March – 2013

A Multimedia Approach to ODL for Agricultural Training in Cambodia

Helena Grunfeld
Victoria University, Australia

Maria Lee Hoon Ng
International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Singapore


Open distance learning (ODL) has long been an important option for formal and non-formal education (NFE) in most developed and developing countries, but less so in post-conflict countries, including Cambodia. However, in Cambodia there is now greater awareness that ODL can complement traditional face-to-face educational approaches, particularly as there is a shortage of teachers in the country. Thus, understanding how ODL can achieve learning and other objectives has important implications for both formal education and NFE. If it can be found to be effective, ODL has the potential of reaching a large number of people at comparatively lower average costs. This paper reports on a project where the same content was taught to farmers in Cambodia via traditional face-to-face and via ODL and compares outcomes between the different training methods. Exploring the extent to which farmers had adopted new farm practices taught in the course, our results indicate that the outcomes did not vary considerably between those trained using the different approaches.

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