Topics of Interest Distance Education In India
Raj Kumar Parashari 14 Nov, 2019 Views: 371
The World Wide Web is generally used to access any kind of information. In distance education, the web is mainly used as a learning tool to support distance mode programmes and also as a tool to deliver online programmes. It is well recognised that distance education institutions need a provision to provide a quality assured mechanism of teaching and learning to support the students to become more effective learners and helping them to overcome problems faced related to their programme of study. The main purpose behind the use of web support technologies is to overcome the feeling of isolation of the distance learner and to encourage peer-to-peer and student teacher interaction. In this article, we will discuss some of the major web support tools which academicians can effectively use to reach out to the learners of the distance mode programmes.
What is Web Supported Learning for Distance Mode programmes?
Web supported learning is a way to learn through the use of technologies or tools. Learners use various devices like computer, laptop, tablet, and smartphone to interact with the teachers, peers and the instructional material. Web supported learning for a distance mode programme is different from online programmes. In Online programmes all the communication, teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation activities are done online. Web supported learning for distance mode programmes consists of learning resources other than face-to-face sessions, print based self-learning material, tele-conferencing and audio/ video. The additional learning resources include online audio/ video resources, supplementary learning material, ebooks, pdfs, interactive material, interactive video, interaction through bots, discussion forum, blog, web conference, chat, etc. It may also include interaction through various social platforms. Additional activities in the form of online quiz, educational games, etc.
Features of a Web Support for Distance Mode Programmes
1. Information: Programme related curriculum, important dates, announcements, downloads, etc.
2. Teaching Material: Ready reference self-learning material (pdf, ebook etc.), Slides, handouts, articles, interactive e-learning content, learning resources (useful internal and external audio, video resources, websites, libraries, online databases, journals, etc.
3. Interaction: E-mail, discussion forum, web conferencing, chat, blog, bots, etc.
4. Assessment: Quiz, games and other online activities.
Tools for Web Support
Any distance mode programme apart from the conventional mode of delivery can use various technology tools to provide learning support to the students. Some of them are given below:
· E-mail: E-mail is useful for answering questions related to reading the study material, writing the assignments, or any other programme related basic query.
· Chatbot: A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can simulate a chat with a user in natural language through a messaging application. However, chatbots can also be used in websites, and mobile apps. When trained properly the chatbot can answer questions related to all the information that a student should know.
· Dedicated Programme Website: It is a one stop portal for all programme related activities for the learners. It includes information, teaching and learning material, interaction and assessment integrated together.
· Interactive Video Tutorials: Interactive video is a digital multimedia presentation which has the capability of user interaction in which it takes input from the user and perform certain actions accordingly. An Interactive video for the learners could include a quiz in between or after a lecture and give immediate feedback to the students after evaluation.
· Discussion Forum: Discussion board allows teachers to post topics for discussions online. It is an asynchronous mode of communication. Students can respond to the topic. It also facilitates students to post their queries.
· Blog: Blog is a short form for web log. It is a kind of an online diary created for an audience. Teachers can use blogs to help students’ master content, to publish assignments, resources, and also to keep the students up to date on programme events, due dates, and content being covered.1
· Web-Conferencing: Web conferencing allows teacher and learner interaction in real-time. It allows teachers and learners to see and hear each other in real-time. Some of the major features of web conferencing are slideshow presentations, real time audio, virtual tours, live or streaming video, recorded classes, screen sharing, quiz, whiteboard, text chat, etc.
WGS Online Interactive Forum2
Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies (MAWGS) is a pioneer academic programme which addresses the concerns raised by the proponents of both Women’s Studies and Gender Studies. WGS Online Interactive Forum to provide additional web based support to the learners of the MAGWS programme by creating of an interactive platform for direct interface with the faculty (Programme and Course coordinators). This web based online forum addresses their queries and concerns, provide additional inputs, updates, and allow peer learning, bridging barriers of distance, time, and geography.
Web Support Portal for Certificate in Health Care Waste Management Programme 3
The web support portal of the Certificate in Health Care Waste Management programme of the School of Health Science, IGNOU is an innovative intervention of NCIDE to revolutionize the learning experience of the distance learner by captivating and empowering the so called isolated learners. This programme is targeted at the professionals and paraprofessionals working in the health care, like doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and sanitary inspectors. It also targets the programme managers and the hospital or health care facility administrators. The portal enables the learners to access interactive ready reference material anytime, anywhere by using any digital supported device. It gives them an opportunity to go through the interactive material along with the identified resources made available to them before attending the counselling sessions. The web support portal provides individualized guidance and counselling to the learners. It provides an effective information system with a range of activities and interactions that impacts teaching and learning. Discussion forum and web-conferencing tools are integrated in the system to facilitate the learners.
Fig. 1: Components of web support portal for CHCWM programme
The web support portal is developed using freely available G-Suit (Google) technologies with IGNOU.
Apart from the online programmes where all the communication, teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation activities are done online, the web support can be effectively used by integrating one or more web support tools for distance mode programmes to support the students to become more effective learners and helping them to overcome problems faced related to their programme of study.
3. Dikshit, J. & Kuba, R. Web-Support Portal for CHCWM in One Decade of Innovations at NCIDE, (Under Publication)
Dr. Jyotsna Dikshit
Deputy Director, NCIDE
www.ammhu.com is an online resource center for CBSE, RBSE and other state boards. It offers categorized blogging, quizing and social networking platform .