Strategic Planning at SRM IST Directorate of Distance Education
1) Syncing with NEP and Regulators’ Policies:
- National Educational Policy envisions improvement of Gross Enrolment Ratio to the extent of 50% in the next 10 years. Tamil Nadu has already reached that level and we propose to bring a majority of people who couldn’t progress beyond schooling into the mainstream of higher education.
- Approvals for ODL and Online Education come with severe riders from the Regulators and ensuring quality distance education of international standards is one of the objectives of the policy makers. Hence we aim at reaching out to the persons who want to acquire higher education without foregoing their earning options
2) Building processes and engagements:
- The success of any distance education program lies in our effort to make learners understand the processes at the outset and take them along by constantly engaging them one way or the other.
- Distance learners by and large are not tech.-savvy and need to be motivated to participate in a technology driven process.
- Documentation of the whole range of activities in the ODL process to the utmost details is another effort to understand and modify wherever needed.
- The different functionalities of distance education are to be defined in clear terms and goals are to be set as per our vision and mission.
- Constant engagement with all the stakeholders would ensure smooth exchangeability of ideas and the processes get enriched by making the system dynamic in terms of adaptation of any new development
- We have to keep monitoring the best practices available elsewhere and should try keep ourselves abreast of the time.
3) Teaching-Learning Process:
Distance education is a learner-centric model. We need to create a learning environment where self- learning takes place effectively
Learner-engagement and learner- participation are of utmost importance to achieve success.
The following will be focussed upon:
- Collaborative, problem-solving methodologies
- Courses structured in sequence
- Classes offered at flexible times and places
- Learning outcomes are specified in the curriculum.
- Faculty possess advanced degrees and current practical experience
- Faculty members are available to students outside of class
- Faculty participate in matters of academic governance
4) Use of Technology:
- Shifting to the latest technologies in enhancing learner engagement is one of our prime objectives.
- Conducting PCPs online with flexible timings by SRM IST met with an instant success. This will be further improved.
- Our faculty have shown good agility in shifting to technology based deliveries.
- Creating digital libraries and preparing learners for asynchronous learning processes will be one of our efforts.
- Open access to information and education resources means distance student experiences of high quality teaching, underpinned by strong research-teaching links will become increasingly important for ensuring that institutions thrive.
5) Quality Enhancement:
- Constantly improving upon the quality of the content in ODL.
- Adopting the best practices available at any point of time in ODL methodology.
- Improving the quality of Student Support Services.
- Effective functioning of the Centre for Internal Quality Assurance (CIQA)
- Implementing Academic audit to improve upon quality performance constantly.
- Involving Industry partners in sharing knowledge.
- Enhancing the public perception about SRM IST practices in distance education.
- Adopting MOOC courses as an integral part of curriculum development in distance education.
- Introducing flexible entry and exit system.
- Innovation is one aspect that keeps any organization relevant to any particular situation. There are so many areas in ODL where innovation and use of new approaches will pay rich dividends.
- Use of an ever-expanding range of digital technologies.
- Creating and providing high quality digitally-based learning environments that are increasingly personalised, media-rich and interactive.
- Creating an active teaching and research community based around pedagogical and technological innovation within distance education.
- Extensive development of high-quality distance education content and support for undergraduate learners in niche markets
7) Opportunities and Challenges:
- Developing targeted markets: Promote our unique academic expertise to bring a larger group of talented, motivated students within the University’s reach reflecting the unique strengths of the University and shape.
- To work with Industries and Corporates wherever possible, for tailor-made programmes.
- To introduce flexibility in entry and exit policies to ensure mobility for the learners.
- Value added courses for campus students in areas of skill development and self-aggrandisement.
8) Ensuring excellence in distance education:
- New pedagogies to be combined with digital technologies to make new approaches to distance education possible and support informed excellence in teaching.
- Creating rich learning environments: Progressively enhance resourcing for production of high quality distance learning material and the development of excellence in teaching in digital spaces.
- Choosing technologies wisely: Select an effective suite of core digital learning tools and support innovation and research activities around and beyond that core.
- Supporting staff and learners: Develop coordinated and systematic support for widely distributed distance education participants, and sustain it across the institution.
- Assuring quality: Develop processes to ensure appropriate and consistent standards of course quality and outstanding delivery.
9) Learner Engagement:
- To support Departments to develop programme-based approaches to the design of distance learning
- To provide opportunities for staff to learn and make choices about a range of ways in which they can enhance their interaction with students
- To provide and promote opportunities for students to network across the distance learning student body.
- To create learner-community and promote peer group interaction.
- To encourage learners to contribute to the system by organising webinars, workshops etc.
- To involve the faculty in projects related to distance education.
- To develop a strong data base of ODL engagement and build foundation for understanding learner behaviour and learning outcomes.
- To conduct workshops on innovative practices in distance education.
- To encourage faculty to publish profusely in journals of repute.
- To make the faculty members to go for creating patents on certain delivery tools.
11) Social outreach:
- To provide free education to certain targeted communities.
- To promote awareness about some important public policies through distance education.
- Awarding certificates and diplomas to persons involved in community related extension services.
- To undertake programmes for skill development among the rural population.