Literature review — that isn’t

August 30, 2018

Research papers are considered incomplete without a literature review section. This demand is much stronger when it comes to PhD thesis. In papers, some authors put this at the beginning after introduction, and some opt to put this at the end before the conclusion. Most beginner authors, and sometimes even experienced ones, are confused about the purpose of this section. And not surprisingly a typical LR section would look like

In paper 1, authors describe ……

In paper 2, the authors describe…

Paper 3 talks about …

Paper 4 is about work by ….

If you drop one or two of these paragraphs, no one will notice the omission! This is not literature review, as it offers no review! It has 2-3 problems. Before we analyse that, what is the purpose of literature review?

First of all, when you report some work, one would like to know if anyone has attempted such a thing before. If not, exactly the same thing, at least something close to it? If it is already done, then you have a stronger job to defend your work, since you are reinventing (if not copying) the work already done. Usually, the answer won’t be a “yes”. And that usually does not mean you have invented something completely out of the blue!

There will be related aspects that may have been done or attempted by others. A similar approach for a different domain? A different approach for the same domain? Similar domain or problem, with different assumptions/restrictions? And so on. This usually will give you a baseline for you to refine your approach. If you are departing from the model widely followed in the literature for similar class of problems, it is necessary for you to defend the departure.

Each such work needs to be looked at critically, from the perspective of your research objective. And this is why it is a review! So the review cannot be a paraphrase of the conclusions or abstract of the papers; let alone a verbatim copy of a few sentences from it. That is why a paper reviewed by 10 researchers will be depicted in 10 different ways. This is, of course, the hardest task often, since we are taught to adore anything published elsewhere, and more so, if it bears a tag like IEEE or ACM etc.

First of all, a researcher must take the view that no paper is perfect. This links to the mindset issue I remarked in an earlier chapter. Second, criticising a paper from the perspective of my research objective does not make the other paper bad! I am only expressing that the situations applicable to that work may not apply to my work, or the result obtained for that work may not suffice for my work, …. This is the key for growth of research.

So a literature review should be a consolidated opinion of what you have found from the literature in relation to your work. Has anybody attempted this problem? Who all did? In what all different ways? Did they succeed? To what extent? What was missing? Is this a solved problem?

If no one has directly attempted this, what are the closest attempts to your objective? How are their domains similar to yours? And different from yours? How will this difference make that work unsuitable for your objective? What approaches are found in the literature which are potential candidates for your work? Are those approaches applicable to you? If not, why not? What results (performance, accuracy, etc) have been obtained by them? How good are they for you?

Bringing out all these aspects, you summarise your findings, and then chart your own path.

This requires reading the papers, making your own notes, connecting up the papers in your mind, linking them to your problem, and then writing down the review. Literature review is not an incremental summary of papers you ended up reading. It is also not a show piece of how many papers you have read!

Advertisements

The chosen path: part 6 and the end.

June 24, 2018

Colleges were supposed to be English medium by default. But, there was no strict rules, like 100 Rs fine if you speak anything else!. But all exams are to be written in English. Some teachers also mostly use English in class, partly to expose the terms and concepts in English.

There was one interesting thing the principal did for me. The college was running two shifts: 9 to 1, and 1.30 to 5.30. Principal told me to take the afternoon slot. Most students take the morning slot. He said, therefore, there will be less disturbance in afternoon. And we lose less classes due to strikes and the like. As I mentioned earlier, student unions were very strong in Kerala then. College elections were fought between KSU (Congress) and SFI (communist). As freshers, when we enter college, there are hundreds of pamphlets from both parties welcoming us. Strong political presence meant strikes etc were also common. Choosing afternoon shift protected me and others in that shift from such disturbances.

Another innovation he brought in was the formation of a P&S club. His purpose was to encourage potential rank holders to grow. A few people whom he considered as potential rank holders were added to this club. P was for Philos (love) and S was for Sophia (wisdom), meaning love for wisdom – his own choice of name; but I liked the concept. Members were essentially those who were learning focused. I was also added to this club! Teachers spent more time with us, discussing topics in more depth. I do not have much detailed memories of this club, but it helped to connect with a bigger world.

One of the most significant turning point in college was meeting Fr Francis Kurissery (a missionery Father). He was Oxford educated and his English had an excess of that. He told us, it is not love, but luf, not move, but muf, and so on. He taught us English prose in first year – an enjoyable class. Afternoon shifts being relatively light weight (not too many parallel batches), there were more time to meet the teachers. Fr Francis was very friendly and jovial with all. It was he, in one of our meetings jn P&S club told me that I should try for something like IIT! I was puzzled.

