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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…

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8070

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

Hayley J. Davis

Surveys and evaluates the existing literature on open and distance learning, with particular emphasis on the management development field. Aspects of open learning

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1569

Abstract

Surveys and evaluates the existing literature on open and distance learning, with particular emphasis on the management development field. Aspects of open learning terminology are clarified by reference to previous literature and by a diagrammatic synthesis of the different terms and concepts. Explores and summarizes in diagrammatic format the relationship of open learning and management development. A discussion of the existing models and frameworks supports the findings that there is a gap in the literature between what is happening in the market and what is represented in the literature. Argues in conclusion that there is a need for a market‐driven multiple stakeholders model of open learning in management development which would help to explain the interactions of the various different and competing actors. Such a model would help to explain the questions over the future direction of open learning in management development and would go some way to explaining more fully the phenomenon of open learning which is still not fully understood because of its continually developing nature.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1986

The growth of open and distance learning initiatives has arisen from the wish of employers to train staff with least absence from work, the improvement of facilities to…

Abstract

The growth of open and distance learning initiatives has arisen from the wish of employers to train staff with least absence from work, the improvement of facilities to meet the needs of students studying in their own time and the desire of some teachers to promote learning in areas which would not attract sufficient students for traditional methods. It has also been encouraged by the upgrading of more conventional correspondence courses and pressure from those within training and education establishments who see open and distance learning as a way of promoting their own ideas on how people might be helped to learn. The pros and cons of open and distance learning are discussed and definitions provided. Open learning versus traditional approaches are considered. Evaluation of open learning is discussed and its future direction considered.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Deepak Paliwal

Education is the most important tool for the development of different types of faculties in human beings. It plays an important role in the overall development of the…

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1038

Abstract

Purpose

Education is the most important tool for the development of different types of faculties in human beings. It plays an important role in the overall development of the human beings, and it is generally considered as a catalyst of social change. Education always remains a territory of significance and worry for the policymakers, social researchers and the academicians. In the complex society like India, which is multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and pervaded with incalculable issues, the issues of ignorance are a major test in transit of its advancement. In this direction, open and distance learning (ODL) plays an important role in providing quality education to the learners who are unable to be a part of the formal system of education. Open and distance learning serves as a source of education for the marginalized and disadvantaged sections of the society. Open and distance learning goes for the spread of learning and securing information through distance mode including the utilization of any correspondence innovation to give chances to advanced education. Regardless of caste, creed and religion, it provides uniform education to different sections of the society. The purpose of this paper is to assess the attitude and satisfaction level of the learners towards open and distance learning.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study, explorative research methodology has been used, and analysis has been done on the basis of data extracted from the primary and secondary sources of information. The respondents were personally interviewed through structured interviewed schedule for the collection of primary data. In fact, the interview is an act of verbal communication for the purpose of eliciting information. In addition to intensive field work, secondary sources like records, manuscripts, survey reports and many other related studies and their findings have been used as the source of secondary information collected through respective sources.

Findings

ODL has been successful in realizing its objective, reaching to the unreached by spreading education in the remote and far-flung areas through its study centers located in various locations. However, there is more need of creating awareness among the people in the far-flung areas by opening more study centers as per the need and geographical location of the area. In the present era of science, technology and innovation, no major shift has been seen among the parents towards the girl child: and providing education to the girl child is not the top priority in the villages, marriage gets the first preference instead of education. However, girls are coming forward to continue their education but the problem is that of money as in the case of boy respondents. So there is a need to review the fee structure of the ODL program as per the economic conditions of the student’s family, and some provisions should be made, especially for the girl students, to motivate them to come forward to continue their education, as it will spread message among other girls who did not complete their schooling.

Social implications

Through this paper, it could be realized that ODL provides opportunities to those who have no access to normal schooling but want to continue their education to compete in the changing world. ODL plays an important role in the hilly regions where most of the children left or dropped out their studies, especially the girls students, due to various reasons: it may be the long distance of the school from home or poor economic condition of the family. ODL emerged as a tool in solving all the problems and reaching the unreached through its learner-friendly approach.

