A Comparative Study on Training/Professional Development Needs of University Teachers on ODL Pre-Covid and Ongoing Pandemic in India

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // Education is of utmost importance for social development and political change, regardless of whether it is dispensed through conventional, non-conventional or ODL mode. The Indian ODL system, geared toward this philosophy, is the second largest ODL system in the world, comprising 17 open universities and 110+ dual-mode distance education institutions. The Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) undertakes training needs assessment (TNA) studies from time to time for addressing the training needs of the ODL faculty in the country, (besides offering a PG Diploma and a Masters in DE as long-term professional development programmes, which at one point of time was offered in about 22 countries, largely supported by the Commonwealth of Learning). Recently, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the education sector to adopt changes in teaching-learning. Even though the adaptation of technologies started in the field of education prior to the pandemic, the educational institutions including ODL institutions had to go through compulsory remote online teaching during this period. It was thought prudent to undertake a TNA of ODL teachers during this pandemic and compare the variations in their training needs, which was conducted in pre-pandemic times. This paper reports the findings of a research focusing on the identification of training needs of teachers/ academics from IGNOU; their preferences on mode of training; and any difference in additional required competency during pre- and ongoing-pandemic. The data collected in January-February 2022 has been compared with the data collected in the pre-pandemic period of 2019, and implications for policy and practice on continuing professional development in ODL are drawn accordingly. // Paper ID 8780

Training,Professional Development,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Teacher Education