IGNOU has started the Academic Counsellors' Training–Online (ACT-Online), an online capacity development programme for teachers covering topics like evaluation of assignments, development of study skills and usage of new technologies for student support.
“It is one of the capacity development programmes of the Staff Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) of the University and is getting a very good response from the existing and prospective academic counsellors,” said VC Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai.
The programme is specifically for those who are engaged in or wish to be engaged in the task of providing tutoring/counselling and other technology-mediated support to the distance learners. The ACT-Online is grounded in both the theory and practice of Open Distance Learning (ODL). Some of the important topics covered under this programme are: ODL concept, models, development, student support, tutoring and counselling, importance of assignments, evaluation of assignment responses, development of study skills and self-learning, support to the educational disadvantaged students and the use of new technologies for student support.
After completing the online training programme, the participants will be able to assimilate the concept of ODL, discuss the development of Distance Education (DE) in national and international levels, explain the nature, characteristics and importance of Self-Learning Materials in distance education, discuss importance of learner support in distance education, differentiate between counselling and tutoring, organise student support using various modes, conduct academic counselling sessions in learning centres, write tutor comments on the assignments responses, helps students to develop effective learning skills, organise support for disadvantaged and physically-challenged students, use modern computer operating system and specific powerpoint presentations for student support, interact through Internet and email, and to locate educational resources on the web.
“All Full-Time and Part-Time functionaries, including the academic counsellors, have very significant roles in ensuring quality and maintaining standards. Generally, the open universities and distance learning institutes lend services of conventional teachers from universities, colleges, schools and also personnel attached to the industries, health, agriculture and defence sectors, and other non-government organisations, for purposes of academic counselling. Therefore, there is a need for professional orientation for academic counsellors in the concept, theory and practice of ODL,” Prof Pillai added.