When I went home, I told my mother – Fr Kurissery is saying I should join some ITI, why is he saying that? She, of course, had no answer. I went to Soosanna teacher and asked her. As I mentioned, she was my alternate mother often. She gave me some idea of what it is. I think what struck most was it is easier to get a job, and expenses are less. Both were important. I later discussed with Fr also, for more details.

I recall a friendship with two of my batchmates from near our village: Anil and Shaji, who joined me in the quest for IIT. We together started a journey for the next 2 years trying to reach that level from the typical Univ exam level. My mother was concerned about my going away, after the loss of my brother; but eventually accepted this also bravely.

To avoid this being like a TV serial, I am going to stop this long short story here. If you had the courage, patience and whatever to read this far, thank you very much for your support and kind words. I may have disappointed many who thought there will be a Bahubali-3 or something coming up. Do share whatever your comments are either in message or mail or comments here.

And the climax. I did come out successful in JEE, with a good rank. There was only one round/level then. Neither of my friends made it, unfortunately. I ended up with Computer Science at IIT Madras – the second batch in CS from there. It was very early days of computers in India. IIT was very punctual, and I joined there as scheduled. While there, one day, got a letter from my mother, in my hostel Mandakini in IIT, saying the pre-degree results have been announced, and I have got third rank in Calicut University. University results were not critical for IIT then, and our classes had already started. Since I was away from Kerala, the event passed of without any significance. Newspapers (as I said, they do report 1, 2 and 3 ranks) who came home were given a photograph, and handled by my mother. I met Christ College principal and Fr Kurissery when I came home in vacation, and they were happy.

The chosen path – part 5

June 16, 2018

I went home and told this to my mother. She came with me back to school. Teachers all crowded around her, and told her not to do this to me. They offered all help, and if money was the issue, and assured that he won’t need much money, given my score. It is better, if I don’t describe the scene more….

All plans changed right there. My mother was very committed to our education; circumstances had forced to keep aside that, and move to Trichy. I collected the result notification, and went to Christ college – the best men’s college in that area. I told them I wanted first group (it is the science and maths line!). You may wonder why? Third and fourth were for those who had low scores. I was recommended first or second. Second group was primarily for medicine. I can barely stand the sight of blood; so I told mother I don’t want to be a doctor! Bloodless surgery and all that were not even thought about then! So what was left was first group. This meant I could go for engineering or take up BSc with maths, physics, etc as the main line. A BSc carried more weight than a BA or BCom (third and fourth group respectively).

With much doubt, I showed my result to the college office. If I don’t get admission here, the next good college is about 25 km further. They asked me: first or second?! I said first. They gave me a card and asked to come on some date. I asked: is the admission confirmed? They laughed. I was such a dumb-head not to know that one with such high score need not wait for general trend for confirmation.

And then a journey of another two years began, in the pre-degree mode. College life was not in the cards, and it came through… where will it go next?

On admission, I met the principal. Christ college, as the name suggests is a missionary college. Fr Vivian (not very sure) was the principal. As a routine, I met him. He looked at my score, and said “you missed the rank by a few marks in 10th. We must aim for a rank in pre-degree.” I only listened.

Though my sleepy village hardly understood what was going on, the news did reach a few people. I was honoured in a few functions, with some cash awards or a trophy or some nice words. Many also wished that I should bring a rank in pre-degree. I think, all this was a consolation to mother, and perhaps would have compensated partly for the sudden change of plan.

By the way, something amusing happened in this time. Since, we had all decided to leave and move to Trichy, my mother got my head shaved fully. It was in the plan for long, and this looked like a good time. So, I had to attend all the functions etc with a cap, due to the shaven head and felt very embarassed. I had good hair in those days.

College was a different experience, away from the full discipline of schools.

The chosen path: part 4

June 8, 2018

I could not find the name in pass list. I was a good student. By school standards, a very good student. I usually get 85-100 in almost all papers, except Malayalam-II, and Social Studies. Both these mostly contain essay questions. Each question required 2-3 pages in answer. Grading is liberal for those who writes nothing, but very stiff if we prepare and write good answer. Getting a 7 out of 7 for an essay was impossible, even if the teacher’s own answer was put up. Even then I used to get 75-90 marks. But then Board exams is a different story. So, much confidence was not there.

