Technology Enabled Delivery of Medical Programmes through ODL : A Case of Training Medical Doctors in Geriatric Medicine


  • Ruchika Kuba Indira Gandhi National Open University



geriatric medicine, open and distance learning, online classes, formative assessments


COVID-19 provided an opportunity to experiment with alternative delivery mechanisms for a medical education programme offered through open and distance learning with face-to-face training as an essential component of the programme. Non-availability of hard copies of the course material (92%) and lack of communication from the university (32%) as well as training centres (42%) were some of the challenges faced by students of the Geriatric Medicine programme of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) during the COVID pandemic. Around 90% were willing to attend online classes and 65% to 77% were willing to present cases online for discussion. A programme-specific web portal containing all resource material and information was visited by 85% of students. Most students attended the online classes and 68% attempted the formative assessments based on the online classes. Online classes were recorded and uploaded and were found useful by 90% of students. The experiment successfully demonstrated the feasibility and acceptance of delivering practical skills using online technological tools. Further integrating technology to complement some of the face-to-face component could be used as a permanent and effective delivery strategy, which could also reduce resource requirements.

Author Biography

Ruchika Kuba, Indira Gandhi National Open University

Ruchika Kuba, MBBS, MD in Preventive and Social Medicine, is a Professor in the School of Health Sciences, IGNOU. Ruchika coordinated the planning development and implementation of many programmes for doctors, dentists and other health functionaries in the areas of health offered through open and distance learning mode. The programmes cover subjects of public health importance like geriatrics, maternal and child health, medical education, waste management, dentistry, patient safety, etc. She initiated and coordinated many national and international projects, training programmes conferences and  workshops. Member of Expert Panel for syllabus of MD Geriatric Medicine by MCI. She is also a member of the Standing Committee of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India for examining “The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2007”, a PhD examiner for the University of Delhi and an expert faculty examiner and member of the Expert Review Group for various courses offered by other institutions, such as the Certificate and Post Graduate Certificate of Gerontology courses developed by National Institute of Social Defence, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI, and the Post Graduate Diploma in Health and Social Gerontology course at the Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi. Ruchika has published articles in books and journals, presented papers and chaired sessions in geriatric conferences. Email:



How to Cite

Kuba, R. (2021). Technology Enabled Delivery of Medical Programmes through ODL : A Case of Training Medical Doctors in Geriatric Medicine. Journal of Learning for Development, 8(2), 298–311.



Research Articles
Received 2020-12-16
Accepted 2021-05-20
Published 2021-07-19