The Directorate of Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) was established as a synergy among the major stakeholders in order to achieve the mission and vision of the University’s distance learning programmes. The Directorate is accountable for all programme management and delivery processes in providing all the necessary learner support services.
The Directorate was established to perform the following functions, among others:
- Promote, plan, direct and coordinate the provision of distance learning.
- Liaise with the Departments, Centres and Schools in the development of appropriate programmes.
- Facilitate the recruitment and training of full-time and part-time staff required for course development, production and implementation.
- Manage and oversee the development and delivery of distance education through the study centres which are operational centres for students’ registration, advisement, administration of residential session and other forms of face-to-face contact.
- Facilitate the distribution of study materials and administer marking assignments to ensure two-way communication between students and their tutors.
Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) is already implementing an Academic Master Plan that incorporates ODeL courses to make education accessible to people who have no chance of attending classes on a full time basis. Already over 50 members of staff have been trained on the writing of training manuals and have been employing these skills to draft modules. Plans for a refresher write shop are underway.
The University has also introduced e-learning resources for its full time students to access the reading content. Notes, course outlines and assignments can be uploaded and downloaded from anywhere. Students and lecturers can also interact using tools and hangout technologies like Skype, Chats and Google +.