Originality/value

Open and distance learning gives uniform stage to the individuals who need to upgrade their education and also skill development. This paper finds out that majority of the learners were satisfied with the performance of the open schooling. A positive attitude towards open schooling was found among the learners. They were of the view that because of open schooling, they gained self-confidence and better status in the society. They were of the opinion that they were no longer considered as a loser and they were in a position to get something new, which may be helpful for them and their family.

Details

Asian Association of Open Universities Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2414-6994

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2010

Judy C. Henning

The purpose of this paper is to share information on the management of open distance libraries with special reference to technology applications. It seeks to provide…

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1463

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share information on the management of open distance libraries with special reference to technology applications. It seeks to provide information on the changing roles of academic libraries with specific reference to the requirements of open and distance learning (ODL). It aims to focus on the practical management experience of the University of South Africa (UNISA) library in support of the implementation of a new ODL model (optimizing available technology) at the University.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the relevant literature was conducted to provide an overview on the topic and a context for the information gathered on the UNISA Library. Information gathered from the planning, policies and procedures of UNISA in general and the UNISA library in particular as well as experience gained by participating in workshops on ODL at UNISA was included in the paper.

Findings

The findings indicate that research and literature on leadership in distance education in general are limited and this is even more true for open and distance libraries. It is, however, evident from experience and the required standards for distance library services, that structured management and planning of these services are important to ensure success and future developments of the services. Furthermore, leaders in open distance libraries also need a variety of skills that are constantly updated to ensure optimization of resources, for suitable strategic planning, policy formulation and suitable in terms of new technology developments.

Originality/value

In addition to the literature survey and analysis the information gathered for the article is original in that it captures the experience gained from management of an ODL library. Although focused on open distance learning, the information is also of value to residential institutions, as the border between online services and open distance services is becoming blurred.

Details

Library Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Manorama Tripathi and V.K.J. Jeevan

The paper aims to study how the present distance learning libraries can improve upon their existing services and introduce new ones to enhance quality of services to…

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2011

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to study how the present distance learning libraries can improve upon their existing services and introduce new ones to enhance quality of services to distance learners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes a review of literature on quality assurance in open and distance education in general and student support services in particular. It studies and compares the current practices followed by libraries at open universities, which have proved trailblazers in distance education.

Findings

This paper proposes an action plan for distance learning libraries and offers suggestions for improving their library services.

Originality/value

This paper will be of interest to library science researchers and professionals working in distance learning libraries with responsibility for quality assurance.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2008

Robin Roy, Stephen Potter and Karen Yarrow

This paper aims to summarise the methods and main findings of a study of the environmental impacts of providing higher education (HE) courses by campus‐based and distance

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3487

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to summarise the methods and main findings of a study of the environmental impacts of providing higher education (HE) courses by campus‐based and distance/openlearning methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of an environmental audit, with data from surveys of 20 UK courses – 13 campus‐based, seven print‐based and online distance learning courses – covering travel, paper and print consumption, computing, accommodation, and campus site impacts. Results were converted into energy and CO2 emissions per student per 100 hours of degree study.

Findings

Distance learning HE courses involve 87 per cent less energy and 85 per cent lower CO2 emissions than the full‐time campus‐based courses. Part‐time campus HE courses reduce energy and CO2 emissions by 65 and 61 per cent, respectively, compared with full‐time campus courses. The lower impacts of part‐time and distance compared with full‐time campus courses is mainly due to a reduction in student travel and elimination of much energy consumption of students' housing, plus economies in campus site utilisation. E‐learning appears to offer only relatively small energy and emissions reductions (20 and 12 per cent, respectively) compared with mainly print‐based distance learning courses, mainly because online learning requires more energy for computing and paper for printing.

