Interview

A Centre of Excellence in ODL in the Make : Higher Education, Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Open University, India

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Dr M.S. Palanichamy who has assumed his office in 2003 is the First Vice Chancellor appointed by the Government of Tamil Nadu in Tamil Nadu Open University and is heading the University having. In Tamil Nadu Open University, he is taking steps to provide Higher Education including areas widows, housewives, working men and women, disabled and those who are denied Higher Education due to family and social reasons. He has established study centres at 10 important towns of Tamil Nadu and 300 Information Centres at Taluk levels and is taking keen interest to provide education through Radio Channel “Gyan Vani” and Video Channel “Gyan Darshan” in these study centres. A Grant of INR 1.80 Crores from Government of Tamil Nadu and about INR 75 to INR 100 lakhs from Distance Education Council are expected for providing strong foundation for Tamil Nadu Open University due to his efforts. Dr. Palanichamy was awarded Rastriya Rattan Award for his outstanding individual achievement and distinguished service to the Nation by Global Economic Council, New Delhi, Eminent Engineer Award given by the Institute of Engineers (India) and many more awards honoured to him. Digital Learning takes note on the contributions of Dr Palanichamy and the Tamil Nadu Open University to the world of open education.

In emerging trends of e-Learning, where do you place TNOU? What are the innovative e-Learning solutions, best practices or policies specific to the University that make it a glorified learning destination?

Before I answer this question, let me put it in perspective. The Tamil Nadu Open University was established by an Act of the State Legislative Assembly in October 2002. After I assumed office as the first and founder Vice-Chancellor in February 2003, I would say the momentum in establishing the University began in right earnest. Now, the University offers more than 300 Courses in about 75 Programmes across a wide range of disciplines and at various levels and streams such as vocational, professional, traditional, etc. The University now caters to about 60,000 students distributed across the State through hundreds of learning centres. As regards our instructional delivery, as of now, it is predominantly print-based as is the case in other Open and Distance Learning (ODL) systems in the country. We use self-learning coursewares since the inception of this institution, which is a record of sorts in the State.

Having created courses in print in self-learning format, which is web-ready, we are right now at the stage of augmenting the learning experiences of our students through multi-media stand-alone CDs, which could be used both for synchronous and asynchronous environments. More than 100 such CDs are being created now while plans for the rest are in train. This should clearly suggest that we don

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