Competencies of Academic Counsellors


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2k60205: A presentation of my paper published in Open Learning. This was awarded Silver medal by IGNOU for best reserch in 2006

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Competencies of Academic Counsellors

  1. 1. Open Learning | Vol. 20, No. 2 | June 2005 | pp. 147-159 Roles and competencies of academic counsellors in distance education Sanjaya Mishra Indira Gandhi National Open University, India
  2. 2. Structure <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Review of literature </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Learner support </li></ul><ul><li>The study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies roles and competencies of academic counsellors in distance education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Significance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool to develop appropriate training materials and strategies </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Review of literature <ul><li>Academic counsellors are link between </li></ul><ul><li>the learners and the university </li></ul><ul><li>They perform a variety of roles : tutors , </li></ul><ul><li>advisors , and assessors, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Review grouped into three parts: cognitive , </li></ul><ul><li>affective and systemic </li></ul>
  5. 5. Review of literature (Fig)
  6. 6. Academic counsellors role at IGNOU <ul><li>Personal point of contact for the distance learner </li></ul><ul><li>Provide tuition in person and at a distance </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate assignments and provide feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Help distance learners by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiating them to self learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirming positive learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying negative learning and provide remedial measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing non-print interventions </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Methodology <ul><li>Questionnaire based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles and competencies identified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content validity of the questionnaire ascertained </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distributed to a randomly selected group of academic counsellors in a Regional Centre using sample size determination tale of Krejcie and Morgan (1970) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Response rate was 30.3 per cent </li></ul><ul><li>Response bias test for gender revealed no difference in the male and female responses in accordance with the population and the distributes sample </li></ul><ul><li>Descriptive and inferential statistics used for analysis </li></ul>
  8. 8. Methodology (cont’d…) <ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Context specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-tech environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Still the results are useful as a generic tool for organizing training for academic counsellors </li></ul></ul>Test of homogeneity: 0.102 74 21 53 Used/ Returned 245 65 180 Sample 677 188 496 Population Total Female Male
  9. 9. Results Recived Needed
  10. 10. Results (cont’d…) 4 373 98.6 Tutor 6 331 97.3 Supervisor 5 333 90.5 Mentor 7 318 83.8 Demonstrator 1 432 98.6 Counsellor 3 379 94.6 Coach 2 386 98.6 Assessor Rank Weighted score Percentage Roles Roles of academic counsellors
  11. 11. Results (cont’d…) 70 Skills to assess the learning outcomes/ assignment responses 5 71 Knowledge of evaluation methods and principles 4 72 Knowledge about how distance education works 3 73 Willingness to learn new approaches to teaching and learning 2 74 Knowledge of subject/ discipline 1 Frequency Competencies Rank Five top competencies
  12. 12. Results (cont’d…) * Significant at 95% confidence level with p value 2.02 ** Significant at 95% confidence level with p value 3.92 7.335** 1 Training in DE .746 2 Experience as academic coounsellor .419 7 Teaching experience 2.272* 8 Age groups .424 1 Gender F value df Variables ANOVA for self-rating of competencies and independent variables
  13. 13. Discussion <ul><li>IGNOU Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Only 27 % received some sort of training </li></ul><ul><li>Only 2 competencies are satisfactory </li></ul><ul><li>89.2 % agree on need for training </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-value on other competencies </li></ul><ul><li>Top 4 roles (counsellor, assessor,coach, and tutor) cover 26 compet encies </li></ul>
  14. 14. Discussion (cont’d…) <ul><li>Level of competencies differed amongst age groups, though the F value is little over significance </li></ul><ul><li>81.2% recognize the need for training, which is contrary to what others believe… </li></ul><ul><li>Face to face training is still </li></ul><ul><li>going on though others have </li></ul><ul><li>moved ahead </li></ul><ul><li>using new modes… </li></ul>
  15. 15. Discussion (cont’d…) <ul><li>Knowledge requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Basic concepts and processes of distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia approaches in distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional procedures and systems </li></ul><ul><li>Needs of adult learners </li></ul><ul><li>Further education opportunities/jobs in a discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Skill development </li></ul><ul><li>Balance of the demand of the discipline and the needs of the learner </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Listening skills </li></ul><ul><li>Questioning skills </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioner learning </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to learn new approaches to teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Openness to new ideas </li></ul>List of generic competencies for academic counsellors
  16. 16. Conclusion <ul><li>The 12 generic competencies can be used to develop training materials and programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence-based certification can be a possible way to train huge number of counsellors using technology </li></ul><ul><li>Further research in this area required </li></ul>
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