Mumbai University's IDOL to take up a course on 'effective distance learning'

Administrators and staff members of Institute of Open and Distance Learning (IDOL) of Mumbai University (MU) are set to take course on 'effective distance learning' from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in order to ensure efficient service to their students.

Ambuja Salgaonkar, director of the IDOL informed about the plan while talking about several other new age student friendly initiatives the IDOL is gearing up for.

The IDOL has a total of around 80,000 students and is always embroiled in several complaints starting from delay in study material, examination issues, and evaluation and result issues among all. The new director for the institute however has decided to change the picture. The course will be taken by the director of the institute other teachers and staff members. The purpose is to understand and experience the effective way of distance learning in order to realise problems students might be facing by bringing in new technology.

Dr. Ambuja Salgaonkar, Director of the IDOL, told mid-day, "Not only is it important to have trained staff, but it is also equally important for staff to understand the students' situation, especially in cases of distance education. Thankfully, I have done course through distance education from the IGNOU and have been associated with Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This experience is helping to offer equally efficient service. But it is equally important for the staff to be trained in a similar manner so that the initiatives are implemented appropriately."

While the IDOL has been criticised time and again for delays in providing study material or it being absent completely for certain courses; it has now begun to depend on massive information available online on different subjects. The initiative has begun with Information Technology (IT), Masters in Computer Application (MCA) and Computer Science (CS) wherein few online lectures have been shared with students in combination with quality study material from the Internet.

Interestingly, IDOL has begun internal assessment of these subjects online.

Salgaonkar explained, "Since my academic background is of computer science, we have begun the changes from these subjects so that I have thing sunder control. However soon the service will be extended to other courses as we are able to create appropriate study material to be shared online and create online means for internal assessment."

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