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Evaluation of an undergraduate physics programme of Indira Gandhi National Open University: A case study

  • Arundhati Mishra BJB College, Bhubaneswar
  • - Vijayshri IGNOU
  • Suresh Garg Centre for Learning and Teaching, National University of Lesotho
Keywords: Physics, open learning, science education


The undergraduate science programme was launched at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in 1991-92 with an enrolment of 1,210 students. The programme was well received, and enrolments increased over the years. However, the success rates have not kept pace with enrolment. In this paper, the authors report the results of an evaluation of the undergraduate Physics programme at IGNOU. The evaluation, the first of its type for this programme, adapted the major tenets of the CIPP model. The findings are based on the responses from a randomly chosen sample of 509 learners across India. The methods employed for the study include records, document, and database analysis, surveys, and case studies. Although the University has enhanced access to higher science education, the attrition rate is high (73%), and the success rate is low. The authors recommend that the University review and reorient its strategies for providing good quality, learner-centred higher education in science subjects. The programme should address the concerns of the learners about the effectiveness of the student support systems, the difficulty level, and the learner-friendliness of study materials with the goal of achieving long-term sustainability while maintaining parity with the conventional system. The need for improving the presentation of the courses and simplifying the mathematical details is emphasised.

Author Biography

Arundhati Mishra, BJB College, Bhubaneswar
Arundhati Mishra completed Masters of Science (M.Sc.) and M.Phil. from University of Delhi in 1981 and 1982 respectively with specialization in the area of Nuclear Reactors. She has been teaching physics at the under graduate and post graduate level in Government Colleges in the State of Orissa (India) for over 25 years. She has been awarded Ph.D in physics by Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) in 2009. Her current research areas include innovative methods of teaching physics particularly creative laboratory experiments both in the conventional as well as ODL mode. At present she is working as a Senior Lecturer in B.J.B College, Orissa. E-mail id:
How to Cite
Mishra, A., Vijayshri, -, & Garg, S. (2009). Evaluation of an undergraduate physics programme of Indira Gandhi National Open University: A case study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(6), 106-123.
Research Articles