As I was searching, one of my teachers called me to the teachers’ room. I was puzzled. Slowly I understood that I had scored very good marks. They were all very proud, and very happy. I was, they said, the topper of the school. I had 556 out of 600, all subjects included. This works to about 92+ percent. Somehow, that number of 556 is still hard to forget, even after so many decades. They said, “we are finding out the top score in Irinjalakuda education zone, and also in the district (Trichur)”. “We will get a better picture soon”, they added. Eventually that picture ended as first (shared with another student) in the Trichur revenue district. I think this was 15th rank in the State. You get Press etc only if you are 1, 2 or 3. From that point of view, this was just an information. But first in the district was important for anyone – it ensured I would get a college seat wherever I went, which ever option I choose. Even before the episode that turned upside down all our plans, my mother used to warn us that getting a seat by paying money will not be possible. Of course, now the situation was different.

Meanwhile, my teachers all wanted to know which college I am going and what I am going to do next. I told them the pre-determined plan. They were stunned. I am choking as I write this! I had a number of teachers in this school, who were like my mother. Soosanna teacher who taught us biology, Thresiamma teacher who taught us social studies (I think), and so on. Soosanna teacher was one who particularly valued education very highly. She had, I think, 5 daughters, and eventually managed to make each one of them a Doctor (medical). She was a God-sent angel particularly over the last couple of years of my school, following the loss of my brother and for the next few years. I and my mother have even borrowed money on some critical occasions. Radhakrishnan master who taught us English was also very fond of me. For a vernacular medium student, my written English was not poor.

Talking of teachers, there are many faces that comes to mind. Nandakumar who taught me physics (may be in 9th), used to tease me. One day, after the mid-sem, he came to class, gave away all the answer sheets and kept mine to the end. Then with serious concern, he asked me “Sasi, what happened to you?”. I got scared. My paper was not that bad, so what happened! After some more drama, he told me “very good, you have 48 out of 50”, or something like that. We had a very interesting Sanskrit teacher, always with pan in his mouth. Though, he did not teach any significant Sanskrit lessons for the exam, all through the year, I got to love languages and particularly Sanskrit because of his classes. Every day he would start the class, and find some story or episode to link to, and the rest of the class will be on that. Of course, that episode had little to do with the syllabus. Then there was Aravindan master whose cane was world famous! As he enters swinging his cane, one would forget whatever one has studied. I used to bug him trying to solve the problems at the end of each chapter of the text book. Where he was not comfortable, he would say “I will get back”, and a day or two later, he would tell me “draw a perpendicular from A to LM, and see”, and usually that would solve the problem. I think my Geometry owes much to this exercise. Let me return…

The news of my plan (or the lack thereof), and its shock waves, spread through the school. One of the teachers called me and said, go home and ask your mother to come.

Story part-3

June 3, 2018

My brother – about 2 years younger to me – fell sick. In school, he was just one class behind me. The illness was just head ache and vomiting. When it was not reducing, he was admitted to a nearby mission hospital. They diagnosed some stomach ailment (I think it was ulcers), and started treating. But symptoms were not reducing, even after days. He was then shifted to another hospital farther. That doctor suspected something in the brain. And asked to go to Medical College, Trivandrum. It is from him that I heard of this wisdom – there are 64 potential causes for head ache, the simplest being excess nasal hair, and the most challenging being a tumour in the brain. My parents and a few others went to medical college — about 250 km away. Further tests there revealed a tumour in the brain.

A shock to our entire system. Life fully changed. Prayers, well wishers,… There was hope. It can be cured. Money was difficult even normally, continuously struggling to make ends meet. The treatment needed money, in large amount. This was a different situation, and nothing was more valuable than getting him back. Money was created pawning, selling, etc. Surgery was done. I think it took weeks there. But he never came back alive.

One day when I was coming from school, there was a lot of people in my house. And an ambulance in the front. I knew something was wrong. And then I realised… Inside my mother’s cries could be heard loud, when I entered… I hardly remember anything else from that time… It was difficult days in all senses of the term.

Mother was gradually gathering courage; she had to. Everyone told her, there are two other kids needing your attention. That is, me and my little sister, quite small when this happened. We can’t sit in grief for long. And life had to move on. Now, neck deep in debt too. It would take a long time to recover sanity.

My studies resumed slowly. Since my brother was away in hospitals for a few months, I think, I had adjusted to being without him around, despite the sense of loss.

