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Access and Equity: Challenges for Open and Distance Learning

H.P. Dikshit (Editor) Santosh Panda (Editor) Suresh Garg (Editor)
Synopsis The emergence of the system of open and distance education is an inevitable and phenomenal evolution in the history of educational developments internationally. While the formal system of education continues to be the mainstream of educational transaction, it has its inherent limitations with regard to expansion, provision of access and equity and cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, the growth of information and communication technologies has facilitated the expansion of distance mode of education. It is now possible to adopt flexible, constructivist, learner-friendly and multi-perspective approaches to teaching-learning, so essential for nurturing creativity, leadership, scholarship and integrated development of human personality. Access & Equity: Challenges for Open and Distance Learning crystallizes the emerging concerns of the open and distance learning institutions the world over. In the past few decades, a proliferation in the number of ODL institutions and courses/programmes offerings has resulted in exponential growth in student enrollment in the system. The system is poised for further expansion in the coming years as its virtually unlimited potential to impart education to anybody, anywhere and anytime is being recognised by educationists, policy makers and planners. There is however a large body of learners that have yet to be reached and providing access to them while ensuring equity poses definite challenges for the ODL system. The ODL system has the capacity to integrate the state-of-the-art technologies with the time-tested methodologies. It is, therefore, imperative to examine, threadbare, issues associated with the social, economic, political academic and technological aspects of the system in the emerging scenario. To address the issue of access and equity from four different, yet related, perspectives—ODL system: imperatives and responses; curriculum, pedagogy and programmes; research, training and quality assurance; and appropriate technology—international scholars met and shared their experiences recently in an international conference hosted by IGNOU. With their long experience in open distance learning, the editors have collated in the present volume, the best practices and experiences of distance educators the world over, for effective social intervention and national development. It is hoped that contemporary and future practitioners of ODL will benefit from the critical analyses of various issues and initiate further debate and reflections in all areas of concern.
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About the authors

Santosh Panda

Santosh Panda is Professor of Distance Education and Director, Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE); and Head, Inter-University Consortium for Technology-Enabled Flexible Education and Development (IUC-TEFED), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Dr Panda has previously served as Director, Research and Policy Division, Association of Indian Universities (AIU) (1994-1997). He was a Visiting Professor in 2004 and in 2005 at the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and in 2004 at the University of London, UK: and in 2003 was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA. As founding head of IUCTEFED, he has been responsible for initiating policy formulation and system-wide implementation of new educational media and technology focusing particularly on interactive multimedia, online and blended learning, and faculty development toward effective transition from traditional distance learning to blended and online learning. Dr. Panda has published 16 books, 32 book chapters, and 48 articles and research papers nationally and internationally; and is Founder Editor of a referred international journals Staff and Educational Development International; co-Editor of internationally referred Indian Journal of Open Learning; Editorial Board Member of Canadian 'Journal of Distance Education', 'International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning and professional Development', 'Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology', American 'International Journal of Instructional Media'. He has consulted and conducted programmes for UNESCO-IICBA and UNESCO-China; World Bank and Global Distance Learning Network; British Council; Commonwealth of Learning; UNDP; Ford Foundation; IDRC; Governments of Lesotho, Nepal and Nigeria; and for capacity building of Indian government bureaucrats on distance training sponsored by the UNDP and the Government of India.

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Suresh Garg

Suresh Garg is a Professor of Physics and currently Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He taught Physics in Hindu College, University of appointed Director, School of Sciences in the University. He has been Commonwealth distance Science Expert at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji from 1996 to 1998. He is member of several national and international professional bodies like CASTME-Asia, and ICTP-India. He is serving on academic, research and management boards of several universities in the country. He has co-authored two books in Physics, edited three books on distance education, and published several research papers in national and international journals of repute. He is the chief Editor of Indian Journal of Open Learning published by IGNOU; and since 2005, he is on the Editorial Board of the AAOU journal. He was an Editor of the Global e-Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Education from 2001-2004, and Guest Editor of Staff and Educational Development International. He has travelled abroad widely to countries like China, South Lorea, South Africa, UK, France, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Thailand, Mauritius and spoken on various topics. IGNOU has broadened its international networking particularly in Africa, SAARC national and Middle East with his efforts and guidance at the International Cell. He was the academic content coordinator (Honorary) of South Asia Foundation, Which is engaged in the spread of peace, cooperation, understanding through education and sustainable development among the people of South Asia. He was team leader of UNDP-DOPT project for capacity building of India Bureaucrats through distance learning.

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Bibliographic information

Title Access and Equity: Challenges for Open and Distance Learning
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st. Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8175541806
length xii+332p., Tables; Figures; Illustrations; 26cm