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ERIC Number: EJ856757
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0513
Revisiting Gender in Open and Distance Learning--An Independent Variable or a Mediated Reality?
Sen, Rekha Sharma; Samdup, Pema Eden
Open Learning, v24 n2 p165-185 Jun 2009
The ideological moorings of distance education, both as a discipline and as a mode, rest on cognisance of multiple and varying contexts of learners, which it aims to address through responsive course content creation and delivery strategies. One of the frames through which the context needs to be understood is gender. There is research stating that gender both structures and influences the world of the learner and learner experience; therefore, learning needs to be contextualised to women's personal, social, mental and emotional milieux. Through a qualitative inquiry, undertaken within the constructivist framework, aimed at uncovering the perspectives of learners and counsellors associated with five programmes of Indira Gandhi National Open University, the present paper attempts to revisit gender in open and distance learning (ODL). It seeks to uncover the impact of gender on learning through the distance mode; the need and availability of support structures in ODL to address the specific needs of women; the reflection and transaction of gender perspectives in content and pedagogy and, through this, to identify issues that may be relevant in the present-day context. The findings of the study are not a function of gender alone. A matrix of variables appears to impact learner experience and response to ODL--the structuring of the programme and its requirements, the role(s) played by the counsellors, the motivations and the learning milieux created by the learners--all independently and collectively influence the learners'--male and female--experience of ODL. While gender is not the independent variable each time, this does not mean that there are no gender-specific issues any more--only that they need to be examined and answered in a particular context. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India