Sub-Project 1 – “Accessibility, Acceptance and Effects of Distance Learning Technologies in South Asia” which forms part of a larger project “ PAN-DLT (Asia): Networking Distance Learning Technology Engines for Research” an Asian Regional Project sponsored by the International Development Research Corporation (IDRC) of Canada with the participation of several Asian countries. In the case of Sub-Project 1, the participating institutions are the University of Colombo School of Computing UCSC, Sri Lanka, Indira Gandhi National Open University IGNOU, India, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, India , Allama Iqbal, Open University AIOU, Pakistan and recently joint Bhutan.

This project attempts to investigate different ICT based learning models (both independent and blended technologies) currently used in the four countries in terms of access, acceptability, learning styles, impact on learning and cost effectiveness; and come up with suitable ICT based models for different environments and different learning styles. The effect of the learner-interface interaction in the learning process also needs to be investigated.

Although ICT based delivery systems would include a large range of both, old and the new technologies which relate to some aspect of information and communication technologies, we would restrict the scope of this study to some of the more recent uses such as Tele conferencing, the CD-ROM, internet and the web both independently and in a blended form. At the same time we would like to look at innovative uses of some of the older technologies.

We hope to investigate, in the participating countries, the following:

  • Access to ICT based learning in different sectors of the community (such as rural, disadvantaged and minorities) in independent and blended scenarios,
  • Attitude towards and acceptability of ICT based learning by different sectors of the community of learners, both formal and non formal educational settings
  • The effects of the learner-interface interaction in learning through technologies
  • Learning styles of learners in these three Asian countries across the variables of gender, socio economic status, rural-urban status and linguistic and cultural groupings and compatibility between varied learning styles and media characteristics.
  • Cost effectiveness of selected ICT based learning models for the different sectors and thereafter identify suitable models of ICT enabled learning for the region.

The output of the sub-project is twofold:

  • Research publications on
    • access of and access to ICT based independent and blended learning technologies available to different sections in the three countries.
    • issues and strategies of acceptability, learning styles, interaction with technology and their effect on distance learning.
  • Recommendations on suitable ICT based learning models and best practices for these three countries and others in the region. This would also include policy guidelines that could be recommended to governments, distance and flexible learning institutions and donor agencies.
Activities / Projects