MORE than in any other part of the world, access to learning and the benefits of learning are much sought after and valuable services in Asia. The 3.7 billion people who make up the Asian continent cannot get enough education and are among the most deprived in terms of access to it.
This guide book, designed for orientation and training of specialists in open and distance learning methods in Asia, is the outcome of the collaborative PANdora research and development initiative (2005-08) between open and distance learning (ODL) institutions, government departments and non-governmental organisations in 13 Asian countries.
In this compilation of papers, Tian Belawati, who is Rector at Indonesia’s Open University, describes the conceptual development of distance education (DE) as an alternative method of education while emphasising the importance of interaction in DE and the impact of information and communication technologies in eliminating education barriers and achieving the idealistic concept of open and distance learning. Talking of financial management, she discusses the strategies required for generating financial resources and budgeting procedures. She then lists and discusses the major associations in distance education and in open and distance learning (ODL). She discusses the measurements of cost effectiveness in ODL and cites the examples of practices at the Open University of Indonesia particularly regarding the standard reflexive model of quality assurance and its role in ensuring increasingly high standards in ODL and the public confidence in it.
In the section on principles of distance education implantation, Santosh Panda focuses on leading course development models, presenting a description of the procedures adopted in Asia’s news open university, Wawasan Open University in Malaysia.
Meant essentially for educationists, the materials put together present a valuable insight into the workings of ODL provisions in the participating institutions and countries.
(Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd, B1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi-110 044; www.sagepublications.com)