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

  • Manjulika Srivastava IGNOU
  • Shekhar Suman IGNOU
Keywords: Open Distance Learning, Digital learning, Digital India dream


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 India.

Author Biographies

Manjulika Srivastava, IGNOU

Director, Internal Quality Assessment Cell, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi

Shekhar Suman, IGNOU

Assistant Director, Internal Quality Assessment Cell, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi