Characteristics Of Open Distance Learning Education Essay

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1) Open distance learning ( ODL ) is easy and accessible to all. ODL is a learning distance that can open or available for anyone and is regardless of age, qualification or to the ethnic group as well. The distance is to study away from the institution or college and the time of teaching and learning is separated. The institution or college will prepare the course materials in advance. The learning method is the student to self studying of the course material at home or other places and to complete the assigned assignment.

The ODL learning is does not require the present of the teacher. The learning place does not necessarily at the same time in teaching. For this education learning the methods of the communication is thru 'technologies innovations like self-instructional electronic communication, telephone, printed materials, audio, broadcasting, video and online communication.' ( WOU CD: Unit2). The student can have the comfort of studying at home.

The ODL it has two learning instruction such as synchronous and asynchronous.

The characteristics of open distance learning as following:-

The learning for the student and teacher - the student is learning in different place, time and maybe both with the tutor.

E.g. WOU, the student can always learn thru the 'My LMS' to go to 'Public forum' or the ' General Discussion' link to learn more.

The learner need to be self-managed - student need to be independent and well organize to learn by themselves.

E.g. WOU, will provide a course material such as textbook, printed material or CD form for each student. The student can learn or study their own when they are free.

Is thru 'synchronous and asynchronous learning' process ( WOU:CD:Unit2.2) - the tutor will be teaching and learning that maybe at the same place or different times.

E.g. WOU, the tutor and the student will only meet once a month for a discussion or learning at the centre or maybe thru video conferencing.

The course can be unlimited access - student can have unlimited access

to course by internet to the tutorial which flexible throughout 24 hour a day, a week or a year.

E.g. WOU, student can have the support to get more information to the course by using the internet access that provided from the Open University.

Learning process is on-demand and 'Just in time' - from the digital learning will provide knowledge as often as student required regardless when and where. From this learning concept is generally student finds more satisfaction and benefit to give benefit of cost saving for the employers.

E.g. WOU, student can access anytime by provided website from the Open University that can give them easy access and knowledge such as the 'Tutorial' link with the upload of the files or document that relevant to their course. From this method is save a lots of time and they can learn 'anywhere-anytime'.

Is an institutional accreditation- the institution or agency has a certified or accredited and the learning by self-evaluation that without the recognition of the official learning from the institute.

E.g. WOU, it has utilized of the accreditation academic to ensure the distance learning is quality and as according to the accreditation standard.

The mixed-media is in use for the courseware- such as radio and television, video, print, audio cassette, telecommunications and computer-based learning and for pre-tested and up-to-date before use.

E.g. WOU, uses the printed, CD, computer based learning and others to distribute to the student and tutor for they learning of the course. From the material student can study their own when according to their schedule.

It is a two-way communication - the student and tutor can communicate from passive receipt from using web-based instruction broadcast signal such as synchronous or asynchronous.

E.g. Open University, the used of two-way communication of audio-conference can be deliver to the student ( the voice that can communicate each other ) or two-way video which the student can see and communicate with each other. The student is able to participate with each other in real-time and class.

Face-to-face meeting for the tutorials- the students can connect with other in library study, practice sessions and laboratory.

E.g. WOU, by using the 'Student Portal' in WOU website, the learning process is by posts to the website such as assignment, discussion and lesson material of the course. From this webpage the student can download the information to read or view based on their schedule. Besides, student can interact with other students to group up to study or having discussion together by using the WOU library.

2 ) The learning management system ( LMS ), WawasanLearn, is an online learning (e-learning) software package that management and to deliver resources and data to students. From this LMS technology is makes convenience to the students and tutor to give them support in more options in learning environments.

WawasanLearn, makes easy in my learning of course that's provides: -

I) 'Self Learning' :-

- Mostly I will spend a lots of time in reading material for the course that given by WOU

- I can have my own schedule of 'what, when, where and how' I want to study.

- I will also need to go through all the exercise and activities so that in time I will know my own progress of the my understanding for the course.

- The support for the 'Regional Office Library' is important as well, the 'digital WOU Library', from this digital library is enable for me to read additional material like ' journal, textbooks and specimen examintation question' as well. ( WOU:CD:Unit2.3)

-I can also contact my friends and tutor for the relevant information or references as well. ( E.g through the LMS forum or emails )

II) Through 'Online Learning' :-

Easy access to the learning contents and the administration.

E.g. I can access to the LMS regardless anytime and anywhere as long as there is internet connection.

Giving a lots of learning resources

E.g. the LMS have the service that provides such as the accessing to the course material, the resources likes online discussion (eg. 'Public Forum') and facility of the registration of courses.

The support of course material

E.g. In LMS, I can read or access to the course material, quizzes, assessments, tests, forums and chat sessions by using my own personal computer.

