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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 July 2020

Aminudin Zuhairi, Amy Ching Tsu Hsueh and I-Chin Nonie Chiang

This research attempts to reveal ways of addressing challenges in open universities related to empowering lifelong learning; establishing policies and strategies in dropouts…

3158

Abstract

Purpose

This research attempts to reveal ways of addressing challenges in open universities related to empowering lifelong learning; establishing policies and strategies in dropouts, student portfolio and support services for students with special needs; and implementing online instructional design and strategies. Two institutions were investigated, namely National Open University (NOU) Taiwan and Universitas Terbuka (UT) Indonesia, both founded in the 1980s to serve lifelong learners with diverse backgrounds and needs. This study was aimed at understanding good practices and challenges for improvement for the two open universities in those areas being investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was qualitative using document analysis along with focus group discussions and interviews with administrators, academic staff, students and alumni to collect data for analysis.

Findings

Lifelong learning is the necessity of individual in societies for continuing professional development through enabling access to quality university education. Open universities have been tasked to cater for lifelong learners using non-traditional approaches, new technology and adapting to online learning and teaching in digital age. This research was exploratory, and the findings were expected to improve understanding of lifelong learning in open universities, particularly in NOU and UT.

Practical implications

Findings of this research are relevant to open universities to enhance its missions and define its possible new roles to serve lifelong learners.

Originality/value

This research reveals the roles of open universities in lifelong learning and enhances understanding of open universities that have a wide range of responsibilities in offering programs and courses to accommodate lifelong learners.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Open Access
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 terms of…

29349

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

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2023

Yuni Tri Hewindati, Sri Kurniati Handayani, Aminudin Zuhairi and Raflen Aril Gerungan

This article presented the results of studies that examined the appropriateness of the content, readability of printed learning materials and the effectiveness of external…

Abstract

Purpose

This article presented the results of studies that examined the appropriateness of the content, readability of printed learning materials and the effectiveness of external resources in ecology course offered at Universitas Terbuka. To integrate external resources, links to their websites were provided in the printed materials.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth interview with a content expert was employed to review the course content, while digital and printed learning materials were reviewed for readability and to determine the usefulness of the external resources. A total of 47 students completed surveys and a focus group discussion that included in-depth interviews were conducted with 21 selected students.

Findings

The results revealed that the content of ecology course was conceptually valid. However, two key aspects needed to be emphasized, including the application of ecology phenomena for further development of the science and its applications in real-life situations. Regarding readability, students stated that the course materials were easily comprehended. In terms of the benefit, 79% of the students found the external resources interesting and helpful in understanding the learning materials.

Practical implications

Printed learning materials were crucial for students, specifically those residing in remote areas. Therefore, the institution should ensure that the materials were high-quality, easy to comprehend and enriched with up-to-date content/materials through scannable links to external resources.

Originality/value

The value added to the findings of this study was that the provision of links to external resources within printed learning materials improves students' understanding of the course content.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 December 2019

Aminudin Zuhairi, Navaratnasamy Karthikeyan and Saman Thushara Priyadarshana

The purpose of this paper is to reveal how support services for open and distance students are designed, developed and implemented to ensure successful learning to take place…

12677

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal how support services for open and distance students are designed, developed and implemented to ensure successful learning to take place, with specific references to the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and Universitas Terbuka (UT) Indonesia. Success in distance learning is one major challenge for open universities to respond to expectations of students and stakeholders. This study focuses on the strategies of student support services in OUSL and UT, investigating related factors including instructional design and development, learning engagement and motivation, policy and strategy in reducing dropouts, use of OER/MOOCs, and quality assurance.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was employed involving analyses of documents; interviews and focus group discussion with senior administrators, academic staff, students; and on-site observation in locations of teaching and learning.

Findings

This research is exploratory in nature. Findings of the study are expected to improve our understanding of student support in distance learning, in which analysis is based on good practices, challenges and rooms for improvement of both OUSL and UT.

Practical implications

Findings of this study reveal practices and lessons learnt that may be useful as reference to open universities, taking into considerations the fact that each open university has been established to address specific challenges in its own unique circumstances.

Originality/value

This research may be adopted as baseline framework for analysis of student support for open universities. Further in-depth study is needed to understand how various aspects of student support contribute to success in open and distance learning.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Yuni Tri Hewindati and Aminudin Zuhairi

Conducting biological science practicum at UT involves a series of activities, ranging from registration, implementation, practicum learning support, and evaluation of student…

1839

Abstract

Conducting biological science practicum at UT involves a series of activities, ranging from registration, implementation, practicum learning support, and evaluation of student learning. Some important factors to consider in conducting science practicum at a distance include location, student conditions, and availability of the needed resources. UT science practicum involves the use of resources of partner universities, so the practicum is conducted during the semester break of the partner institution. In order to be financially viable, practicum is conducted when there are a minimum of 8 participating students, otherwise students will have to meet the minimum quota of the practicum cost.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1858-3431

Keywords

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