The types and benefits of Open distance learning

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Open distance learning refers to education and training in which using the learning resources, rather than attending classroom sessions, is the central feature of the learning experience. There are three types of open distance learners (ODL):

Face to face learning:

Classroom Environment, Formal Classroom, Computer Laboratory, Science Laboratory, Number of Meetings, 5 or less meetings, 5 or more meetings, Teaching Strategies,Direct & Indirect.

Self managed learning:

Specialy designed modules with support from:- CDROM Courseware, Digital Library, Physical Library, Subject Matter Experts, Peers, Tutors.

Online learning:

Resources, Learning Objects (iTutorials, iWeblets), Multimedia Courseware, PDF Documents, Microsoft Office Attachments, Digital Library, Discussions.

Most of ODL are part-timers and have families. Learners will be facing problems in balancing their work and education because of that and is truly challenging for them. As introduction I want to highlight about the problem face by beginning online learners. In the contemporary age is the ability to receive an education thousands of miles away from a classroom in a convenient and efficient manner. Majority of universities nowadays offer open online learning for students all around the world. Beginning online learner's classes might not be an ideal circumstance for every interested person. What are the problems faced by beginning online learners actually?

2.0. Three main problem face by beginning online learners:

2.1. Lack of socializing with peers and working with your learning style:-

A traditional classroom situation is not possible to beginning online learners for learning.

If a social interaction were achievable with beginning online learners, students might be uncertain to meet with someone whom they only know from the Internet. This problem with online learning would definitely hinder a kinesthetic or tactile learner, and if the program doesn't provide video interaction then an auditory learner would also not fare as well.So by listening and discuss something or working with manipulatives, then beginning online learners i think is not your best choice.As an tutor, monitoring student comprehension is important otherwise students won't understand the lesson moves on and one or more students are left behind to try and figure out what they didn't catch up. Feeling behind while all others continue with the lesson will quickly let down their self-belief level.

Reflect on all of your options and judge what type of student you were in the past as well as what are the problems faced by ODL in the last few years. Finally, you could discover an educational program that hysterics your needs whether that is with a traditional style education or an beginning online learners education.

2.2. Juggling life:-

When asked what are the problems faced by open distance learners, life and its ensuing complications seems to be the number one response. Most enrolled students in open distance learning are committed to their life in some other manner apart from school such as a family to care for, some aspect which occupies the their time, a compulsory full-time job to pay the bills. Except the students make a personal commitment to complete the course of study, odds are life will find a way to distract and tear them away from accomplishing their goal of continuing their education. Unlike traditional university students who are always in their learning group which supports them most of the time, online learners students are not.

Online learners student also have a hard time in being independent and responsible to their own self. Most of the time, no one would guide student learning process. Unfocused view of their learning goals also will make the students act irresponsibly towards their learning. Beside that, they also face problems in recognizing and mastering strengths and skills. In online learning, technology is the main conduit which information and communication flow. The students need to have some basic writing skills and a go online grasp of English language. For this they must have a computer with internet access. Those looking to enhance their skill sets and capabilities through online learning need to struggle with issues such as self-motivation, family commitments,work life, time management, and other proficient activities. Balancing these issues with regular online classes, assignments, tests and exams can be quite challenging. Assignments and projects can be limited by feedback and assessment by instructors. Developing relationships with real-world classmates and networking with other peers is also restricted.

2.3. No established routines:-

Just like students in a traditional school environment, open distance learners must create a dedicated place for studying and learning to take place. Successful students assign to a time to study and a place to study. It is part of establishing a routine that keeps students plugging ahead when times get tough yet life has demands and students of open distance learning tend to gain a false sense of freedom. Yes, you're free to learn at home but the other commitments of life are going on around you. Students who stop, drop, and learn don't tend to retain as much information.

Self-monitoring is not always helpful especially when procrastination sets in and once the work starts piling up there is less preference to recover from that procrastination. Do not have enough time, too many works to be done and lazy are among other reasons given by this type of students in order to avoid studying for exams.

3.0. Solutions to the stated problems for beginning online learners:

3.1. Time management:-

To complete your studies via a flexible schedule in an online format can be very advantageous as beginning online learners. Many learners who enroll in an online degree program think that it is going to be easy to finish their coursework without a set class schedule to follow. Anyone who wants to succeed in an online degree program should have time management skills. To make sure you devote a plenty amount of time to your studies, set aside specific period each week that you will devote to your coursework. It's also important to plan your friends and family members for the fact that you will be setting aside certain times for studies. If not they will obviously think that you're available to them because you are at home.

Efficient time management isn't the only challenge faced by students in online education programs but getting your schedule under control is one of the first things that every online learner needs to do to prepare to stand out in his or her classes.

3.2. Introduce new courses:-

Introduction of a core course to cover the requisite skills is the most great way to ensure that students are both enthusiastic and appropriately prepared for ODL. The learners need to ease the introduction of group work into an otherwise "traditional" degree framework, fit group work into the semester system and to train academic staff in their understanding of group skills and theory. Supremely, a short course for staff should be run on a regular basis and an introductory core course for students in the first year of the program should be introduced. This solution enables any courses within the program to utilize group learning, confident that the key requirements and skills will already be familiar to the students prior to the commencement of the course. Likewise, beginning online learners will be aware that group work may form part of the standard learning process, and are likely to approach such courses with far less nervousness than might otherwise be the case.

3.3. Skills required at the beginning of the course:-

In this case where ODL participation in a group work of minimum two weeks at the start of the course should be devoted entirely to the core advantages, benefits of group learning and the skills required without any prior formal training in group skills.It seems difficult. However, preparation of beginning online learners in this way is an essential requirement for successful group work and somehow assumes less importance when one steps out of the more usual lecture, seminar and tutorial mode. Group facilitation, responsibilities to other group members and effective online communication are amongst the skills that should be stressed in these sessions. One important skill to learning online is learning to manage your time first.

We have to make a weekly study schedule for the most effective ways to keep on top of your studying. Make time usefull for offline activities. Make note of these at the beginning of the course and plan accordingly for them to be a succesfull learner.

Follow the strategies below:


S Specific

M Measureable

A Achievable

R Realistic

T Time-bound

4.0. Conclusion

Taking a course or earning a degree via online learning can be a worthwhile experience but requires some discipline on your part. Proper preparation can lead to a direct focus on your courses. A tutor's guidance is crucial for the success of interactive and reflective learning. The findings reveal that the instructor's guidance reduced such problems and that, to a certain extent, successful learning was achieved.  It is evident that distance education students in the study benefitted from this form of learning and possible to undertake certain measures to minimize the problems and to ensure greater success in future attempts. Last but not least, team teaching should be implemented with each instructor taking on certain role. So, when you sign up for online learning, don't just excited at the beginning but as the weeks progress, motivation can diminish.  When this occurs, remind yourself of the reason you enrolled in the first place.