The plans all changed. They had to. Continuing at our home was difficult due to multiple issues. After much discussion, it was decided that after my 10th, we will shift to my father’s quarters at his work place. We used to visit him in some of the school vacations. It was in one of those visits, I picked up how to read Tamil script, on my own, with little support from my father and others. Anyway, with a 10th pass, I would get a better entry as an apprentice or something in his factory. Eventually it would ensure a slightly better job than that of my father; that seemed good enough. Now you know why I was looking for a ‘pass’.

And then something else happened….

Story part – 2

May 26, 2018

My father was a Govt servant, working in a civilian unit of Defence, in an ordinance factory. He was more of a factory floor person preparing materials. But a government job was a big thing then, as it ensured some money every month whatever the situation. He was working in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. And he stayed there in the company quarters. A quarter was more like a flat of today – high rises being rare, they had four flats in a building. The name, perhaps came from there, I guess. And we stayed in Kerala, with my mother, thanks to our education, etc. He would come home a couple of times a year, stay for a week or so each time. Earlier he was in West Bengal, and the visit was just once a year, since the train travel was more than 2 full-days, one way. There was no Gulf-craze then; and most men in search of jobs were in Bombay, or other big cities, or in some factories.

Growing up in a sleepy little village, with hardly any contact with the big world outside, meant very little dreams for most of us. Remember, there was no TV there! Even a radio was found only in a few households. There was only one person in the entire village and its neighbourhood, who had a phone, who was rich enough to get telephone posts for about 10 kms at his expense. You could see, for many years, the overhead line – just one pair going on and on from post to post. In short, we hardly met any “big” people, to inspire us. That village was our world, mostly.

Even reading opportunities were limited. Only a few households subscribed to newspaper. More common were the general weeklies, carrying novels, crime novels, and some general stuffs. Usually no dirty stuff. At home, we get some of them, sometimes through local friends, borrowed or purchased. With nothing else, I used to read most of that, and hence was familiar with the novel writers of that time, and their variety. Study books were what the school gave at the beginning of the year. That in essence was the primary reading world. In a way, all that helped focus better on studies! Today, you sit to read with the TV on, and imagine the level of attention one can get.

One major relief here was my fathers’ work place. When he came to Trichy, we used to go there during the vacation time for a while. There was a good Malayalee society there, with a good library. It opens only twice a week. And you can take only 2 books at max. I would normally be there on both days every week, having finished reading the ones issued the previous slot. I read a lot of stuff – almost all in Malayalam though – including classic books, translation of freedom at midnight, etc.

One danger of such a life, is that you tend to get carried away with whatever anyone tells you. I remember someone, a few years elder to me, telling stories of Mahabharata, as only 5 people (the pandavas) on one side, and a big army of Kaurava’s on the other side. Many years later only I realised that the Pandava army was not just five people, though less in size than the other. There were many such stories which later on got corrected, as I started reading such books.

Natural path for a boy, if he is good at school, is to do pre-degree (what is now called +2), and then do a degree. Pre-degree, as the name says, was in the college, not in schools as is the case now. Then keep searching for jobs in whatever way possible, including moving to cities like Madras, Bombay, etc. If you have some relatives working there, that can become a stepping stone. Others, would drop out. Do some small business, or survive with some odd jobs, and the like. I was good at studies. There also there are some stories; I wont digress for now.

So may be a college education, resulting in a largely useless (from employment perspective) BSc or BA is the usual path. But being a graduate had some weight, as we had very few graduates there at that time. I don’t remember anyone with an engineering or medical degree in our vicinity. So such options rarely came to mind, perhaps due to the expenses involved and the studies required. Indeed, what an inspiring world!

And so there was no need or opportunity to make dreams. As we get closer to hurdles like SSLC, and depending on what happens there, some option of the sort above would be pursued. And so life went on, with its usual ups and downs.

And then it happened….

The story-part 1

May 25, 2018

It was a sunny hot morning in May 1981. It was an important day for many including me. The SSLC (the term for Xth standard exam) exam results are due that day. As usually happens for going to school, I changed into a Mundu (Pants were not that common then) and shirt, and headed to catch the bus. I was studying in the town school – Govt Model Boys High School, Irinjalakuda. Situated in the midst of the town, it was a popular school in the area. And private schools had not caught up that much, nor were people that bothered about English medium schools. There was a Don Bosco school for those who cared, and those who could afford. The word Model in the same indicated a better quality than others.

Till the end of 7th (what is called Upper primary stage), I was in another Government school in my village itself. That is the place where I started my journey (well, almost). It did not have “high school” stage then; now it has got that. So, after 7th I needed to move out. There were a couple of other options, a little closer to home, but this town school ended up as the choice. I vaguely remember that the advise of my teachers in the school had some role to play in the choice, considering my academic performance.

