ICT IN OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCATION: A TOOL FOR LEARNER SUPPORT SERVICES AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews
Purpose of the study: The purpose of this study is to highlight the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in open and distance learning system of education at Uttarakhand Open University. This paper also highlights the best practices of ICT in learner support services offered by the University and areas of distinctiveness in utilizing ICT applications. Methodology: This study is a descriptive-analytical in nature and adopts a case-study approach in presenting the various ICT
... the various ICT facilities offered by the Uttarakhand Open University at its Headquarters, Regional Centers, and Learning Support Centers. It has been carried out to examine the role of ICT in Open and Distance Learning to strengthen the learner support services and analyze the best practices of ICT offered by the University. Main Findings: The huge increase in online enrollments has been noticed from the year 2015-16 to 2019-20. Simultaneously the noticeable growth has been noted in total enrollments from urban and as well as from rural areas due to University e-services and support. Applications of this study: This study helps all the Institutions of Higher Education, especially for the Open and Distance Learning Institutions. The applications of ICT in education increase in the Gross Enrollment Ratio and also reduces the skill gap among institutions of higher education. During this study, author(s) found that the optimal utilization of ICT in Open and Distance Learning Institution, can reduce the complexity of physical data handling at headquarters and leads fast decision making towards learner support strategies, etc. Originality: This study describes the various initiatives taken by the University regarding the use of ICT to facilitate learner support services, and also strengthen the reachability of higher education to the remotest areas of the state. This study highlights recommendations for Open and Distance Learning Institutions to the optimal utilization of ICT applications.