COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CLIMATE OF OPENNESS OF CORESPONDENCE COURSES IN ORISSA AND IGNOU
christened as correspondence courses
and now developed to distance education and open learning system, the concept
has become an important alternative of higher education. In developing as well
as developed countries higher education is beset with a variety of problems,
i.e finance, quantitative demand, instructional quality, catering to variety of
needs and relevance etc. In order to answer all these problems and to make
equality of educational opportunity a success we have to adopt distance
education as an alternative strategy and develop it to a mass movement. To
develop huge human recourse potentials available in
*To study the existing openness in correspondence courses and IGNOU as perceived by students of respective institutions.
*To compare the levels of openness between correspondence courses and IGNOU with reference to Orissa.
*To study the preferred futures of openness between CC and IGNOU as perceived by students of distance education towards 2005.
There will be no significant difference between the level of openness in CC and IGNOU.
The sample for the present study constituted of 165 IGNOU students and 235 correspondence students of Utkal and Berhampur University of Orissa. They were selected from study centers and contact program centers.
The data were collected by administering the “Institution Closeness – Openness Scale” developed by the authors. The institution Closeness Openness Scale consists of 25 dimensions. The alternatives are given in a continuum from least openness to complete openness with a 5 point scale. Against each component, the characteristics of closeness- openness continuum have been specifically mentioned in a 5 points scale, for instance on case of course choice dimension the alternative read as (i) No openness- whole course compulsory (ii) openness to some extent- a particular course with a few optional combinations (iii) Moderate openness- equal weight to major and minor papers (iv)High –openness credit system , courses with common core paper and large number of optional papers on modular and credit basis (v) Extreme openness – entire course including wide rang of optional papers on modular and credit basis.
Weightage was given on the basis of ascending order of openness of 1 to 5 with 1 indicating least openness 2 openness to some extent , 3 moderate openness , 4 high openness , and 5 complete openness.
ANYLYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
Mean scores of each dimension were calculated for CC and IGNOU respectively following criteria was fixed for data analysis. Above 4.50 - Complete openness 3.50 to 4.49-High openness 2.50 to 3.49- Moderate openness 1.50to 2.49 – openness to some extent Below 1.5 –least openness. The critical ratio test was used for analyzing the data in the context of the second objective. The interpretations of the results are presented as under.
Dimension wise comparison of present and future status of openness of CC &IGNOU in terms of mean value
study covered 25 dimensions of openness: 1. Learner’s intake; 2. Entrance
Policy; 3. Seats Availability; 4. Objectives of Learning; 5. Counseling & guidance;
6. Learning Materials; 7. Methods of
teaching; 8. Course Structure; 9. Course Choice; 10. Course Content; 11. Media;
12. Place of study; 13. Attendance; 14. Entry Time; 15. Time of Completion; 16.
Time Table; 17. Method of Assessment; 18. Type of Assessment; 19. Feed Back;
20. Date of Assessment; 21. Coverage of Assessment; 22. Support System; 23. Place
of Support System; 24. Mode of Support; and 25.Destination. Dimension wise
comparison of present and future status of openness of CC &IGNOU in terms
of mean value found that the students of IGNOU have perceived all the 25
dimensions as open to some extent (Mean values above 1.50 to 2.49) in contrast
students of DCC have perceived no openness in all the 25 dimensions of openness
closeness scale (Mean values ranges from 1.00 to 1.26) .This reveals that
correspondence courses offered by DCC has remained mostly conservative. Though
mean values in case of entrance policy (1.22) time of completion (1.22, mode of
support system 1.26) and feedback (1.21) comes almost openness to some extent
but it does not distinctly differentiate correspondence education to that of
formal education. Flexibility is the important characteristics of distance mode
which is not maintained in correspondence centers in the State of
As stated above the t-test was applied to study the significance of difference of mean scores of openness closeness scale as responded by 165 IGNOU students and 235 correspondence students. The critical ratio values on different dimensions were tabulated. It was observed that in case of all the 25 dimensions perceived value of openness by IGNOU and CC students significantly differs from each other at 0.5 as well as 0.1 level. Further concerned mean score on openness criteria for IGNOU were found to be higher on an average than those of DCC.From above analysis it can be concluded that there existed significant difference between the openness of mean scores of IGNOU and DCC with 99% level of confidence. Hence the null hypothesis of no significance difference between the openness mean scores of IGNOU and DCC is rejected. It is ultimately revealed that the status of openness of correspondence courses offered by the directorate of correspondence courses of Utkal and Berhampur University Orissa is least open. Correspondence courses offered by traditional Universities have not been able to shed the shackles of rigidity, closeness and non-flexibility of the parent institution. It has just risen above the traditional system to cater to the needs of students who for some reason or other fail to get them admitted in traditional higher education. On the other hand IGNOU has opened up satisfactorily and significantly for its clientele as per perception of DE learners. But the high objectives and ideals for which IGNOU was opened has not been satisfactorily achieved its openness is really unimpressive. Hence, there is a need to assess and revitalize the institution so that open learning system becomes successful.
Students Perceptions of Preferred Future
The students of CC as well as IGNOU were asked about the preferred future regarding the openness of institution towards 2005 AD in Orissa. It was observed that CC students preferred high openness in future (Mean values 3.56 to 3.93) in all the 25 dimensions. On the other hand IGNOU students’ preference ranges from high level to complete openness. The IGNOU students preferred high openness in majority dimensions (20 out of 25) such as learners intake, entrance policy, seats availability, objectives of learning, counseling and guidance, learning material, methods of teaching, course structure, course choice, course content, media, place of study, attendance, entry time, time completion, time table, method of assessment, date of assessment, place of support system and destination (Mean values from 3.52 to 4.49 complete openness in rest six dimensions such as type of assessment, feedback, support system ,mode of support system and coverage of assessment (Mean values 4.5 above). Students of CC perceived the present status as non-openness and expect to be highly open in future. Similarly, students of IGNOU perceived the present status as openness to some extent while preferring the futures from highly open complete openness. To conclude it can be said that both the groups of students are not satisfied the less openness existing in their institutions and preferred higher degree of openness in future.
From the above analysis of result it is seem that both the groups of students of CC and IGNOU are very much optimistic about the future of distance education in Orissa. It is a sign of positive indication. Educational planners and administrators of distance education system may take it into account for fulfillment of students’ expectations.