In Kerala then, there was a strange notion of student concession in buses. Student unions were very strong. So even when the adult fares went on increasing, student fares would not be touched. Irinjalakuda was about 6 kms away from home. We walk down about one kilometer, and catch a bus. The fare was 15 paise!! Adult fare in those days were 40 paise, in effect a 25% concession. ID card was mandatory, but no one bothered. Hardly anyone will dare to play with anything that looked like students! Even when the adult rate reached one rupee, the student rates remained the same! Later some where this stopped. I think now it is more humane, like half of adult ticket. I think the adult ticket now is 10 Rs.

That day also, it was the same routine. I caught some bus, got off at one of 4 stops in Irinjalakuda called TANA. The school was about half km walk from there. There were a lot of students around, all eager to know if the hurdle is cleared or not. I too walked quietly to the school assembly area. The school gate was facing a set of classrooms, and you need to cross over that to the Headmaster’s room and Teacher’s room. Next to that was the assembly ground. On right side was the male-teachers’ room, drawing class, etc. On the left there was a two-story building that housed our classes. Most of my classes in 8 and 9th were in that building. For 10th, we had classes in a building after the assembly area, a few steps down.

As I look at the buildings, many teachers’ faces and incidents came to my mind. That diversion is for another day. Right now, with mild tension, I moved to the notice boards in the assembly area where the results are put up. Watching the results from your home, with a mouse click or touch will take almost 40 years to come. There was a long series of result pages. First was the just-pass category, then those with first class. 100% percent pass was the privilege of very few, and as a government school, a hard to get one here. Anyway, I only needed to pass, because the rest of my plans were already in place!!!

… to be contd…

E-learning explorations through PhD

December 1, 2015

It was Leena Ragha of RAIT, Nerul, who got me started into guiding PhD work. It was something that interested me much. Though apprehensive initially, I could get some quality work through my first set of students – Leena, being the first. I set my own standards, and topic preferences for PhD. It was a period when PhD guides in Computer Science in Mumbai was an endangered species, and so many people eventually approached me. Given my commitments at CDAC, and the effort needed for keeping my quality standards, I restricted my numbers to just 2-4 at a time. And for the same reasons, and due to the part-time work nature of many of my students, most of them took about 5-6 years to submit their thesis. Given the desperation of the students to be a doctorate, and that of the institutions to declare higher and higher numbers, the usual norm was 3 years!

I did writeup some aspects of my experiences as a small booklet to help people look at PhD and research in a more serious and meaningful way. Many of the pieces of that booklet were also published on this blog. The main theme was that research is not about PhD or papers, but about developing a mindset – or rather re-acquiring your mindset, which you lost somewhere along your childhood. Many wrote to me saying, the booklet was very helpful. Of course, I have no idea how many of them actually followed any of those guidelines and directions.

I used the PhD route to explore some research directions in technology for enhancing teaching/learning, starting with the language learning work with Abhijit Joshi from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering. More on this work in a seperate post. It led to some usable structure for building language learning systems. Deepti Reddy took this up further, in the area of student models for language learning. Once she got admission into IIT Bombay, this thread had to be abandoned. She is pursuing a different thread there, in the area of teaching/learning of thinking skills.

Preeti Khanna, at the same time as Abhijit, was assigned emotion recognition as her area. My eyes were on e-learning, looking at the possibility of using automatic emotion recognition to expand the scope of personalisation. If we could sense the comfort level and emotional state of the learner as he goes through the learning process, we can customise instruction, pedagogy and interactivity accordingly. She explored speech, face and keyboard behaviour as sources for emotion. Though, the work did not get to e-learning at all, it gave some insights into the effectiveness of these sources and the then State of the art in this area. This thread is currently idle.

In the next installment, Rekha Ramesh, Zainab Pirani and Rizwana joined as my students. Rizwana wanted cloud computing, and since I was also getting interested in this area, that became her focus. The others were in e-learning related topics. Rekha’s work was in assessment, with the interesting question, “how does one know if a question paper is good?”. Some initial work was done informally with me, and then later she also got into IIT. However, we were able to continue this thread there, with me joining as adjunct professor in the ET dept. I will talk about this work elsewhere in detail.

