Innovations in ODL – How can it strengthen our works?

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Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system is critical for including the hard2reach girls and women into education. As our work is highly dependent on print based resources, inclusiveness cannot be ensured by the existing model of ODL. If we can share and implement the recent innovations in ODL, our work will be more meaningful and learner inclusiveness and satisfaction will increase.  Of course, the revolutionary progress in ICTs made ODL more learner friendly and flexible.
Depending on the readiness of the learners, we can integrate new technologies into our education and training activities in ODL mode.  Some of the recent innovations in ODL that we can try for adding value to our works are:

  • Resource sharing: We can use the shared folder, email, Facebook or a learning management system (LMS) to share the educational resources electronically.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER): We can adopt/adapt OER to improve the quality of our contents.
  • Learner engagement: We can use discussion forums, Facebook chats, WhatsApp, skype, etc. for better engagement of the learners.
  • Monitoring: We can use a customized software for monitoring or we can use learning analytics to track the learner’s progress.
  • Evaluation: We can use Google form, SurveyMonkey, etc for continuous assessments.
  • Learning Management System (LMS): LMS is an integrated system/software to monitor and manage the whole learning process from admission up to certifications.

There are a number of free software or digital tools available that can be used comfortably to make our programs/courses in ODL mode more efficient and effective.
Could you share one new idea/technology that added or may add huge value to your current or upcoming initiative with GIRLS Inspire?
I am looking forward to your contribution in this regard.

6 thoughts on “Innovations in ODL – How can it strengthen our works?”

  1. Thank you Mustafa for taking this initiative. Here at Bedari we are using Social Media platforms to spread awareness on child marriages. We also share our activities with public thorough social media. But it is very difficult to share our work or message through Social Media at community level. Because very few people use these platforms in communities. Any new idea or technique to deal with this problem???

    1. Mostafa Azad Kamal

      Thanks so much Mehvish. Itis nice to know that Bedari uses social media for awareness building at individual level. Yes, it is always a channel to reach the community, but we need to reach them anyway. Otherwise, the wider impact will be missing! I hope we together will find a solution to this challenge! Thanks again for your valuable comments and share!

  2. Dear Mostafa, this is so very timely; as for some of us a one year cycle is coming to a completion we realize how much each one of the partners can do; we realize how much renewable learning processes and material we have created. And we also know how big a canvas is still left to paint.
    We have reached numbers; but if we focus change, there a large community we haven’t reached- how do we initiate or manage this scaling up? Where could we create references for each other? and for newer ones to come?
    I think ICT aided ODL is a definitive step towards all that I could mention and perhaps more. But instead of a innovation in ICT, if I may touch upon a bit different issue-
    Yes semi automation of learning processes and a technology (ICT) aided learning delivery and monitoring system would certainly be the way to go; but at our individual and organizational level can we bring in this change efficiently? Are we future ready? All of us do have computers, mobile devices and digital cameras; but are they tools of our everyday life? I think ODL demands an attitude change in us. To be able to adapt to new digital ways of doing. Mobile will certainly play a major role in that networked learning process. But as we will have to find solutions to poor bandwidth, we also need to see how we use the mobile device to its maximum. And somewhere more than training I think our willpower to use ICT, experiment with it becomes important.
    Also as organizations, we need to find ways so that digital and communications tools become a functional part of our organization’s daily operations. For an example, in CEFM we really pushed the visual media and been able to use photography, video to our benefit. Can we do the same with organizing, archiving and developing systematic access to information? It certainly takes time and resources; but to ensure exponential growth and wider impact we need to harvest ICT, ODL and the new learning methodology that allows an individual to select her own life directions.

    1. Mostafa Azad Kamal

      Thanks Kuntal for your crucial points. Most importantly, mindset change is really essential to make ICTs visible in our works. Although we know that the works we are doing can have much more impact to the society if we can integrate ICT into our programmes meaningfully, ICT integration remains narrow mostly because of the traditional mindset. Also yhe tendency to stick with traditional curriculum and tradition teaching method limits the use of ICTs in teaching learning process. So, we need to design learner-centric and future looking curriculum.
      Thanks again for your very thoughtful comments.

  3. Thanks Mostafa for well placed and comprehensive article on ODL. As Mehvish said that Bedari is using social medium for awareness raising and at community level we are trying to connect dropout girls with education through ODL. Helping to bring education and awareness at door step.

  4. Dr. Mustafa, we are using video lessons in GirlsInspire project to teach different vocational skills for which we cannot find a good trainer in the remote areas. The girls can watch those videos on computer tablets over and over again without involving teacher and they can master the skills. We have actually made a collection of such video demonstrations in CDs and sent it to all our centers.

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