Are Innovations Being Replicated in ODL?

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Sharma, Chandra B
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Theme: Children & Youth // The teaching-learning process of the conventional system has an innate mechanism for continuous assessment and modification. The teacher and the taught negotiate and compromise on a win-win process. All aspects of teaching-learning i.e. medium of instruction, choice of examples etc. are flexible and subject to modification and change by the teacher according to the group of learners he/she addresses. However, the learners are generally a homogenous group possessing common ‘qualities’ identified by imparting institution to eliminate others. The promise of open distance learning is to provide a chance to all irrespective of all handicaps. // To fully realize the goal of Education for All (EFA) the Government of India under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) requested the Indira Gandhi National Open University in the year 2004 to undertake training of approximately 40,000 primary school teachers in the state of Jharkhand of which approximately 9000 teachers were admitted to Module – 1 in January, 2005 to the Diploma in Primary Education (DPE) Programme. The most challenging component of counseling for want of experts locally available and setting up centres was substituted by extensive use of radio. The experiment was a great success. On the other end of the pendulum this paper narrates how another open university from India has evolved processes to help ‘people with wisdom’, with various types of handicaps like literacy, knowledge of research tools etc. to successfully complete doctoral research. This paper narrates the innovative experiments made on two diverse groups in terms of level and also number of learners (i) primary school teachers, and (ii) research scholars to attain the overall objective of providing flexible and innovative methods to learners of various types overcome systemic barriers which can become examples to be imitated but are rarely replicated because of the inertia ODL has got into. // By and large the process of imparting courses through distance mode is similar across institutions. Similar processes are followed for designing, developing, imparting or evaluation of courses offered through distance mode. However, once in a while we come across novel intervention either in course development or imparting courses or in evaluation. Such innovations are either in course development or imparting courses or in evaluation. Innovations are also reported in seminars, conferences or in journals and books related to open-distance education. It appears innovations, which may be accepted as successful, are not often replicated. // This paper discusses two case studies one of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU, New Delhi) and another of Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University (VMOU, Kota, Rajasthan). The IGNOU example is to present a case of new experiment with broadcast technology as a substitute for face to face counseling and another of experiment with flexibility in eligibility for admission to persons with higher age who may not have essential qualifications as per the conventional system but have successfully earned the doctoral degree. // PID 758

Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Teacher Education,Radio in Education