Chandigarh April 30, 2019
University School of Open Learning, Panjab University, Chandigarh, organized its two day National Seminar on “Changing Contour of Open and Distance Education in New Millennium” from 30th April to Ist of May, 2019. Dr. Raghurao Akkinepally, Director of NIPER, Mohali, an alumnus of Panjab University and having more than thirty two years of teaching experience underscored the importance of Open Learning and said that a lot of openness was being offered by knowledge/data sources like Wikipedia.
The contemporary education scenario was witnessing the intersection of education, teaching and learning with information and technology. An integrated instructional approach blending the actual and the digital was now the order of the day. He listed the various benefits of Open and Distance Learning-massification, democratising education, cost effectiveness, second chance to those who missed out and a guarantee
of Life Long Learning. In the wake of the onslaught of digitalisation, he opined that actual learning was losing its importance. He added that online media communications like Twitter, You Tube, Face book etc. also allow for a rapid sharing of ideas.
Prof. Raghurao cautioned that over-dependence on digital platforms and
accepting Google as the Guru was leading to excessive information and confusion thereby. The crucial question thus is the validation of this knowledge. Prof. Raghurao advocated the best out of the actual and the digital modes by developing hybrid models, encouraging hands on training and putting teaching experience to the maximum use. He did emphasise the importance of video-lectures and on-line discussion forms to supplement the actual learning of professional courses.
The Dean University Instruction, Prof. Shankarji Jha underscored the
importance of the objectives of education and the value of putting our knowledge into practice. Professor Karamjeet Singh, Registrar, Panjab University, emphasised that Open Learning was the future of all universities and that teachers have to use innovative methods for dissemination of education.
The inaugural session concluded with the release of a book written by
Professor Ravi Mahajan “Open and Distance Education in the New Millennium: A Chronology in the Making” and also the release of our annual report for the session 2018-2019.
Professor Yojna Rawat introduced the theme of the Seminar and highlighted the achievements of the department.
The speakers in the first and second plenary sessions were Prof. A.K.
Sahajpal, former Professor and former Vice-Chancellor, Baddi University, Solan and Professor Ravi K. Mahajan, a very senior Professor and Coordinator of Statistics Department, USOL. Professor Mahajan spoke on “ODE: Timeline Beneath New Millennium”. Around 15 (fifteen) participants presented their research papers on the theme of the seminar.
The afternoon session was presided over by Prof. Neelam Grover, former
Chairperson of USOL. The Seminar will continue for another day.