The learners expression

E.g. In LMS, I can share my experiences in the forum or live discussion and from there I can interact with other students.

The interaction with Course Coordinator

E.g. In LMS, I can directly to interact with the Course Coordinator when encounter problems and need extra information regards to my course.

The seeking of mentoring and live help

E.g. In LMS, when I need mentoring, I can seek for solution through the 'Online Forum' by posting my enquiry to the live discussion links. From there, I will get lots of solution or sharing of experiences from the tutor, administrative advisor and the students as well.

As the LMS is either in synchronous or asynchronous learning that has benefits me or students as following:-

To communicate and collaborate my learning.

In LMS, WawasanLearning, it has two channels of the communication between the tutor and the course mates such as email and online discussions.

E.g. the LMS, it is easy to use to connect with other course mate and tutor by using the email and for the live discussion, I can sharing the information by upload it to the forum.

Access to the course materials and references

It's give support to access the reading material of books, articles and journals at anywhere, even at cybercafé. The digital library, it provides more organized of data or information regardless the time.

E.g. if I were outstation, I can still access to the LMS by using the cybercafé computer to read or access to the information that I need.

The sharing if the resources and information

From the learning process is important to share the resources and information. It gives a support to me when I am busy with my families, work and studies.

E.g. if I am away outstation to work for a week, I can access to the LMS to get and the exchanged information from the forum. The LMS gives me lots of support of alternative resources.

The feedback on the learning progress

By using the LMS, student can do the self assessment and the assignment feedback by checking the "My Student Portal'. From the feedback respond I can understand more of the questions.

E.g. in LMS, when the assignment has been marked by the tutor, there is a comment by the tutor regards on the assignment for further knowledge to improve more.

Learning at own pace

I don't have to worry of how fast I'm learning or other students, because I can spend on more time on the problem such as self- assessment or assignment question till I understand.

E.g. in LMS during the live discussion, if I got to know that other student have already started to study on Unit 3, I does not need to follow them and can still study with my schedule to spend more time on Unit 2.

III) 'Group discussion'

Can motivate me to study better in the discussion of coming out new ideas or information for the materials

The support of emotional and the academic

I can share my problem and doubts with the group

I can speed up my learnin and not studying alone.

E.g Through the LMS public forum or meeting a place for the discussion by using the WOU Library or any place to meet up with the students.

3) It is important to have clear and specific goals to perform wells in my studies and to succeed in life. Goals are very important because the positions of what we want in life. We can set a lot of different goals to achieve them and by setting a goal we need to make an efforts or planning to follow and achieve them.

Personal satisfaction, to have more knowledge and to fill up my free time to do something is worth.

Social needs, to be as part of easy to connect with my friends base on the knowledge or interest that I have.

Career, for career advancement to get higher promotion or position from my company.

The Main characteristics important to setting a goal as following:

'Challenging and realistic' ( WOU:CD:Unit3)

In order to setting my goals, I need to set it high or difficult that I would work hard to achieve towards my desire goals. I need to set it high because it is a challenge for me and the goals should be realistic base own my own ability.

Everyone goals is different and my goals might be different to be challenge to anyone else or for myself to achieve it.

E.g. I have challenged myself to complete my degree in WOU in duration 5 years. From the day I have register myself as student I need to work and study hard to achieve my goal.

'Specific and measureable' ( WOU:CD:Unit3)

I must set my goal which is specific and measurable.

From time to time, I need to analyze my goal.

E.g. I need to have at least two goals:-

i) All my assignment I must strict myself to pass all the assignment in every course.

ii) I must at least score at 90 marks in every assignment.

I can analyze myself from time to time on the assignment to have the goals to be complete or reaching to my goals. For the assignment that I have score at 90 marks, then is consider I have already achieve my goals.

'Set with weekly progress in mind' ( WOU:CD:Unit3)

Consistency need to have some planning for the victories to success.

For the effective goals need to have schedule and progress in day by day or week by week.

Have a small to aim to success in every week.

E.g. I need to work on my assignment from Monday to Friday night after work. I need to compile the information and at least finish 1 question by 2 nights.

This means, I must also complete it at least in a week in order to start on another assignment for other course. By having this progress I will be motivated and able to achieve my small goals and I can finish my assignment on time.


Base on the experience and memories need to think positive goals and so as to our mind.

For the positive outcome to success and we need to focus to achieve positive goals instead of negative outcome. Negative outcome will give memories that cause feeling unpleasant.

E.g. i) I will pass the assignment by getting grade A for Learning Skills

ii) I don't want to fail Learning Skills assignment.

From the above example, (i) is the positive goals.


For effective goals is by setting a start and end point. By having a dateline can make commitment and complete the goals before due date.

E.g. I need to plan when to start my assignment and dateline to complete it so I can study or revise on the new unit before attending to class.