhi Tree as a tool for online instruction at a university level. These could be incorporated into the existing learning environment in future versions and further expanded to other online teaching and learning contexts.
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• BodhiTree 2.0......