A fount of digital knowledge

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Goa Multi-Faculty College, Dharbandora has become the first college in the state to register under the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) Club. The Club was inaugurated on September 1 at the college premises.

NT KURIOCITY gets more details

As a part of the National Digital Library of India’s (NDLI) movement for Integrated Digital Learning across India under the support of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (Ministry of Education), to get quick access to additional information digitally, Goa Multi-Faculty College, Dharbandora has become the first Goan college to register under the NDLI Club. NDLI is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction, and all other kinds of learning media. It Includes hyperlinks that direct users to content on the source and expressive description of the content.

Principal Shaikh Mohammad Parvez Al-Usmani says that students and teachers will be extremely benefitted with the establishment of the Club. “Now they will be able to access the digital version all types of books, articles, audiobooks, periodicals, and other knowledge resources in any language. This will help them to keep abreast with the latest knowledge and development. The estabilishment of the Club can bring a revolution in the knowledge database among the learners in this digital age.”

The prime objective of the mission, says the college librarian, Ajit Faras is to empower the learners through digital access of all sources. “It is a platform that strengthens the source of information of the learners. Our students and staff are searching for books, journals, PowerPoint presentations, video lectures, etc, in the NDLI. They are finding it useful especially when physical libraries are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says, adding that students need to register to download content. The college collects information from students and generates bulk registration of students. Students can also register themselves individually.

NDLI is a project to engage, enable and inspire learners across the country irrespective of age, demographics, and ability. And the initiative is an open-source single-window search platform developed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur that uses metadata to guide students and customise their search according to their individual needs. It holds a wide variety of books, articles, lectures, research materials in various media forms curated, collated, and created with the best institutions in the country. More than 3.66 crore resources (ie around 73 per cent) are free to use for educational and research purposes. There is no need for any registration fee or usage charges for these resources.

Apart from the open sources, the Ministry of Education, Government of India has been procuring National Licenses from reputed databases/ publishers and giving it to NDLI registered users at free of cost. Faras says: “This will open up access to quality knowledge resources to every Indian citizen. NDLI platform is open for all learners starting from school going students, college going youth, working professionals, researchers, edupreneuers and lifelong learners.”

Comparing Google and NDLI, he informs that NDLI provides curated educational content, narrowed down results using education filter options, modified search based on content type like audiobook/ video, etc.

The additional advantages with NDLI, Faras says is that instead of throwing up thousands of random results, NDLI presents specific data from premium content sources in multiple Indian languages. And not only can learners modify their search based on educational degree and languages, but they can also put in filters based on the content type. “The NDLI platforms learn from the users’ searches and present more relevant data with regular use. Paid content can be accessed free-of-charge due to National Licenses so that learners from the remotest parts of India can learn, share, and grow,” he adds.

How is the club going to benefit students?

Under the NDLI club one student from each class is selected as a member based on the recommendation of teachers or student’s interest. These students with the guidance of a college librarian create activities such as:

NDLI Lecture Series: From NDLI resources, various topics can be chosen by club members and subject matter experts can be invited to deliver lectures on the chosen topics and interact with the members and audience (non-members).

NDLI Quiz: Based on NDLI resources, question sets on chosen themes can be prepared by NDLI Club members. During quiz sessions, participants (members as well as non-members) can use NDLI resources.

NDLI Story Talk: Identifying stories from NDLI resources, storytelling sessions can be organised, where both members and as non-members may participate.

NDLI Go Fish: A list of 10 – 20 topics from NDLI resources may be given to a group of participants (members as well as non-members) to find out and share the gist of each of the topic.

NDLI Roleplay: From NDLI contents, topics can be chosen and club members can enact a roleplay based on the text. Viewers may be members and non-members.

NDLI Write On: Choosing topics from NDLI resources, writing competitions can be conducted and the competitors (members as well as non-members) may use NDLI resources while writing.

NDLI Makerspace: Topics chosen from NDLI resources can be given to the participants (members as well as non-members) and they can be encouraged to come up with their models/solutions on the topic.