DEPARTMENT OF OPEN & DISTANCE LEARNING MODE
The acronym ODLM stands for Open Distance Learning Mode. The open and distance learning mode at KEMU is a modus operandi for educational provision for people wishing to pursue further training without the benefit of regular full-time study registration. It incorporates the idea of life-long learning which is learner-centred. Thus, the learner who is mature, employed and motivated to learn is empowered through subject-centred materials to acquire education at the university level. ODLM is not a programme but a method of study. It incorporates the concept of open, distance and virtual learning. Although virtual learning has not been initiated at KEMU yet, the notion is prevalent in other parts of the world. Ideally, open, distance and virtual learning is multi-mediated, learner-centred and subject-specific.
Open mode is an approach to learning that gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn. Open learning is a field of education that focuses on delivering education to students who are not physically "on site" or in a “conventional campus” at the required times to receive their education. Instead, teachers and students may communicate asynchronously (Communication in which interaction between parties does not take place simultaneously but at times of their own choosing) by exchanging printed or electronic media, or via technology that allows them to communicate in real time (synchronously).
Distance mode is the concept of distance learning which covers most alternate means of learning where learners are separated from their facilitators by distance. Obtaining education and training from a remote teaching site by means of ODLM materials or e-learning. The Kenyan society being predominantly composed of rural communities, which are located in space away from most institutions of higher learning, distance learning is increasingly becoming a popular mode. The modalities of distance learning ideally include self-instruction, group learning, itinerant teaching, correspondence courses, audio conferences, video conferences, electronic conferences and any combination of the above. Distance learning provides learners with the opportunity to acquire knowledge when they are prevented from attending conventional classroom instruction due to time, space or distance constraints.
Virtual schools can be understood as a variant of distance education whereby students use online computers for some or even all of their schooling, and whereby there is spatial and sometimes temporal separation between students and their teachers. For example, students may work from home with an online computer to complete a course of study interacting with course facilitators through the Web or other electronic media. Such schools are more common in developed countries. A virtual school can be referred to by terms such as online school, e-learning, digital school, electronic school, and distance education centre. Some of the principal factors that might explain the growth of virtual schools in the early years of the twenty-first century include globalization, economic rationalism and the availability of interactive computer technology.
Open or distance or virtual modes of learning are all flexible in nature. Such flexibility is what counts to people constrained by distance, time and finances. In situations of stringency such as African rural communities, such modes if affordable could be the main apparatus for fostering development. For instance, women who traditionally are not prioritized for further education in most rural African communities have found distance learning mode to be a vital resource for personal growth and development.
The vision of ODLM Department is to create a meta-environment conducive to open and distance learning and to provide support and care to all KEMU ODLM students.
The Mission of ODLM Department is to D esign, P roduce and D istribute the most suitable course materials for ODLM teaching and learning at the most convenient time and place.
PROVISION OF EDUCATION
ODLM study method at KEMU maintains academic excellence and qualification enjoyed by KEMU full-time students while providing registration, learning and teaching flexibility in time and space to the student.
DISTRIBUTION OF ODLM MATERIALS
PROGRAMS AVAILABLE THROUGH ODLM
Registration by ODLM students can take place at any KEMU Centre/Campus. In future electronic registration will be necessary to carter for ODLM students who cannot present themselves physically for registration. In view of the emerging university e-learning strategy this form of registration will soon be the norm.
Department of Open & Distance Learning Mode
Kenya Methodist University
P. O. Box 267-6020 0