Global and Lokal Distance Education - GLOKALde October 2021, ISSN 2148-7278
Volume: 7 Number: 2, Article 6
FRAMEWORK TO UNDERSTAND TRAINING AND EDUCATION NEEDS UNDER OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING SYSTEM
The Open and Distance Learning (ODL)system fulfills diversified academic and training needs and ensures the sustainment of livelihood while learning. It is crucial for planners of distance education to accurately understand emerging education/training needs of individual prospective learners. Understanding of education and training needs of heterogeneous society with diversified socio-economic background is a challenging task under the ODL System as academic/training needs are highly dynamic and institutions have less direct access to geographically dispersed clientele groups. This paper proposes a framework to understand academic and training needs of individual prospective learners of diversified nature through the “Persona approach”. The Persona approach is relevant when planners have limited access to a small segment of prospective learners whose academic/training needs are very dynamic. Needs-assessment study based on the Persona approach is capable of capturing knowledge/training needs of diversified clientele groups. The persona approach consistently monitors dynamics of changes in academic/training needs which helps in periodic revision /updating of courses. The proposed framework based on persona approach would help teachers/administrators of ODL system to design and deliver continuing education courses by keeping the curriculum relevant to academic/training requirements of prospective learners and customize delivery mechanism which would be convenient to their daily schedule and preferences of learners, and will ensure better chances of survival of academic programs with high enrolment, and retention rate. The study adopted multi-channel exploratory qualitative research approach, which consists of review of literature, descriptive materials, critical analysis of relevant documents and field notes documenting framework/procedure for understanding life-long education/training needs of adult learners.