The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Shivani Jain

Enabling continued adult-learning through open and distance learning

Shivani Jain

Mamata Pandya
Centre for Environment Education

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     Last modified: August 1, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 10:00 AM in ST Windsor B
     (View Schedule)

The paper, based on an ODL experience, presents a case of how ODL can be effective in realizing the goals of quality education and sustainable learning. Exploring the new paradigm of Education, the paper begins by establishing key characteristics of quality education. It argues that good teaching-learning:
• Focuses on learning rather than teaching;
• Builds learners’ ability of critical thinking;
• Banks upon multidisciplinary approach to learning;
• Should be multi-sourced and accessed rather orchestrated;
• Is continuous and life-long;
• Enables new knowledge creation; and
• Leads to empowerment rather than indoctrination.

Further, the paper explores features of ODL—openness; accessibility; inclusivity; resource-effectiveness; affordability; enabling flexibility in education making it suitable for multi-end use in a variety of situations—which make education ‘learner-centred’ and ‘learner-controlled’. With examples, the paper illustrates how ODL acknowledges the experience and knowledge of learners and allows learners to not only play the role of recipients of knowledge but also that of creator of knowledge and skills.

The paper concludes by stating that ODL not only makes teaching-learning process relevant, but it instills a positive attitude in the learners making them open to learning in its broadest sense, thus allowing the process of learning become sustainable.

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