THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has called upon universities to develop “blended learning environments” using suitable online and other learning management systems. The Governor’s message was delivered to Vice-chancellors of various state universities during a two day online conference. The conference was held on July 9 and 10 to discuss issues in the higher education sector in the wake of Covid-19.“The need and importance of distance learning is becoming clear to one and all, in the ‘new normal’. Covid-19 has made us re-imagine the crucial role of learning. Experts are already thinking of using information technology even in normal times to make education more accessible and less expensive. Vice-chancellors need to put in additional efforts and implement new methods in a time-bound manner, so that we develop a Kerala model in Higher Education’, he said.
The Governor said distance learning solutions must be tailored to specific contexts. Considering the digital and resource divide in our country and the state, there is a need to develop and implement technology-enabled learning methods that are accessible and appropriate for the needs of learners.“This would involve making appropriate technology choices such as print, radio, television and the Internet to suit different contexts. This is the time both for planning and concrete action on the ground to help teachers and students to continue the teaching learning process with the least disruption possible,” he said.
The Governor suggested giving priority to capacity building of staff to adopt Distance Education approaches. Inspiring teachers to curate and develop Open Education Resources specific to the curriculum, sharing such course content through institutional Open Education Resources repository to facilitate access by anyone, anywhere, anytime can also be considered, he said.
Innovative approaches to assessment in both offline and online environments was another suggestion put forward by the Governor. ‘Institutions may review the one-time exit examination system and follow a process of continuous formative assessment to enable student learning and success,” he suggested.Vice-chancellors of universities presented the steps they had initiated to manage the situation which had arisen due to Covid-19. Davendra Kumar Dhodawat, Principal Secretary to Governor also addressed the meeting.