2.3.5: Institutional Mechanism to provide academic counseling support

Institutional Mechanism to provide academic counseling support

Institutional Mechanism to provide academic counseling support

An Institutional mechanism is in place to provide academic counseling support to learners enrolled in different programs including strategies for learner participation and engagement as well as development of required competencies and skills

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Learner support services play a crucial role in ODL. In the conventional system of education the teacher provides academic as well as non-academic support to his/her students and they enjoy even the opportunity of interacting with his/her peer group about various issues/services. Contrary to this, the distance learners have to study on their own in an entirely different situation using the self-learning material.

Secondly, besides being separate from each other, they have intra-and inter-group variations in terms of their age, interests, background, needs, experiences, and so on. They all require suitable support services for their smooth progress through their study and successful completion of their programme. 

It is not an understatement that effective academic counselling is pivotal to the success of a distance education programme. It inculcates a sense of belongingness in the learner and mitigates the feeling of isolation in the learner. Further, it keeps the interest and motivation of the learners and contributes towards their success. On the institution side, these have bearing on the credibility of the University. Therefore, BAOU considers it a priority area and consciously dedicates human and other resources to achieve a credible and flawless system of academic counselling. 


The academic calendar is drawn on time before commencement of the academic term and communicated to the learners, Regional Centres, Learner Support Centre by uploading it on the University website. The academic staff at the University who are coordinating with the Regional Centres monitor the conduct of academic counselling sessions at the Learner Support Centres.


University follows UGC-DEB Regulations - 2017 and subsequent amendments and regulations and hence based on the credit weightage of the course, theory and practical counselling sessions are organized at the Learner Support Centres (LSCs). The LSC Coordinator of the LSC prepares the counseling schedules for all the programmes and its courses. The counselling schedule is mapped with the academic calendar uploaded on the university website. The schedule is posted on the notice board of the LSCs and circulated in advance to the learners and academic counselors through Social Media platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram and informed through SMS and also displayed on the website of each RCs.


Counselling for Theory courses:

It is not mandatory for the learners to attend the counselling sessions except in some professional programmes. The duration of theory counselling session is of two hours and the maximum 60 learners are allocated per batch. In a programme where the intact is fixed, for example in B.Ed. where the number of learners per batch varies as per norms prescribed by the respective regulatory bodies. 


Counselling for Practical courses:

The practical sessions for the courses with practical components are scheduled only at selected LSCs where the required expertise and physical infrastructure to carry out the practical/skill sessions are available. For the practical session the batch of 20 learners is created. The duration of one practical session is 2.5 hours depending upon the credit and weightage. Attendance for the practical sessions is mandatory for learners. Practical sessions of some programmes of Computer and Management are conducted on Saturday/Sunday and on Holidays. The practical based programmes/courses have lab manuals to guide the academic counsellors in organizing the conduct of practical sessions


The counsellors are trained to conduct the sessions in an effective manner through orientation programmes organized by the University. Academic counsellors also use audio video programmes to supplement the counselling and enrich the course content.  All practical based programmes have resource books/lab manuals to guide the academic counsellors in organizing the conduct of practical sessions, i.e., duration of each session, the requirements of equipment, materials, apparatus, physical tests, etc.


In addition to face-to-face counseling the University facilitates the learners by providing counselling through various below mentioned modes of contact programs and other ICT based methods.

  1. Interactive radio counselling

  2. Online LMS based counselling

  3. Teleconferencing

  4. Web-conferencing

  5. Laboratory based counselling

  6. Internship

  7. Workshops

  8. Field study

  9. Seminar

  10. Extended Contact Programme (ECP)

  11. Enhancement of Professional Competency (EPC)



Organizing Academic Counselling using various ICT based platforms:


The academic counselling for learners is also being conducted by the teaching faculty members at BAOU Head Quarters using various ICT based platforms:


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. University also conducts live sessions via satellite through Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics {BISAG-N} from the University’s own Chaitanya Studio


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). The schedule of various academic counselling sessions and other relevant talks are arranged frequently and communication is made in advance to the RCs/LSCs and published the same on University/RCs website.


Swadhyay TV: Along with the above educational medium university is also having various web based initiatives which are being used to provide counselling to the learners. Swadhyay TV is an on-demand video based learning platform where learners can attend the class of his/her choice at any time, anywhere. Also this medium can be used to live broadcast any interactive sessions by invited experts. www.baou.edu.in/swadhyay.tv


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. However, the live broadcast through Interactive Radio Counselling is provided on radio by invited experts from Chaitanya studio. Learners can ask questions right from their locations through telephone, email and through chat mode. www.baou.edu.in/swadhyay.radio


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: Considering the demand of today’s learners, BAOU is the first State Open University in India to successfully launch an internet enabled open access free-of-cost digital learning platform for online and self-driven courses that pro-activates learning with four quadrant mechanisms. 18 Multilingual courses are offered and others are under development that cover wide spectrum varieties. URL: www.omkare.in

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. https://baou.edu.in/omkar

Mobipaedia: BAOU is the first university to introduce Educational Mobile Apps- Mobipaedia, to assist the keen learners. This Mobile Encyclopedia application provides information related to unfamiliar terms or words as a reply SMS with minimal cost involved. The android application MOBIPAEDIA can be downloaded from Google Play store at no extra cost.

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

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