The objectives of the study were: (1) To study the growth of different forms of Distance Education in Orissa at Higher Education stage from its inception and identifying its trend in the context of growth of Higher Education in Orissa. (2) To assess different components of the existing instructional system of Distance Education instructions in Orissa state, viz, nature of course, instructional materials (print based, audio-based and computer based), course activities and evaluation in terms of reactions of students and teachers of Distance Education system and the researcher’s observation. (3) To study the existing openness in Directorate of correspondence course of Utkal University and Berhampur University in Orissa and Indira Gandhi National Open University as perceived by the teachers and students of respective institutions of Distance Education in Orissa. (4) To compare the level of openness in Directorate of correspondence courses of Utkal University and Berhampur University of Orissa and Indira Gandhi National Open University of Orissa. (5) To study the preferred future of openness of Directorates of correspondence courses of Utkal University and Berhampur University of Orissa and IGNOU as perceived by the teachers and students of distance Education towards 2005 A.D. as perceived by the experts. The hypotheses of the study were: (1) There is no significant difference between the level of openness in Directorate of correspondence courses of Utkal University and Berhampur University and IGNOU as perceived by teachers. (2) There is no significant difference between the level of openness in Directorate of correspondence courses of Utkal University and Berhampur University and IGNOU as perceived by students.
The sample of the study comprised of students, teachers and Directors of correspondence courses of Utkal University and different study centres of IGNOU at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Anugal and Berhampur.
The tools used for data collection were: Questionnaire, Information Schedule, Observation Schedule, Closeness-Openness Scale, Delphi Questionnaire developed by Investigator.
The study was survey type.Data were analyzed by using Chi-square
Technique, percentage, Mean, SD, CR and Quartile Deviation.
The findings of the study were: (1) The post independence period has witnessed tremendous growth of institutions of Higher Education in Orissa. It is revealed that professional Education has been getting less attention (15%) than general education. (2) Opinion of IGNOU and CCs differed with respect to admission criteria except entrance test, besides that no major difference of opinion was marked among teachers and students. (3) Students of IGNOU and CCs were not satisfied with the dispatch system of lesson scripts where as contrast opinion was perceived among the teachers. (4) Orientation programmes for teachers, involved in CC activities were perceived as effective by majority of CC teacher. They were perceived to be effective in some cases by majority of IGNOU teacher. (5) Students faced problems in attending study centres / contact session due to lack of proper information. Library facilities were not provided properly to CC students. The IGNOU teachers used lecture and discussion methods where as CC teachers used only lecture method. Different criteria were followed in case of selection of topics during contact programmes. (6) Assignment system was found to be not functioning well in CCs as compared to IGNOU. The students of CCs received checked assignments just before the examinations and they received grades without any comments. (7) A contrast opinion was found between IGNOU students and CC students with respect to schedule of examinations and centers of examinations. (8) The IGNOU teachers stressed on higher mental abilities of students to answer well in the examinations where as the CC teachers had given average weightage to it. (9) IGNOU teachers were of the view that there was more scope for self-evaluation in Open University programmes than that of Directorates of correspondence course. (10) Both the categories of teachers suggested for emphasizing more activities for self-evaluation. (11) The perception of learners on the present status was that the correspondence courses remained least open in the case of all the 25 Dimensions (mean value below 1.5). Similarly the teachers had rated the CCs as least open on all the dimensions except two, viz., entrance policy and learners’ intake. (12) The present status perceived by students revealed that it is open to some extent in the case of all the 25 dimensions where as teachers perceived the IGNOU as open to some extent on 21 dimensions and moderately open in remaining four dimensions. (13) The teacher as well as students had preferred high openness of CCs in the case of all the 25 dimensions. (14) The concerned mean scores of IGNOU were found to be higher than those of CCs in relation to openness as the CR values were found significant on all the dimensions. (15) Preferred future of experts reveal better prospect especially with reference to media, feedback, production and delivery of courses, inter changeability of courses, students’ support service, incentives and orientation aspects of teachers.
Keyword(s): Future Expansion, Instructional System, Distance Education, Higher Education