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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Khalida Nasreen and Muhammad Tanveer Afzal

The purpose of the study is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in higher education regarding distance learning system in Pakistan.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in higher education regarding distance learning system in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method research design was used in this study. The population of the study was all the previous students of research work and all the teachers of these students working at MPhil and PhD level in AIOU in Pakistan. Stratified random sampling technique was used in this study. This study used the questionnaire and interview technique to collect data. Data of questionnaire was in numbers and data of interview was narrative. So it was the need of the study that a mixed-method approach, i.e. both quantitative and qualitative techniques should be used in this study.

Findings

The findings of the study show that AIOU has also strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in higher education related to distance education like all the formal and distance universities of Pakistan and World. This study reflected that AIOU is a great blessing for those who cannot acquire their education regularly because of financial/family problems or they are job holders. But this study also described that at higher level students are facing a lot of problems especially there is a delay in research process and provision of no scholarships to students. The teachers have a low salary package than the other public universities of Pakistan and a lot of responsibilities to attend meetings, seminars, conferences and workshops. So they have less time for research work. And AIOU provides them fewer opportunities to go abroad for further studies or to attend conferences/seminars. This study recommended that there should be adopted such policies in AIOU that students could get their study materials, assignments duration, workshops schedule and degrees in time, the teachers of the concerned departments should allow to take more in numbers the students under their supervision, the pay package for the teachers working at MPhil and PhD level should be raised and the opportunities for the faculty members to go.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to analyze the higher education system especially the distance learning system in Pakistan.

Practical implications

This study has indicated the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in higher education which the AIOU is facing recently and the policymakers can develop plans/strategies to make better the distance learning system especially at higher level in Pakistan. This study can be helpful for the stakeholders who are interested in distance learning system. This study was conducted at higher level in the distance learning system but it can open the ways for the other researchers to conduct research in other disciplines related to distance education, i.e. at matric level, F.A/F.SC, B.Sc programs, Master level and M.Sc programs at AIOU.

Social implications

Through this study, it can be acknowledged how the AIOU is providing the opportunity of education to a large number of people in the society who cannot study regularly in the formal institutions especially those who are job holders, some financial problems and women who have some family problems and above one million people are benefitting from AIOU in Pakistan and world.

Originality/value

This study is original in this respect because the data has been collected from the participants, i.e. students and teachers of AIOU. And it has also great value because this is the first SWOT analysis which has been conducted in this university to examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing AIOU at present time. This study can also become a base for the stakeholders', i.e. policymakers, administration and higher education depart. of Pakistan in developing strategies to improve and amend the distance learning system of Pakistan especially at higher level in AIOU.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2020

Aminudin Zuhairi, Maria Rowena Del Rosario Raymundo and Kamran Mir

Quality assurance (QA) in open and distance learning (ODL) has always become universal concerns of stakeholders. The quality of ODL has been confronted with challenges in…

Abstract

Purpose

Quality assurance (QA) in open and distance learning (ODL) has always become universal concerns of stakeholders. The quality of ODL has been confronted with challenges in terms of the diversity of inputs, processes, the complex supply chain management of ODL and recent paradigm shift into online learning. Assuring the quality of ODL are daunting tasks at individual, institution and system levels. Completed before the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, this study aims to better understand the implementation of QA system in three Asian open universities (OUs), namely University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), Universitas Terbuka (UT), Indonesia and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative method was employed involving analysis of documents of the three Asian OUs and focus group discussions and interviews with management and staff. Data collected were then analyzed to draw conclusions and possible recommendations.

Findings

Findings of this study presented good practices, challenges and rooms for improvement of the QA system in the three Asian OUs. Focusing on students and stakeholders in their QA effort, this study has revealed that quality begins with inner self and is multidimensional. QA is principally viewed as continuous improvement, as mechanism and assessment and as effort at exceeding expectations of students and stakeholders. The recent challenge for QA is to embrace a delicate process of ODL transformation into online digital system. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has further implications and challenged QA implementation in ODL in higher education into the next level of complexity.

Practical implications

This study revealed the diversities in how OUs met the societal needs of their respective stakeholders and addressed the challenges ahead for QA in ODL.

Originality/value

These findings were expected to enhance the understanding of the theory and practice of QA in ODL and to contribute to quality improvement of ODL programs.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

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Abstract

Subject area

Management sciences (organizational behavior).

Study level/applicability

The case is suitable for MBA students, employees of any organization, human resource practitioners, organization administrators, human resource directors and senior line management.

Case overview

The study deals with unethical or “haraam” practices at the workplace. It is based on the observation of the researchers. The business organization was selected and the behavior of employees was observed for two months. An interesting behavior of an employee was observed and the change in behavior was followed. The study describes the various factors influencing the behavior and performance of the employee and emphasis is made on the “haraam” practices of drinking alcohol and unacceptable behavior. The focus is on the performance of the employee. Major events and changes were elaborated to deduce the descriptive cause and effect results based on observation. It was found that behavior as well as performance was reduced due to “haraam” practices, which can be a lesson for other employees to follow as well as for managers to devise strategies in order to improve the most important resource of their organization, i.e. the human resource.

