ODL mode of study or Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is a system in which educators and students do not have to be in the same location or at the same time, and it is flexible in terms of teaching and learning modalities and timing, as well as admission criteria, without adversely affecting required quality considerations. This is becoming increasingly important for continuing education, skill up-gradation of in-service personnel, and quality education of relevance to learners in academically unfavorable or remote areas.
Because of its significant contribution to increasing the gross enrollment ratio and democratizing higher education to large segments of the population, especially to reach out to the unreached and satisfy the requirements of continuous learning, which has become more of a requirement in the knowledge-based society, ODL mode of study is increasingly becoming popular.
The open learning and distance education system approach concentrates on accessibility to education and training to liberate learners from time and location restrictions, as well as providing flexible opportunities to learn to individuals and groups of learners. Open and distance learning (ODL) is currently one of the most rapidly expanding areas of learning. Because of the rapid development of Internet-based information technologies, particularly the World Wide Web, the ODL mode of study is aggressively growing. This concept arose from the idea that learners and teachers should not be in the same classroom and should be separated by some geographical distance or may not be able to come close to each other to make the education system efficient.
To understand the necessity of the ODL mode of study, let us have a look at some of the advantages:-
- Overcoming boundaries
Learners in remote locations who are either unable or reluctant to physically attend a campus benefit greatly from this approach. Another set of individuals who are geographically separated like the teachers and students are supporters of this concept as teachers in distant urban areas can easily instruct learners in rural locations.
- Resolving time or scheduling issues
ODL mode of study or distance learning can help with time and scheduling issues for client groups that are unwilling or otherwise unable to meet regularly; learners who work full-time or part-time, both salaried and volunteer; and individuals restricted by family and community responsibilities.
- Broadens learning opportunities
Open and distance learning can deal with political, cultural, and other differences, which broadens women's opportunities to learn; satisfies the requirements of populations affected by conflict, war, or displacement; and allows learning to take place even when group assemblies are prohibited.
- Cost Saving
The cost of online education programs is generally lower than that of brick-and-mortar organizations. Taking an online course or program also saves money on travel, renting a place, and/or purchasing meal plans. As a result, distance learning is a financially viable option for both students and parents. Aside from the convenience of studying from home, students will have an excellent opportunity to save money on their studies.
Distance learning can be tailored by teachers to meet the diverse educational needs of their students. It also gives students the ability to explore whenever and wherever they want, at their speed. It is still a malleable learning method.
Factors that Contributed Towards the Establishment of This System
- To make a comparison for a shortage of qualified teachers.
- To offer a more cost-effective mode of operation.
- To provide versatile programming on difficult, challenging, and rigorous specialized subjects as and when required, especially in rural areas.
- To provide high academic services that are constantly updated.
- To provide educational opportunities for students who are unable to attend traditional higher education programs.
- To bring the knowledgeable masses into their educational fold.
- To provide equal access to higher education for a large chunk of the population, including older workers who want to further their education and those who live in remote areas.
- To make opportunities for lifelong learning available.
- To disseminate knowledge to society through new communication technologies.
- To encourage the qualitative development of the country's human resources.
- Increasing access to learning opportunities that meet social-economic needs.
Why Choose ODL mode of studying?
Because formal education is not cheap, In recent years, the non-formal education system has grown in popularity. Distance learning and ODL mode of study is a modern method of learning that allows students to study in their own time and space without having to physically attend school/college/university. Because distance learning is so important in the present system of education, the number of programs has grown year after year.
- More Skilled People Mean More Development
This concept not only allows you to improve your skills, but it also allows you to earn more money. This, in turn, will assist you in multiplying the country's skilled workforce, which in turn contributes more to the country's GDP.
- Participate in a Sport
Many athletes give up their sports careers to continue their education. Distance learning, on the other hand, can assist you in achieving your goals without any obstacles. You can participate in sports and represent your country at the international level without having to give up your education. This will assist the country in producing global athletes.
- Professionals with Multiple Skills
This system allows students to enroll in courses that are not available in colleges in their immediate geographical area. This can aid in the development of multi-talented professionals.
ODL is definitely a convenient method for a lot of students and this brings in ease and effortlessness to the picture.