PCF5:Teaching vocational skills - session 3

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Title of session

Teaching vocational skills

Session details

  • Date: 17 July 2008
  • Time: 11:00 am
  • Room: room 731

Session papers

  • Mrs Malathy Anandavalli: Open and distance learning for vocational education: the experience of Indira Gandhi National Open University
  • Mr Ramakrishnan Nair Bhaskar: Interactive distance learning: using it for functional literacy and vocational skills
  • Dr Bharat Inder Fozdar: The role of open and distance learning in vocational educationand training in India
  • Mr A.K.M. Iftekhar Khalid: Changes of learners' socio-economic context after completing a professional education from Bangladesh Open University
  • Mrs Joy Mylek: Literacy - fundamental to economic development
  • Mrs Veena Rao: University intervention for capacity-building and social empowerment through garment sector-based distance education courses suiting the post-multi-fibre arrangement era: Indian context

Key issues that arose in the session

Brief summary: Background/rationale of the topic covered

  1. Online grids for education did not succeed in the past but today its easy
  2. There are education knowledge grids on engineering and other disciplines
  3. Online catalogue
  4. Wiki is a useful tool
  5. To form groups in wiki to discuss various concerns/ issues
  6. A global contribution/ at all levels – educators, students, farmers

Outline of theoretical perspectives explored in the session that has the potential for achieving effective learning and improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Number of large initiatives with number of actors
  2. FAO is a major actor/ CTA a major role player/ NARS- specially in BRIC countries/ CGIAR

What are the unresolved issues and challenges for achieving effective learning for improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Coherence between the important actors and transparency in the knowledge base development process
  2. No forum available for contribution
  3. A supply based system available and proposed/ who wants it/ who would use it
  4. Large investment are difficult in knowledge systems/ most of the investments are for immediate solutions in Agriculture
  5. Lack of knowledge about the availability of existing material drives the lack of demand
  6. There are problems with wikipedia/ less than 1% of the user are actual contributors
  7. Few on agriculture/ agricultural issues
  8. Global agriculture content is absent
  9. Difficult to get the institutions to put up their information in the public domain/ more important issue is of upgradation
  10. Wiki is heavily dependant on bandwidth/ access etc.

What are the potential solutions for these issues and challenges that can make ODL work better for improved livelihoods?

  1. IFAF/ other organizations are looking at knowledge issues but they are not explicit demands
  2. There is a strong need for awareness which the proposed knowledgebase can bank upon and grow with
  3. Its worth testing in an exploratory way and follow the wikipedia path/ without looking at the demand right now and look at the future debates/ arguments and possible
  4. We need sufficient digital reusable objects which would encourage the possible usage
  5. Are we looking at a platform to network agriculture related communities? In that case the involvement of the public should be after we develop the platform/ how is it going to work if the farmers are involved from the very beginning- they are two parallel processes
  6. There is a demand for new “knowledge”
  7. How we organize the access of such knowledge bases/ what are the access to existing knowledge resources/ how do we network them?
  8. We need to start the process irrespective of the knowledge consolidation process that are taking place isolatedly
  9. Do we need to link it up with the existig efforts of knowledge consolidation?
  10. Incorporation of wikimedia/ different information forms
  11. Create a forum to assess the new technology and effectiveness of such new technologies/ a platform for networking thinkers

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

We need to develop the platform keeping in mind the young professionals and farmers. We also need to look at the issues of content and knowledge aggregation seriously; as we must keep in mind the convergence of various technologies. COL could initiate the process by supporting the modification of wiki educator to a suitable form and the initial stages of the content development by bringing in relevant technology professionals and content generators from associates and partners