Research limitations/implications

Assumptions were made in order to calculate the energy and emissions arising from the different HE systems. For example, it was decided to include all the energy consumed in term‐time accommodation for full‐time campus students while part‐time campus and distance learning students live at home, only requiring additional heating and lighting for study. Future studies could include more distance and blended learning courses offered by institutions other than the UK Open University and impacts other than CO2 emissions.

Practical implications

Existing HE sustainability programmes should be broadened beyond considering campus site impacts and “greening the curriculum”. Indeed, were HE expansion to take environmental impacts seriously, then part‐time and distance education should be prioritised over increasing full‐time provision. This appears compatible with the Leitch Review of Skills on continuing education and training for the UK workforce.

Originality/value

The paper represents the only existing quantitative study of this issue.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 November 2020

Saumya Saumya and Tushar Singh

The paper reports the feedback collected from students of the Master of Social Work (MSW) Programme of the School of Social Work (SOSW), Indira Gandhi National Open

Abstract

Purpose

The paper reports the feedback collected from students of the Master of Social Work (MSW) Programme of the School of Social Work (SOSW), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), through open and distance learning (ODL), in India. The paper discusses findings related to learner profile, student support services, assignments, academic counselling, fieldwork, audio/video/teleconferencing facilities, Internet access and challenges faced by the learners. The findings will be useful for researchers and practitioners, will help in improving the overall quality of the programme, in designing the delivery mechanism as per the needs of MSW learners and in preparing them to be trained professionals to work in social development sector in India.

Design/methodology/approach

For data collection, a questionnaire was prepared and sent to all the students of the MSW programme along with assignment, across India. Responses from 290 students were voluntarily received.

Findings

The research findings are that MSW (ODL) students are older, mostly married with the average male learners age being 35 years and that of female learners being 30 years, there are more female learners than male learners, majority of the learners are Hindu from general category, tend to be employed, mostly full-time and some part-time, with work experience. They are from urban, semi-urban, rural and tribal areas with Internet access. Most of the students preferred to read printed self-learning materials than digitally available on eGyanKosh or IGNOUmobile app especially in rural areas though with increasing access to Internet, students are gradually opting for online materials while filling up the admission form. Majority of students found the quality and standard of study materials to be very good. Though maximum respondents gave positive feedback about the student support services and their learning experiences, some of the learners faced challenges like unco-operative staff members, administrative delays, non-allotment of academic counsellor/fieldwork supervisor, irregularity, late reception of study materials, lack of staff members at study centre, far distance of regional centre/study centre from residence, etc.

Research limitations/implications

The findings will help in designing and delivering the MSW programme in a more effective way. Based on the feedback received, the next revision of the programme will take into consideration the concerns of the learner. The limitation of the study is that not all learners responded to all the questions. Not all potential MSW learners filled the questionnaire and submitted it at the school. And those who responded had left some questions unanswered. Those who did not submit response may differ in their responses from what is received.

Originality/value

It is an original work and will be valuable in understanding the distance learner of MSW programme in India, programme delivery and challenges.

Details

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

Keywords

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…

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1396

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2008

A.S. Guha and Subhashish Maji

The purpose of this paper is an attempt to validate the universal impact of e‐learning as distance education methodology and community learning.

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2207

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is an attempt to validate the universal impact of e‐learning as distance education methodology and community learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines an ontological framework for e‐learning within theoretical referential points, its reach and its systemic and disciplinary approaches. The paper explores the ramifications of e‐learning.

Findings

E‐learning offers distance learning through the internet, giving students an interactive educational experience and the opportunity to study through accredited learning providers. Through e‐learning, companies can deliver distance training to their staff, or gain additional revenue through re‐selling of training programmes. Using e‐learning, colleges of distance education can deliver distance learning to students, or offer other educational establishments the opportunity to use their courses.

Originality/value

The paper concludes that e‐learning makes a definitive impact on the young and old alike, creative writers and the community as a whole. E‐learning groups and communities such as the telecentre movement reach towards sustainability and socio‐educational development.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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