Problems faced by students of open and distance learning

Distance learning offers enormous potential for students who want to take a class but are physically unable to attend a traditional classroom. It affords a flexibility that many students find appealing; however, others find this flexibility challenging, intimidating or frustrating. Distance-learning classes can present problems for students in the areas of support, interactivity, commitment and technology. Support By its very definition, distance learning implies a physical separation between student and instructor.

Problems faced by students of open and distance learning

Issues and Challenges in Open and Distance e-Learning: Perspectives from the Philippines Patricia Arinto University of the Philippines Abstract Rapid advances in information and communications technology in the digital age have brought about significant changes in the practice of distance education DE worldwide.

Problems faced by students of open and distance learning

The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy development and administrative changes required to support innovative teaching practice across the institution.

The findings and conclusions are relevant for other institutions in the same stage of ODeL development. These are encapsulated in the shift by many DE institutions from print-based to online delivery using virtual learning environments VLEs and various Web technologies.

The reduction of drop-out

Indeed, 21st century DE is distinguished from older forms of DE by flexibility and adaptability of design Garrison, ; Haughey et al. These pedagogical changes in DE underscore the fact that online technologies are not neutral: Furthermore, pedagogical change is complex and often challenging not only for individual teachers but also for the DE institution as a whole.


One of seven universities and an autonomous college comprising the University of the Philippines UP system, UPOU was established in to democratise access to quality higher education through DE.

UPOU started out with a print-based mode of course development and delivery. In it introduced online tutorials using an open source learning management system LMS initially for students who were unable to attend the monthly face-to-face tutorial sessions.

As students became more widely dispersed geographically and as the Internet became more accessible to teachers and students alike, online tutorials became the default tutorial mode for all courses, and in UPOU shifted to a Moodle-based online learning platform.

The Problems Faced by Students in Distance Learning | Synonym

While the old printed course modules have not been phased out, course instructors are expected to update the modules by supplementing them with relevant resources and by introducing new learning activities and assignments. Methodology This paper reports part of the findings of a collective case study of ODeL course design practice in a DE institution based on the experiences of 10 university faculty.

A collective case study is derived from joint analysis of several individual cases Stake, to help provide a general understanding of a phenomenon that extends beyond single unique cases Harling, The 10 research participants were purposively selected based on two criteria: Eight full-time UPOU faculty and two affiliate faculty administrators who have been closely involved with the institution since its establishment were thus selected as research participants.

Three of them are male and seven are female, reflecting the predominance of female faculty members in the university as a whole. Three are assistant professors, four are associate professors, and three are full professors. Four have at least 10 years of experience in teaching at a distance, two have more than five years experience, and four have less than five years experience.

Each professor teaches courses from different disciplines, all teach graduate level courses, and four teach undergraduate level courses as well. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews lasting 45 to 90 minutes each. These patterns were then compared and contrasted with related patterns or themes in the theoretical and empirical literature on the impact of technology integration on pedagogy and key issues and challenges in online learning design especially in DE contexts.

These related themes are presented briefly in the next section. Conceptual Framework Two trends are noted in the literature on the impact of technology integration on pedagogical practice.

The first is that contrary to expectations, teaching approaches in e-learning contexts are not necessarily being transformed or changed for the better Conole, ; Hedberg, ; Kirkwood, ; Natriello, Instead, there is a persistence of traditional modes of teaching and, in some cases, outright resistance to educational innovation.


Hedberg cites survey results indicating that for majority of more than 20, students and staff surveyed in five large technological universities in Australia, online learning meant the provision of information online and unmoderated discussions. The mix of factors accounting for non-transformational use of technologies differs according to context Kirkwood, But one factor that might be true in most if not all contexts is faculty preparedness for the complex and challenging practice of design for effective learning with technology.

Siemens has referred to the curatorial role of teachers in networked learning, which requires expertise in the subject matter to be able to select, annotate, and showcase resources to enable the learners who explore them to engage with the subject matter and develop an understanding of the key concepts of the discipline.

This shift however does not occur automatically.Experiences from Students of the Zimbabwe Open University individual student, instructional and institutional. In this study we investigate challenges faced by students at Zimbabwe Open University. 2. These challenges prompt many problems in distance learning.

Among these problems are . International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning. Volume 17, Number 2. February - Issues and Challenges in Open and Distance e-Learning: Perspectives from the Philippines. Another problem facing distance-learning students is the level and type of interactivity.

Similar to the issue surrounding support, the lack of face-to-face interactions between student, teacher and other classmates can be problematic for those new to the distance-learning environment.

The Problems Faced by Students in Distance Learning | Synonym

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Challenges faced by students with blindness in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Open and Distance Learning refers to approaches to learning that focus on separation of the learner and the teacher in space and time while offering flexible learning opportunities.

Attitudes and Perceptions of Students to Open and Distance Learning in Nigeria In the West African Region of Africa, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is the first full fledged university that operates in an exclusively open and distance learning (ODL) mode of education.