Expected learning outcomes

As this case was designed for an executive education programme, no detail regarding where it fitted into the curriculum is applicable as would be the case with cases designed for students. The case is intended to develop skills in students to creatively approach a common and wide spread problem and to think about the solution in an innovative way. The overall purpose of the case is to engage human resource practitioners (students) in creatively constructing innovative solutions to address the problem of compulsive drinking in the organizational environment.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available, please consult your librarian for access.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 2 no. 8
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2017

Muhammad Bakhsh, Amjad Mahmood and Nazir A. Sangi

Mobile learning is a unique form of learning which uses the distinct features of mobile devices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the present state of student…

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile learning is a unique form of learning which uses the distinct features of mobile devices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the present state of student and faculty perception towards m-learning at open and distance educational institutes in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a conceptual model based on TAM, which explains factors influencing student and faculty perception towards m-learning acceptance. M-learning acceptance mainly depends on personal attitude, so this study focusses on individual context. Primary data from students and faculty including tutors (n=612, students =448, faculty/tutors=162) was collected through a properly designed questionnaire by using purposive convenient sampling technique during Autumn 2015 semester. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the collected data.

Findings

The results indicate that student and faculty skill readiness and self-efficacy influence perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness, where these two factors along with prior experience positively influence behavioural intension (BI) to accept mobile learning. Furthermore study results specifically provide factors which positively influence BI either directly or indirectly.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to AIOU.

Originality/value

The study specifically provides factors which influence BI either directly or indirectly.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Syed Saad Ahmed, Essa Khan, Muhammad Faisal and Sara Khan

The birth of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has instantly drawn the attention of scholars, academicians and learners. Millions of participants are learning through…

Abstract

Purpose

The birth of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has instantly drawn the attention of scholars, academicians and learners. Millions of participants are learning through this freely accessible model of education. The purpose of this paper is to review the development of MOOCs, its characteristics and to explore its potential and challenges in Pakistan particularly.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected through interviews and focus group, and the respondents had completed at least one MOOC offering. This research used content and thematic analysis with the triangulation of methods and sources.

Findings

The finding of this study reflects that MOOCs are inspiring great number of learners in Pakistan despite of factors impeding the surge of e-learning. MOOCs in regional languages with better electricity and internet connectivity could be very useful for the rural areas’ people but it requires extra ordinary interest from government and academicians.

Research limitations/implications

This is an exploratory qualitative study highlighting the potential and challenges of MOOCs from the perspective of faculty and students. However, it does not incorporate the views of university officials. Similar study could consider university officials and university owner as respondents. In addition, future studies could also investigate the factors inhibiting completion of MOOCs.

Originality/value

Despite of the sharp rise of published literature on MOOCs, there is less contribution from the developing countries. This research enables us to develop better understanding of the potential and challenges of MOOCs in the social context of Pakistan.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Chaudhry Muhammad Nadeem Faisal, Daniel Fernandez-Lanvin, Javier De Andrés and Martin Gonzalez-Rodriguez

This study examines the effect of design quality (i.e. appearance, navigation, information and interactivity) on cognitive and affective involvement leading to continued…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the effect of design quality (i.e. appearance, navigation, information and interactivity) on cognitive and affective involvement leading to continued intention to use the online learning application.

Design/methodology/approach

We assume that design quality potentially contributes to enhance the individual's involvement and excitement. An experimental prototype is developed for collecting data used to verify and validate the proposed research model and hypotheses. A partial-least-squares approach is used to analyze the data collected from the participants (n = 662).

Findings

Communication, aesthetic and information quality revealed to be strong determinants of both cognitive and affective involvement. However, font quality and user control positively influence cognitive involvement, while navigation quality and responsiveness were observed as significant indicators of affective involvement. Lastly, cognitive and affective involvement equally contribute to determining the continued intention to use.

Research limitations/implications

This study will draw the attention of designers and practitioners towards the perception of users for providing appropriate and engaging learning resources.

Originality/value

Prevalent research in the online context is focused primarily on cognitive and utilization behavior. However, these works overlook the implication of design quality on cognitive and affective involvement.

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Muhammad Arif, Kanwal Ameen and Muhammad Rafiq

Universities across the globe are spending an increasing amount of their budgets to offer web-based services to cater information need especially off-campus students…

Abstract

Purpose

Universities across the globe are spending an increasing amount of their budgets to offer web-based services to cater information need especially off-campus students. However, the success of web-based services depends on how well the target users are satisfied with the use of the web services. The purpose of this paper is to assess students’ satisfaction with the use of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) web-based services.

