Initial distance education in India was printed material by post. Integrated multimedia is being added, with TV and radio. It needs to be kept in mind that infrastructure is needed, including libraries and A/V facilities, computers, and Internet.
India has a Distance Education Council to oversee provision of courses. This sets standards for materials, registration processes, support services for learners, ICT infrastructure and assessment. Before creating a course, the institution has to do need assessment to show there is a requirement for a course and who the target group are.
The Indian Distance Education Guidelines are available online:
- Norms and Standards for Management Programmes
- Norms and Standards for IT Education
- DEC-GUIDELINES, for regulating the Establishment and Operation of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Institutions in India
- Norms for ODL
- Norms for Online Programmes
India uses its own satellites for broadcasting educational material. More interactive and feedback techniques as resources permit. Few Indian students have Internet access at home, so some methods being used are cyber cafes. Mobile phone SMS is being used for student support and 3G smart phone support will be offered when these phones are more widely available.
ps: For my own experiences of Indian cyber cafes and wireless networking, see: Living in an Indian Village in Goa for Three Weeks
pps: Unfortunately the battery went flat in my MP3 recorder, so only the first 10 minutes of the talk were recorded: Uma Kanjilal ANU 2009 05 11 (MP3 4.48Mbytes)