I accidentally bumped into Zainab Pirani at NMIMS, and she was looking for a guide cum topic. I was getting interested in the field of accessibility. I was CI for a project on making computer desktops accessible for people with various kinds of disabilities. And looking at the challenges of people with mild cognitive impairment in use of computers interested me. Moving further, I discovered the field of Learning Disabilities, and decided to look at what can be done using technology for this. It was also the time, the Anurup project was winding up, and personalisation seemed to be a natural direction to start this new exploration. She built a framework for transforming learning resources for an LD learner. Again we will discuss this in detail, elsewhere.

Amarjeet’s background and interest in AI, prompted me to look at automatic evaluation of subjective answers – a topic that I have been interested in for long. It was (and still is) a hard task, given the variety of questions, the variations in answers, etc. We are trying to look at specific question types, and how we can get an approximate match with a few given sample answers. This is work in progress.

With UGC blocking PhD guidance by people outside the regular faculty of the institute, this whole opportunity has suffered a lot. Most institutions (e.g. NMIMS, etc) are not permitting outside guides.

Ebasta: Schools books to e-books

November 27, 2015

Ebasta is a project being implemented by CDAC — Mumbai and Chennai centres. Ebasta is a combination of 3 ideas. Firstly, it provides a web portal linking the publishers, the teachers and the students on a single space. Publishers, well, share their e-resources on the portal (http://www.ebasta.in). Teachers can browse all these e-resources, and prepare a bundle of resources for their wards. They can take not only textbooks, but also reference materials, supplementary resources, and even story books. Students can then download the prepared bundle.

Screenshot from 2015-11-27 21:01:09A bundle of such a nature spanning almost a dozen subjects in a school environment, means a large number of electronic files. On a laptop or a tablet that the student may be using, this is a recipe for confusion and frustration. When these are mixed with myriad other files that he/she may download, the situation is quite bad. Also remember that, the websites name their download files for their convenience. For example, NCERT files are named using a coded naming convention. Other sites use their own codes and conventions. This complicates locating of a file into a hard task.

This is where the second idea comes. We introduce the concept of an e-basta — a structured, virtual bag. The bundle can be organised into a hierarchy, like having pockets/compartments in your bag. The teacher can create a bag with as many compartments, and sub-compartments, as he/she likes. And finally the actual books or e-resources can be inserted into these pockets. This puts all the related items together, and are placed at a fixed place relative to the bag. The third pocket contains maths resources, for example. It is this kind of structured bag, the ebastas, that the portal offers to the student for downloading.

Closely related to this context is the third idea. An app on the tablet device who understands this concept. This saves the student from dealing with any files directly, let alone their names and extensions. The app understands ebastas on the tablet, sets them up suitably, and shows very intuitive names for the various folders and resources — these names are as defined by the teacher creating the bastas, and not the publishers or writers. Once an ebasta is downloaded to the device, the app takes care of everything.

A key driving principle behind ebasta is that difficult to get sustained Internet connection for most of the school going students. Therefore, along with the ebasta download, we set up the whole system, so that, no further Internet connection is needed for reading/referring to any of the resources. The publishers relying on digital rights management to protect their resources from piracy is advised to use only device specific and time specific information for this purpose, so that Internet access is not needed when reading books.

We have most of the State Boards slowly coming on board, and even publishers have expressed interest in coming on board — some are already on. So, we will be having a wide collection of authentic e-resources, relevant to school syllabus in the portal. What are you waiting for? Get your resources on the portal — if you are a publisher, or a Board. Browse the resources and ebastas and download whatever you like, if you are a parent, or a student. If there are priced books, remember you will be required to make payment, before the download is given.

Like the work, the concept, etc? No? Tell us why, either way? And share your thoughts and suggestions also.

TITLE — Technology for Improving Teaching Learning Experience…

May 21, 2014

I am making some effort to consolidate the various activities in India in the area of e-learning. This is primarily driven by my own interest in using the various technologies to help the quality of education. In March, we organised a symposium on the same topic in collaboration with JDBIMS, SNDT, which saw about a hundred teachers and practioners join. T4E conference series has been active for a few years. There are active research groups in various aspects of TLP around the country. I am opening a new blog on this topic, where we can discuss this in detail. But for now, here are some titbits which may be of interest.

1. Along with a few likeminded people volunteering to chip in some time and energy, we have started a news letter, named TITLE, which will come out, primarily in electronic form, every month. If you are interested in receiving a sample copy or regularly, drop me a mail or comment on this post. The first issue has been released a few days back.

2. A proposal is pending with CSI — computer society of India — for forming a special interest group in this area. It may happen formally soon. We look forward to your support and enthusiasm in organising events, compiling resources, etc under this umbrella.

– Sasi