Design/methodology/approach

Pilot tested questionnaire-based survey was administered to collect data from a sample of 388; selected through systematic sampling technique from the study’s population consisted of master level students belonged to 11 different academic departments of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the AIOU from all over Pakistan.

Findings

Based on 318 useful questionnaires, response rate 82 percent, the results show that majority of the students were satisfied with the use of at the AIOU web-based services except for online mailing books tracking system, library web OPAC and web radio service. However, t-test analysis shows that no difference was found in the opinion of male and female respondents in terms of their satisfaction with the use of the web services. ANOVA results indicate that there was no significant difference depicted in satisfaction with the use of the web services among the respondents enrolled in different disciplines of the faculty. Similarly, no significant difference was found among different age groups. Moreover, the respondents belonging to all five provinces; Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and Federal Capital territory showed the same level of satisfaction with the use of the services. The results of regression analysis (R2=0.226) denote that both perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use significantly predicted, 22.6 percent, in students’ satisfaction with the use the web services.

Practical implications

The study provides valuable recommendations which may be helpful for web administration of the university to improve AIOU web-based services.

Originality/value

To the best knowledge, this is the first study conducted to investigate the satisfaction with the use of the university web-based services in distance education’s perspective of Pakistan.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Muhammad Arif, Kanwal Ameen and Muhammad Rafiq

The delivery of information services in higher education is increasingly relying on Web-based systems. The low adoption and underutilization of information systems have…

Abstract

Purpose

The delivery of information services in higher education is increasingly relying on Web-based systems. The low adoption and underutilization of information systems have been major problems for developing countries such as Pakistan in terms of realizing their full benefits. This study aims to investigate factors affecting student use of Allama Iqbal Open University’s (AIOU) Web-based services by using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) from the perspective of Pakistani distance education.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has adopted quantitative research design with the UTAUT model as a theoretical framework. A self-completion structured questionnaire-based survey has been administered to 388 master’s level students, selected through systematic sampling from the target population. The response rate was 82 per cent (318). All statistical tests have been performed using IBM SPSS (version 20.0) and Process macro for SPSS.

Findings

Findings of the model’s hypotheses reveal that performance expectancy, effort expectancy and social influence are significant predictors of student behavioural intention to use AIOU Web-based services, whereas actual student use is dependent on facilitating conditions and student behavioural intention to use. The impact of moderating variables with respect to age, gender and experience did not influence the actual use of the Web services. However, the research model significantly measured (62.1 per cent) the actual use of AIOU Web-based services by the students.

Research limitations/implications

This study is delimited to the UTAUT model to investigate the phenomena. Besides this, the context of the study is the voluntary instead of mandatory usage of Web services. A study conducted in mandatory settings, in which students are bound to use Web services, may have different results.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to apply the UTAUT model to investigate the factors affecting student use of Web-based services from the perspective of distance education and the findings prove strong support for the model.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Muhammad Aslam Bhatti and Muhammad Arif

To reiterate and update previous work in this area in the light of intervening developments in educational technology; and in particular to demonstrate the value of…

Abstract

Purpose

To reiterate and update previous work in this area in the light of intervening developments in educational technology; and in particular to demonstrate the value of distance education for those sections of Pakistani society who are not well served by conventional educational methods. Those in need of workplace learning and similar forms of educational outreach are an important subset of this population.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a historical account of distance learning in LIS education in Pakistan, with particular reference to the role of the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), and also some conclusions and pointers for the future drawing on developments from 1999 to date.

Findings

Distance education has a unique role to play in Pakistan, where high university drop‐out rates in conventional Higher Education, the need for outreach to the remote, rural poor, and the social barriers placed between women and participation in traditional education are notable features of social and educational life.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents some of the challenges to be faced by practitioner researchers in helping further understanding of how distance learning and education can be offered successfully to a variety of sections of Pakistani society, including those with a need for vocational training in general and for continuing professional development in the workplace in particular.

Practical implications

The example chosen of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) gives a practical context to the paper's assertions about the value and potential of distance education in the developing world.

Originality/value

The paper gives some insight into how ‘developed’ world models of distance education, delivered via the new media, might offer the way forward to existing distance education activities in the developing world.

Details

Library Review, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Khalid Mahmood

Describes the library and information science education through the distance teaching system offered by Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan. The only open university…

Abstract

Describes the library and information science education through the distance teaching system offered by Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan. The only open university in the country has offered Certificate and Bachelor’s programmes in the subject since 1988 and is planning to offer Master’s and some other advanced programmes in the future. The paper presents a brief history of the University and the establishment of the Department of Library and Information Sciences. Syllabi and objectives of various LIS courses are provided. The system of education, including admissions, study materials, regional services, tutors, study centres, assignments and examination is also described. Enrolment data up to spring 1996 are analyzed (by area and gender). Opinions of senior library professionals in the country about these LIS courses are also cited.

Details

Library Review, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

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