Bangladesh Open University
Streams: Methods and Technologies
Issues: Technology-Pedagogy Interface, Networks, Developing Countries
Aspects: Local/Regional, National, Institutional
Affect: University and Higher Education.
Replacing Tutors with Interactive Multimedia CD in Bangladesh Open University: A Dream or a Reality.
Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has been offering courses in continuing and extension education to the rural disadvantaged groups and general mass through formal and non-formal programs using Radio, Television and Computer in addition to conventional print media since 1992. The new IT media has been introduced for developing materials to implement direct teaching and learning with tutorial support at LAN/WAN environment.
Ranging from formal to non-formal education, BOU plays a significant role in awareness building and motivational activities in areas of human resource development. Using flexible mediums, distance education technologies support and enhance BOU mission towards "100% literacy rate" by 2006.
Education techniques in BOU involve learning methods through home study, open learning, flexible learning and technology mediated education. This paper focuses exhaustively on a transition route of replacing the conventional tutorial centres with different IT methods in respect of developing interactive multimedia courses, presuming contemporary socio-economic status, convenanting bottlenecks-shortfalls and exhibiting preferences.
To enhance the outreach mission of the University using available DE technologies BOU links interactively with all RRC's (Regional Resource Centre) and other locations throughout the country. BOU has nearly 200,000 students dealt by RRCs, LCs and TCs. With increasing number of students there would be no other choice, but to adopt a dependable low-cost IT technique at networked environment, specially interactive multimedia CDROM and IP-network based curriculum, feasible enough for the rural society, where nearly 40% of the allocation goes to the tutorial services.
Updated situation involves an upgraded IT infrastructure and an effective communications network, which seems inevitably difficult to attain in this part of the region, where a telephone connectivity is a luxury. A connectivity, if available, takes all attentions to keep it working round the clock at least for a noise-free transparency during computer mediated communications.
Competent distance education programs begin with careful planning and a focused understanding of course requirements and student needs. Appropriate technology can only be selected once these elements are clearly understood and successful distance education programs rely on the consistent and integrated efforts of students, faculty, tutors, coordinators and administrators. The future of learning/teaching of BOU, solely depending on the smooth transition from conventional to collaborative learning methodologies and effective implementation of those methodologies is yet to be a dream.
Keywords: LAN/WAN, RRC, TC, LC, Collaborative Learning.
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