Indian Journal of Open Learning (ISSN: 0971-2690), Vol 27, No 1 (2018)

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Disruption in Open and Distance Learning: Survival Quest of Open Universities in the Digital Age



Abstract: Education and skill development are foundations of the Digital India dream. Matching future needs to future technologies demand need for the education system to be redesigned or reimagined. The time has come for all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to explore and embrace new technological interventions in all their operations and adopt new pedagogical approaches suited for the evolving ecosystem. For the education of tomorrow the present pedagogies are inadequate and irrelevant in the future globalized and technologically advanced environment. HEIs need to prepare their learners for this exponential change in knowledge, skills and abilities — the requirements of the Digital Age. A disruptive educational pedagogical model which is aligned to future needs is to be developed in order to support the learners in a way that will be responsive both to their needs and those of the economy. The digital technologies are disrupting both the traditional Conventional Education System and the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system. There is an urgent need to redefine the ODL system: from ‘Open and Distance Learning’ to ‘Open and Digital Learning’.

This paper examines the issue of redefining Open and Distance Learning, as Open and Digital Learning. The role of the Government of India and its policies in bringing about the transformation in the Digital Age has been outlined. The adoption of digital technologies by some Open Universities (OUs) across the world have been showcased. An attempt has also been made to enumerate the radical changes that the OUs need to usher into their system in order to redefine themselves as ‘Open and Digital Learning’ institutions in order to meet the needs of a Digital India1.

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Published by Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India.
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