Conventionally, the learning was always associated with schools,
colleges and universities. Till few years back, it was percieved that
teaching and learning is over once you graduate out of an university.
Continous learning and teaching for the whole life was always associated
with the teachers. But in the present day world, the knowledge is
evolving so fast that for one to remain productive, he need to learn
continously irrespective of her profession. Usually, this ongoing
training requirements are satisfied with continuing education system.
But the biggest disadvantage is that persons getting trained need to
leave the workplace to undergo this process.
With the development in technology, it is possible for the people to
continously learn while staying at their workplace.
Technology has also made possible to provide the frameworks which can
help in conventional education system. These framework are commonly
known as learning management systems (LMS). In fact in knowledge based
organisation, they can be used to archive, retain and manage the
generated knowlege and hence can work as knowledge management systems
Any learning process basically consists of learning material dissemination,
and mechanisms to provide interaction among all the persons involved in the
learning process. Brihaspati is a server side software system built for
providing a framework to enable the above function over internet. The users of
The system has been built over opensource web application framework Turbine.
The brihaspati in the beginning was quite simple just providing the
authenticated access to published documents to students. The instructor was
given permission to upload the documents. Over the period, the system has
evolved to provide many other functionalities. The notable one's are
discussion boards, chat and whiteboard system, access control for guest
access. Currently, the graphical user interface in English and Hindi is
already available. Currently, the Brihaspati-2 is evolving where the
instructor and content author functionalities have been separated. The
existing system provides extensive administrator functionalities. The most of
the functionalities have evolved over the years based on the feedback of IITK
faculty and students.
In IIT Kanpur, this system is made available to all the faculty and student to
augment the existing convetional learning enviorment. The number of faculty
and students using the system actively has considerably increased over last
few years. The free version of software is made available from
http://sourceforge.net/project/brihaspati and the brochure is available at
http://home.iitk.ac.in/~ynsingh/tool/pamphlet.pdf . There are many other
institutes which have shown interest and using the system for augmenting their
own learning environments. The system makes it feasible for instructors to
share their learning material with people worldwide.
In time to come, we are expecting to have SCORM compliance, clustered server
operation, functionality to fetch courses from remote brihaspati. Also, the
functionality to deliver the live lecture with possibility of interaction with
students is expected very soon as Brihaspati_sync, the synchronous lecture
delivery componenet of Brihapati-2.
The IIT Kanpur installation of Brihaspati can be accessed from
http://184.108.40.206/ For the users of free version, the discussion group
firstname.lastname@example.org is used for all kind of discussions. For the
commercial version, you can contact the coordinator of the project at
Dr. Yatindra Nath Singh
Coordinator, Educational Technology Research Group (ETRG)
Electrical Engineering Department