Indira Gandhi national Open University (IGNOU) is an apex body for open and distance learning (ODL) system in India. The university has nation-wide operation and pioneer in distance education. IGNOU has an hqrs, 67 Regional Centres and about 3400 Study Centres throughout India. The study centres are the academic contact point for distance learners and the university engages around 54,000 academic counsellors for giving learner support to the heterogeneous distance learners. In IGNOU, the academic counsellors are mostly drawn from the formal higher educational system and the exposure towards ODL system therefore, is minimal. However, the academic counsellors are the pivotal link between the ODL institution and isolated distance learners in IGNOU. Their role in handling face-to-face academic counseling sessions at the study centre is very important. The academic counsellors in IGNOU are drawn from the conventional system of higher education. Though, periodical training is given to them by IGNOU, it is a difficult task to train such a massive number of counsellors across the country. In fact the role of an academic counsellor is multifarious and requires both tutoring and counseling. For maintaining quality in academic counseling, the accumulation of multi-dimensional skills, attributes and information is essential on the part of the cunsellor in ODL. Among these, possessing information at various levels about ODL system is an enabling factor to effectively support isolated distance learner. Therefore, a comprehensive Information System is felt the need of the hour for the capacity building of the academic counsellors in supporting distance learners and for the quality assurance process. This work explores and builds a comprehensive information system for the academic counsellors in an ODL system, keeping IGNOU as the context.
Open And Distance Learning; IGNOU; Acdemic Counseling; Acdemic Counsellor; Information System; Capacity Building.