Abstract: At a time, when access and equity are increasingly being seen as the main reference points of ODL systems across world, and when the need for measurable vocational and professional education is becoming more and more pertinent, studying liberal arts through ODL can also offer extensive potential as a form of enriched learning experience. Despite various pitfalls and loopholes, the ODL system may be considered an apparatus of recovery of valuable educative experiences. Of course, this view may be flawed, but it stems from the rapid pace of transformations of the contemporary society, which has now become burdened with the need to integrate with the forces of ‘globalization’. For those concerned with linking ‘development’ with ‘education’, ODL comes as a powerful answer to the question of upgrading the teaching-learning processes in higher education for high-quality development of an individual. However, the practical criteria for judging an ODL programme thus can be related to the learning outcomes that it effects. In today’s competitive world, ‘employability’ is the main priority of higher education, and subsequently, technical and vocational education have gained a better competitive edge, which is because the measurement of individual accomplishment is possible in such education. However, the same may not be the case with a less tangible discipline like the liberal arts—or ‘Eng. Lit.’ to be more specific. In many countries, humanities departments are dying away because of their failure to cope with the tremendous pressure to submit to the market-forces. This paper shall try to assess how the teachers/educators of a discipline like Eng. Lit. often face a dilemma of measuring the learning outcome—whether their discipline helps the learners to comprehend both skills training and liberal learning. This paper shall further try to address how the ODL contours of literary studies can provide a sustainable learning environment in which the learners can garner their ability to appreciate cultural subtlety, literary nuances or analytical balance, which are essential indicators necessary for a healthy living in an integrated and cultured society.
Key Words: Literary Studies, Eng. Lit., Learning Outcome, Social Integration