Global and Lokal Distance Education - GLOKALde April 2015, ISSN 2148-7278
Volume: 1 Number: 2, Article 5
QUALITY ASSURANCE IN OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING THE CASE OF THE INSTITUTE OF DISTANCE AND CONTINUING EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF GUYANA
Open and Distance Learning (ODL) started at the University of Guyana with the establishment of the Department of Extra-Mural Studies in 1976. This department was later upgraded to the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). Guided by the philosophy of “People improving themselves through their own resources,” the Institute sought to take university level programmes to all sections/parts of the country (Tab/Map).
In so doing residents, for the first time were provided with opportunities to access various post-secondary and tertiary levels of education and training without having to leave their respective communities/localities. Further residents without formal education requirements were able to enroll for these programmes. Other aspects of openness namely flexible class/programme/course times, student/participant centered assessments and participant involvement in arriving at/formulating course objectives have since characterized the Institute’s programme offerings. In addition to the distance mode, the IDCE also offers programmes and courses via the conventional mode of delivery. (Tab-List of Courses, DE & Face-to-Face) Coupled with the aforementioned, the IDCE introduced/utilized different forms of the distance modality in delivering its various programmes.
Print, audio-conferencing, and later on video-conferencing and online programming were all used to enable learner participation in these programmes and to typify the philosophy and modus operandi of the IDCE as an ODL provider. At the IDCE procedures regulating/governing the conduct of programmes/ courses offered via distance were instituted. These included conducting needs analyses, developing curriculum and course manuals/modules via the team approach, and instituting student support structures.