4.1.7 Academic counselling sessions held at DDE (1000 words)

The distance education is to promote and encourage self-directed learning among the remote learners. The academic counselling sessions at DDE of SRMIST is planned to improve the educational standards of distance learners and help them to organize their studies. The number of personal contact programmes are planned based on the type & credit of the course as per the guidelines of UGC ODL 2020. This also enables the direct contact between a counsellor and learners. The characteristics and heterogeneity among the distance learners are wide in terms of age, geo-diversity, social status (working, business, house-wife, special categories) and in-person isolation from peer learning. Hence, they have a different psycho-social status, which might affect their academic progress.
As the role of academic counsellors is multifarious to meet the heterogeneous learner group and act as a pivotal link between the institution and isolated distance learners, the DDE at SRMIST ensures the academic counsellors are well equipped with the accumulation of multi-dimensional attributes. The orientation program on need of effective academic counselling sessions arranged in the beginning of each semester with all the identified faculty members serves the purpose of 

 understanding the characteristics of self-directed distance learners
 usage of technology in learner support services
 need of continuous engagement through different forms (synchronous &
asynchronous) and modes (electronic / social / in-person)
 utilization of counselling session to inform about course selection, motivation on self-learning with focused objectives, imparting problem solving / case studies / content briefing, preparation for assessment &
term-end examination and future career options.
 constructive & timely feedback on learning & assessment The academic counsellors are benefited through this forum, share their individual experiences on learner centric approach and ensured to show inclination, self-interest and commitment towards ODL. The academic counselling sessions are handled through both face-to-face and online sessions to reach the learners. The online medium is preferred in the post covid situation.
 Face-to-face: The learners attend PCPs in the class room and have direct interaction with academic counsellors. This also helps the learners to interact with peer group and doubt clarifications personally.

 Online Synchronous: The counselling sessions are also held through live video classes & webinars, where online learners have the opportunity to learn & interact with counsellors from remote without travelling. The academic counsellors are also approachable through phone calls to attend the learners’ queries.
 Online Asynchronous: The DDE at SRMIST provide multiple choices to learners to interact with academic counsellors. This helps the learners to get remotely connected at their flexible time. The o The learner WhatsApp group plays a vital role and helps in displaying schedules, sharing notes and exchanging
o The recorded lectures & webinars assist the learners who missed the live sessions due to paucity of time on account of other commitments to view at their own pace.

The academic counselling schedule is prepared well-in advance, posted in Distance Education microsite and also communicated to students through social media. The name & contacts of the program coordinators and academic counsellors are also made available. The prior information enables the learner to attend the personal contact programmes (PCP) by adjusting their occupational workload. Academic counselling is handled through both face-to-face and online media. The learners are benefited through academic counselling in several ways as
 improve faculty & peer interaction, help to break the sense of isolation
 Choice of course selection in electives & specialization as per the self-interest
 Learning through range of pedagogic methods which makes learning easier and interesting
 reduce the difficulty in learning as doubts and queries are answered properly
 able to relate work experience in the knowledge domain
 participation in group discussions / field projects
 help to follow the scheduled timelines on learning, assessment and submissions
 access to e-content, class notes / additional references and open educational resources
 ease the time spent on self-learning with brief idea gained through PCP,
 cultivate the right discipline and study habits to learn in an effective manner
 minimize the drop-outs and provide clarity on learning path The learners are provided with proper input about the assignment component, how to identify suitable resources for preparing original quality submissions.

The constructive comment provided on evaluation serve as a proper guidance to measure the level of learning attained.
The faculty members who handle the academic counselling sessions try to maximise the learning of our learners by planning their activities to the minutest details. In addition, the counselling sessions are extended by conducting
● periodic webinars on the basis of the feedback from the learners to clarify certain often raised doubts or queries related to their academics to address the difficulty of learning / slow leaners 

● Expert lectures on some specific topics to enhance the subject knowledge of the learners
Outcome of Counselling:
The complete process of academic counselling is well documented. The feedback about academic counselling and their usefulness under various parameters are obtained from the learners and improvements are made wherever required. The ability of counsellors to deal with the complexities of academic counselling is ensured through continuous review and guidance to the academic counsellors. The learners would look to explore self-directed learning, as the counselling sessions are not mandate. However, it is found that the online academic
counselling yields positive outcomes of those who attended, the directorate motivates the learners during the induction to attend all the counselling sessions in order to improve their learning and course completion as per the regulations. It is also noted that engaging learners to share their domain experience among the peer and guest lectures industry experts in select courses through webinars promoted active learning and well-received. Therefore, it is planned to arrange
more number of learner-centred activities through online.

Data requirement: (As per Data Template)
 Name of Programme
 Programme wise enrolment in the current session
 Total number of programme wise counselling sessions held As per Data Template at DDE
Provide web-link to
 Records of Counselling sessions at DDE
 Expenditure incurred on counselling sessions at DDE
 As per Data Template
 Any other relevant information

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *