Academic Counselling for ODL Learners (Cycle 3)

Course Description

In the open and distance learning system, the academic counselling sessions are very important. The sessions are meant for Informing, Advising and Counselling. The academic counselling can cover both academic and non-academic components at the various stages like at pre-entry, during entry to the programme, during the course of study, at the time of examination and post-study. 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. Their role in handling face-to-face and online academic counselling sessions at the study centre is very important. The role of an academic counsellor is multifarious and requires both tutoring and counselling. For maintaining quality in academic counselling, the accumulation of multi-dimensional skills, attributes and information is essential on the part of the counsellor in ODL. Among these, possessing information at various levels about ODL system is an enabling factor to effectively support isolated distance learner.

Teachers/Students/Educational Leaders/ODL Practitioners who want to learn more about the Academic Counselling in ODL will find this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Academic Counselling for ODL Learners (AC4ODL), informative and engaging. Using up-to-date learning design and simple, accessible technology, the course runs on an easy-to-use learning platform available via the Internet. The course is designed for Teachers and ODL Practitioners who want to build on their knowledge and practice in teaching and learning. It will run over four weeks and requires approximately three to five hours of time each week. Designed to accommodate learners’ busy schedules, the course offers flexibility with options for learning the content. You will learn from readings, videos, discussions with other participants and instructors, meaningful exercises, and quizzes. Certification is available for those who wish to complete all required exercises and quizzes.

Course Contents

Week One: 
Module I: Concepts of ODL, Changing Nature of ODL
Module II: 21st Century ODL Learners

Week Two:
Module III: Learning Skills
Module IV: Characteristics of Self Learning Materials (SLM)

Week Three:
Module V: Academic Counsellor and Counselling in Distance Education
Module VI: Support for PWD Learners

Week Four:
Module: VII: Technology in Distance Education
Module: VIII: Assessment in Distance Education

Target audience

Academic Counselling for ODL Learners is designed for Teachers and ODL Practitioners in diverse contexts. You will benefit from this course if you are teaching face-to-face or in a distance/ online environment. Anyone interested in improving teaching and learning would enjoy participating in this MOOC.

Outcomes of this Course

Participants will be able to

  • define the concept of ODL and discuss the development of Distance Education (DE) at national and international level.
  • explain the nature, characteristics, and importance of Self-Learning Materials in Distance Education.
  • discuss importance of learner support in distance education and differentiate between counselling and tutoring.
  • organize student support using various modes (face-to-face, online, using audio-visual media, computer etc.).
  • conduct academic counselling sessions and develop effective learning skills.
  • write tutor comments on the assignment responses to enhance learning. 
  • organize support for differently abled learners.
  • use appropriate technology for learner support and create, use OER for academic counselling.


Two levels of certification are available based on your level of participation and completion of tasks/activities:

  • Certificate of Participation: requires participation in at least 3 discussion forums and completion of each quiz with 50%.
  • Certificate of Completion: requires 60% in each quiz, participation in at least 3 discussion forums.