4.3.1: Provision of Learner Support Servic
Provision of Learner Support Services
Learner Support Services established at the different levels by the Institution (Three tier/ Two tier)
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Learner support services are the most vital component of any open and distance learning (ODL) system. It includes a wide range of academic and other related activities. The support services should not only be responsive to the needs of the distance learners but should also be accessible. Monitoring of the support services has to be a continuous and on-going exercise, which could bring constant improvement through innovations in the support services.
As per the act of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, it operates through a three tier structure. Headquarters, Regional Centres and Learner Support Centres
Headquarters: The headquarters of the University shall be at Ahmedabad, and the University may establish, maintain or recognise institutes, schools, regional centres and study centres at such other places in the State as it may deem fit.
Regional Centres: Regional Centre means a centre established or maintained by the University for the purpose of co-ordinating and supervising the work of study centres in any region and for performing such other functions as may be conferred on such centres by the Board of Management.
Study Centres (Learner Support Centres): It means a centre established, maintained or recognised by the University for the purpose of advising, counselling, evaluating or for rendering any other assistance required by the students;
There is a three-tier structure, i.e., at the Headquarters, the Regional Centres (RCs), mostly in the big city of a geographical region and District headquarters, and the Learner Support Centres (LSCs) at the third level, opened mainly in Higher Education Institutions, i.e. Universities and Colleges offer similar programmes of equivalent level as in conventional mode.
The Learner Support Services Division (LSSD) is the Nodal Division for providing learner support within the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Gujarat.
The policies and guidelines for effective learner support services are conceptualized and formulated by the Student Support Services Committee which is a policy making body. LSSD manages and coordinates the support activities through a network of 07 RCs, and more than 266 LSCs across the State.
The nature of learner support services is depending on academic needs and problems of the students, arising due to the following factors:
Inadequate interaction with counsellors, who can facilitate learning;
Limited access to information and services;
Financial constraints, physical disability, lack of appropriate environment for study and proper guidance;
Problems arising out of time–constraint due to social, family or work obligations;
Late receipt of study material;
Systematic non-responsiveness and inefficient management services;
Lack of personal rapport as well as opportunity due to geographical remoteness;
Non-familiarity with self-study skills i.e. e-media, e-resource etc.
Inadequate interaction with counsellors, who can facilitate learning; Limited access to information and services; Financial constraints, physical disability, lack of appropriate environment for study and proper guidance; Problems arising out of time–constraint due to social, family or work obligations; Late receipt of study material; Systematic non-responsiveness and inefficient management services; Lack of personal rapport as well as opportunity due to geographical remoteness; Non-familiarity with self study skills i.e. e-media, e-resource etc. ♦ Problems arising out of time–constraint due to social, family or work obligations;
♦ Late receipt of study material;
♦ Systematic non-responsiveness and inefficient management services;
♦ Lack of personal rapport as well as opportunity due to geographical remoteness;
♦ Non-familiarity with self study skills i.e. e-media, e-resource etc.
The RCs comprise the middle level of the support services structure and act as the nodal office of the university in the region and manage the functioning of LSCs within its jurisdiction. It supervises the academic activities being performed at the LSCs under its operational area and ensures their provisions to the learners as per university norms and guidelines. The RCs are have been entrusted with the following core responsibilities:
creating awareness through promotion and publicity of the different programmes of the University;
delivery of programmes;
organization of staff development programmes;
resource centre for the region;
attending to learner queries and grievance redressal;
supervision coordination of induction meetings at LSCs;
monitoring conduct of counselling sessions (both theory and practicals) at LSC;
monitoring of assignment evaluation at LSCs;
supervision of the conduct of term end examinations at exam centres;
conduct of convocation at local level;
placement services for passed out learners;
Other extension activities.
The third level is the LSC, where teaching learning is transacted through academic counselling (tutoring) sessions for both theory and practical courses with the support of the academic counsellors empanelled from amongst the faculty of the host institution (HEI). Practical sessions are arranged at select LSCs in specialized laboratories as per programme requirements to provide hands on learning experience for the learners enrolled in practical/ skill based programmes. In addition, the LSCs are entrusted to perform the following:
provide support services such as informing, advising and counselling to the learners;
promotion and publicity of various programmes of the university;
organization and conduct of induction meetings;
conduct of academic counselling for theory and practical courses;
evaluation of assignments;
conduct of term end examination;
organizing course related workshops and seminars; and
providing library support to the learners.
The University has brought out Manuals for Regional Centers and Learner Support Centers for standardizing the operational procedures for smooth and effective functioning.
Apart from aforementioned classifications at the Headquarters learner support is also provided through some operational divisions, at the Headquarters such as:
Student Admission and Registration Division (SARD)
Learners' Scholarship Division (LSD)
Material Production and Distribution Division (MPDD),
Centre for Electronic Media Production (CEMP)
Centre for Examination and Evaluation (CEE)
The Learner Support Services Division (LSSD) functions as a Single Window support at the Headquarters for addressing learner grievances and queries related to various support services, like admission, evaluation, non-receipt of study material and others.
The SSC attends to learners’ queries in the face-to-face mode, through telephone and emails. It is the nodal office for grievance redressal through the dedicated online portal eGrievance of the University.
Keeping in tune with the advancement in information and communication technology (ICT) the following ICT enabled support is also provided to the learners:
Vande Gujarat Educational Channel: The University has a dedicated 24x7 educational TV channel. Through this channel the university broadcasts educational programmes on a variety of subjects which can be accessed all across the globe throughout the year.
Virtual Classroom: In order to facilitate distance learner for face to face interaction like a conventional classroom, university has set up virtual classrooms at its Regional Centres (RCs) and some of the Learner Support Centres (LSCs).
Swadhyay TV: Swadhyay TV is an on-demand video based learning platform where learners can attend the class of his/her choice at any time, anywhere.
Swadhyay Radio: Swadhyay Radio is an on-demand internet audio counselling service and learning platform where learners can listen to the session of his/her choice at any time, anywhere.
Webinar/Web Conferencing: University provides internet based Webinars/Web conferencing services to learners in all the programmes to enhance the learning experience of the learners through Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Zoom Webinars Webex Meeting, Webex Events and Microsoft Teams.
OMKAR-e: an indigenously designed E-Learning Management System
OMKAR: Open Matrix Knowledge Advancement Resource is a technology-enabled domain, constituting a repository of e-resources of information and knowledge making the e-content accessible to millions of students and aspirants across the globe.
Mobipaedia: BAOU is the first university to introduce Educational Mobile Apps- Mobipaedia, to assist the keen learners.
Self- Learning Study Material at Students’ Finger Tip: Study materials of all the courses are available on the University website, so the students can easily view, read, download and refer at his/her convenience
|List of support services provided at Headquarters, Regional Centres, Learner Support Centres||View Document|
|Organizational chart of support services available||View Document|
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