ICT-Based Outreach Programs: AIISH Model

ICT-Based Outreach Programs: AIISH Model

Ajish K. Abraham (All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1880-8.ch015
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To meet the increased demand of speech and hearing professionals in the rural areas of the country, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru started a diploma level program through virtual class rooms connecting AIISH, Mysuru to 11 centres geographically distributed across the country. Being a clinical program, conventional distance learning models were not feasible. The feasible solution was to implement virtual class rooms in these 11 centres where the classes conducted by the experienced faculty at AIISH, Mysuru will be delivered live. The efficacy of the program was analyzed through a survey among the students, which showed positive results. The technology implemented is robust considering its successful operation for the past eight years and hence can be considered as a model for outreach programs with similar objectives. This chapter describes the technological aspects of this model, its implementation and the key factors leading to its success.
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Ict Options

Several technology options were considered in the year 2006, for the AIISH outreach programs. The models considered are analyzed below. The following options were considered and their pros and cons were analysed.

Web - Based Model

This is an asynchronous model in which the facility for live two way interaction is not provided. In this model, the lectures will be webcasted as per a specific schedule. The learner can login to the webcast and listen to the lecture. The lecturer will not be viewing the learner and thus there is no scope for one to one interaction in real time. Interaction with the lecturer is through e-mail, discussion forums or through scheduled online interaction using chat facilities (Deshpande, 2005). Having the advantages of flexibility, convenience and the ability to reach unlimited learners simultaneously, the system requires higher bandwidth for viewing the webcast without interruption. Moreover, active participation of the learner is ruled out.

VSAT Based Model

This is a synchronous model which tries to replicate a conventional class room. The lecture originates from a central station equipped as a studio and is broadcasted to remote classrooms using a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) network. A student from any of the remote classroom can raise the hand, whenever he wants to interact with the lecture. The technician in each of these remote classrooms clicks an icon at the control desktop provided in the remote classroom which will pop up on the lecturer's monitor Kirthivasan, Baru & Iyer, (2004). When the lecturer allows, the question from the remote centre is broadcast to the central station as well as to other remote centres. This model provides the reach and reliability of service as well as supports live interaction. The limitations are its high cost, complex infrastructure, requirement of skilled manpower at central and remote centres and the constraint on the participant to travel to a remote centre (Kirtivasan & Iyer, 2004).

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