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Open, Distance and eLearning in India: Status and Trends

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Presentation on 22 September 2013 at the National Conference on Higher Education: Emerging trends organised by Raj Bhawan, Bihar. (uses some slides from other other sources)

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Open, Distance and eLearning in India: Status and Trends

  1. 1. Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia Open, Distance and eLearning in India: Status and Trends Sanjaya Mishra Director, Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia September 22, 2013
  2. 2. Structure of the Presentation  Historical Perspective and Current Situation  Problems and Issues  Strategies and Approaches
  3. 3. Historical Perspectives  1962: University of Delhi  1964: Kothari Commission  1975: Parthasarathy Committee  1978: CBSE project Open School  1982: Dr. BRAOU  1985: IGNOU  1989: NOS (Now NIOS)
  4. 4. Structure of ODL  National Open University  15 State Open Universities (including 2 private: Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh)  Over 200 Dual mode universities and specialized institutions offering ODL  Chartered Accountancy, Company secretary, Cost Accountancy, etc. also offered programmes in distance mode
  5. 5. Structure of ODL  Programmes offered at all level (Open Basic Education to Doctoral Degrees)  Number of students (over 2 million at School level; 4.2 million at higher education level)  Technical courses through AICTE-UGC-DEC Committee  Some areas still not allowed (e.g. Medicine and Law)
  6. 6. PROBLEMS AND ISSUES  Quality  Access  Equity  Technology  Interaction
  7. 7. Quality  IGNOU Act (dual role: offered programme and also monitored quality of ODL in the country)  Distance Education Council established in 1991 under IGNOU Act (first quality agency in the country) – now, part of UGC  Dual standards of quality learning  Poor monitoring of quality  Poor perception of ODL
  8. 8. Access  Lack of National Human Resource Planning  Planned to have additional capacity of 1 million in ODL in 12th Plan (about 15% in ODL)  Additional 2.5 million in School in 12th Plan; 5.2 million at HE  Reduction in attrition rates in ODL
  9. 9. Equity  Who is the ODL student?  Rural-Urban gap  Enrolment of Women (about 27%) and people with disabilities
  10. 10. Interaction  Interaction is the hallmark of quality (this is at least in F2F)  Interaction in ODL through materials, assignments, technology, contact session, different formats of tutorial support (including, f2f contact, telephone, online, mobile SMS)
  11. 11. Technology  Started with supplementary approach to use of Audio and Video  Added teleconference (audio and video) at designated centres  Used Satellite based interaction (again from designated centres)  Learning materials available through eGyanKosh, NPTEL  eLearning is yet to follow pace
  12. 12. ODL Human Resources  Not enough teachers with ODL capacities  IGNOU has MA in Distance Education and Post Graduate Diploma in eLearning  Short term courses organised for in-service training  Large numbers of Academic Counsellors, who are backbone of the support system are untrained
  13. 13. STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES  Understanding ODL  Ensuring Quality  Improving Access and Equity  Using Appropriate Technology  Strengthening Institutional Capacities  Improving perception of ODL
  14. 14. Understanding ODL The classical definition of Distance Education says, it is a system:  Where teaching and learning is mediated by technology (print, audio, video, computers, etc)  Where didactic conversation takes place through learning materials and assignments  Where learning is primarily asynchronous (taking place at a time, place and pace decided by the learner)  Where the student and teacher are not permanently separated  Where the student is quasi-permanently separated from peer group.
  15. 15. Understanding ODL Open is all about:  No requirement for entry qualification  No physical boundary of the institution  Flexibility of choice of courses  Use of technology to teach
  16. 16. Understanding ODL Use of eLearning is changing teaching-learning practices:  Both face-to-face and distance education  It can be used effectively to increase quality of student interaction in both the systems  Make teachers and institutions more accountable  It is the new age distance education
  17. 17. Why ODL?  NKC recommendation: 1500 universities by 2015  Do we have the resources?  ODL provides Economies of Scale  Optimally utilizes the existing infrastructure and expertise  Cost of Open Schooling per child is about 1/10 of cost in conventional system (NIOS)  Cost of graduate distance education is about 35% of F2F
  18. 18. Costs in ODL  Korea (KNOU): annual cost/student $186 as compared to $2880 in a campus university  Thailand (STOU): studies show cost/learner is $226 compared to $876 for conventional learning Open and Distance learning in the developing world – Perraton (2000)
  19. 19. Dual-mode provision  University of Nairobi: cost/learner of a residential B.Ed was 3 times that of an ODL programme For dual mode systems: cost in CCIs were 15% of conventional departments Perraton (2000)
  20. 20. Open and distance education in mega universities COUNTRY INSTITUTION ENROLMENT % of Campus Cost* Pakistan AIOU 456.126 22 China CCRTVU 2,300,000 40 India IGNOU 1,187,100 35 UK OU 203,744 50 *Unit cost per student as a percentage of the average for other universities in the country, NKC, 2004.
  21. 21. Ensuring Quality  How?  Recognition Vs. Accreditation  Common quality framework for Learning irrespective of mode (e.g. QAA of UK )  Internal quality assurance system  Development of quality standards
  22. 22. Improving Access and Equity  Existing number of colleges (over 31,000) in the country: Use unutilized space and time  All universities offer need based programmes through ODeL; especially use eLearning for existing courses and programmes  Release all materials produced through public funding as Open Educational Resources under suitable license  Provide special incentives for women, persons with disabilities and economically weaker sections of the society to pursue ODL programmes
  23. 23. Technology and Interaction  Content is King: Make all learning resources digital and Open Educational Resoruce  Content is King, but not ENOUGH: Create e- environment for increasing student- teacher, student and teacher to content and student-student interaction  Support asynchronous learning by accessing learning resources on the Web, Mobile and through on-demand DTH services
  24. 24. Technology Innovation: COL Tablet server A tablet used as a server can host an LMS or CMS such as Moodle or Wordpress pre-loaded with learning materials. A portable wireless router can broadcast a network that students can connect to An external battery can power the wireless router off-grid for up to 12 hours.
  25. 25. Improving ODL Practitioners  Trained human resources for ODeL (in-service vs pre-service training)  Policies aligned with national mandates  ODeL as a lifelong learning strategy rather than second chance to education
  26. 26. Trends in eLearning and OER  eLearning initiated in late 1990s, but now it has become more pervasive  Over 80 programmes are available online in Commonwealth Asia  eLearning is used in different ways by both distance teaching and F2F universities  Use of Open Educational Resources increasing  Shift from content development approach to learning facilitation  More of a convergence of distance and F2F teaching
  27. 27. eLearning Models  Use of in-house technology (IGNOU’s PG Certificate on Management of Resettlement and Rehabilitation)  Use of Open Source/ Proprietary LMS (currently several programmes, including the PGDEL)  Use of Wiki platform for training (2008 conducted online training and delivered online certificate)  Delivery of video lessons online and web courses (NPTEL Courses)  Emergence of MOOC (IIT, Kanpur and COL on Mobiles for Development) eLearning can bridge the gap between face-to-face and distance education.
  28. 28. Open Educational Resources and MOOC  Making available textbooks in open licences to create an ecosystem for re-use and re- mixing of knowledge resources  Make textbooks accessible to all  Teachers will have more time to teach, explain, mentor students (including in Distance education)  MOOCs can address up-gradation of skills and knowledge of large numbers
  29. 29. Possible Steps  Policy on Open Distance and Technology Enabled Learning as a strategy for lifelong learning  Adoption of an Open license framework for sharing educational resources  Adopting more online learning practices in Indian universities  Adopt consortium approach to delivery of education through ODL
  30. 30. Thank YOU

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