Brief History of CODL

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Establishment of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning followed on the recommendations of a seminar of the Senate members of the University of Nairobi held at Abadare Country Club from 27th to 30th March 2003. This seminar was organized to discuss the Senate’s Subcommittee Report on Plan of Action on Distance Learning at the University of Nairobi which had been prepared by Prof.P.M. Siagga and presented to Senate during its 149th meeting held on 4th April 2002.The seminar was facilitated by two distance educators namely Mr. Jeckoniah O. Odumbe from the University of Swaziland and Mrs. Judy K. Kamau from the University of Botswana both of whom were staff members of the University of Nairobi on sabbatical leave.

The seminar endorsed the Strategic objectives and Strategies of the Report and resolved that the University should create a School of Open and Distance Learning to implement the provision and use of distance education in the University of Nairobi.  In pursuance of this resolution the University appointed a Coordinator, Mr. Jeckoniah O. Odumbe on 14th December 2003 to develop the policy document for the establishment of the Centre for Open and Distance Learning in the University of Nairobi. Using the objectives and strategies of the report and further consultation with stakeholders a policy document was developed and approved by Senate in August 2005. The strategic objectives of the Centre were:


  • To increase access to university education.
  • To reduce the amount of teaching workload on lecturers.
  • To collaborate with other experts within and outside Kenya to offer innovative programmes.
  • To offer courses that are market driven and relevant to national development priorities.
  • To achieve high quality and consistency in course programmes.
  • To stimulate innovation and flexibility in the content and methods of delivery for quality higher education in Kenya.


The Centre structure approved for managing the operations, practice and development of open and distance learning and education in the University of Nairobi provided for five divisions for the tasks that were to be undertaken by the Centre in fulfilling its mandate. These were as follows:

  • Print Materials Development Division,
  • Audio and Visual Materials Development Division,
  • E-Learning  Materials Development Division,
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Assessment Division and
  • Learner Support Services and Programmes Coordination Division.


Currently  the Centre objectives have been aligned to the current university strategic objectives  and they read as follows:

  • To enhance teaching and learning using open and  distance learning modes,
  • To contribute to scientific and technological innovation in open and distance learning,
  • To manage the centre efficiently and effectively,
  • To enhance competitiveness of CODL among other providers of higher education by distance modes,
  • To develop open and distance learning academic programmes and
  • To monitor, evaluate and provide consultancy in open and distance education.

These objectives are being addressed through collaboration with internal academic Faculties, Schools and Institutes of the university whose details are available under programmes of the Centre within this Centre website.




Mr. Jeckoniah Odumbe 2005 - todate




  • Launching of 5 Flagship programmes of vision 2030 namely:
  • Capacity building by training tutors on material development in ODEL
  • Breakthrough in developing materials in Pharmacy Medicine Dental And Nursing
  • Material development into e-format; B.Com, B.A Arts, B. Ed Science, B. Ed Arts
  •           -M.A in PP&M, Master of Education,
  •           - Master of Admin and Planning,
  •           -Master of Educational Foundations,
  •           -Master of Distance Education and
  •           - Bachelor in ICT




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