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0 Introduction Generally, Open distance learning can be described as a way whereby the student study on their own, either at home or wherever suits them. The Open University’s unique, worldleading style of distance learning is called supported ‘Open Learning’ or ‘Lifelong Learning”. Distance learning has become a pervasive and growing phenomenon. Innovative uses of technologies create more effective technologies to distribute learning in non-traditional ways. As a result, new organizational structures and learning arrangements are appearing throughout higher education. An open distance learning model entails a student-centered approach that is built on integrated systems and engaged learning. ODL involves learning-teaching interaction, and students actively engage and interact with the institution, their lecturers, study material and fellow students. As a service- and student-oriented ODL institution, OUM will not only provide students with well-designed independent study packages but also with the necessary support from the moment they first make enquiries about studying at the University until they complete their studies. To turn distance learning into an interactive and engaging process where students are not passive recipients of information, but actively involved in creating their own learning experiences, OUM is putting processes in place and providing students with access to resources. This will include from a technology-enabled environment to support the administrative, psychosocial and academic aspects of student experience at OUM, financial assistance services, flexible options for study material and an excellent library to a comprehensive study guide and the opportunity to engage with lecturers, tutors and peers.

as an open distance education institution. determines its own admission requirements. . recognizes prior experiential learning and promotes flexible learning in terms of its interactive learning material. there are still plenty of problems which been faced by the OUM students in the process of learning. The respective problems will be discussed in detail in next sections of the papers. However. grants access to traditionally disadvantaged students.OUM.

and people who have a tendency to take it easy should stay away from an online course. At first the students might miss face-to-face contact with the instructor and other learners. the distance learning is isolated. post to message boards and engage in online group discussions. the students will thrive in an environment that will give them a challenge to perform in a peer group. At the mean time. It is also possible that the tutors will not be able to interact and motivate the students as they would do in a classroom environment. Although the students are in a virtual classroom full of students.0 Problems Faced by Students in Open Distance Learning According to the respective survey which been made on Open University Malaysia (OUM) students. Therefore. The open and distance mode will lack most of these motivational factors and be disadvantageous to some of the students. students do not get to enjoy personal interaction with fellow students and teachers. Most of the distance learning methods are using the asynchronous method of teaching and would not facilitate such interaction. due to the nature of online learning. the respective open distance learning would not facilitate oral communication unless it is a synchronous learning event where all students participate using a communication method. in the distance mode. the dynamics of interaction change with online education. Owing to the lack of a physical teacher and a classroom. some of the respondents sound that if flexibility is a boon for some. the respective students are feel that they are isolated and do not receive the same sort of interaction with their colleagues in the same course. . it might get difficult for some students to motivate themselves to study harder and complete assignments on time.2. for other students it could turn out to be a deterrent. Procrastination is a drawback. but web collaboration can fill this void for many students Besides that. Also. and the social part of the education process is lacking in distance learning. The students may feel detached or lonely when they pursue a distance learning program but there are opportunities to send emails. there are no group discussions that one can take part in. In certain instances.

Furthermore. "fixed-time" exams to be taken and assignments to be completed before the "Drop Box" closes. However. the students feel that the distance learning does not give them direct access to their instructor. As for most of the time. Technical requirement may be difficult to meet for some students especially those who are over 45 years old who may feel overwhelmed and challenged if they are not completely computer literate. the respective students still need to complete their assignments on time. There are no compromises and the student can easily get a zero! Distance learning is best suited for mature motivated learners who cannot afford the time to participate in a traditional classroom. planning and work to make it happen. Technical glitches and dealing with an unfamiliar learning environment can cause stress and frustration. there are deadlines to be met. distance learning often gives them an opportunity to email their instructor any time or chat online. Distance learning does not offer immediate feedback. such as asking questions after class. the students need good organization. a student's performance can be immediately assessed through questions and informal testing. the students need to have a multimedia player. In a traditional classroom setting. Because distance learning is flexible. the respective distance learning requires the student to have constant. Some students fear the loss of the personal touch with an instructor. Like all other forms of learning. For a course with material on CD or DVD. according to the survey from students at Open University Malaysia (OUM). . reliable access to technology. Though the instructor is not seated in front of the students at most of the time. With distance learning. online courses require a computer with Internet access. Students need total access to the equipment necessary to fulfill course requirements. For example. Besides that. It is normal to fear the loss of human contact offered in a traditional classroom until they commit themselves to this mode of learning and communication. distance learning requires self-motivation. a student has to wait for feedback until the instructor has reviewed their work and responded to it.

However. there are challenges to be overcome for anyone who opts to learn through distance learning There are some respondent said that some employers frown on degrees from online institutions. Students pursuing a specific certificate or degree program may not have all the necessary courses available through distance learning so it is not suited for all subjects.Distance learning does not always offer all the necessary courses online.or better.there are many "degree mills" colleges that are not accredited. student can study a history lesson completely online but they cannot perform nursing clinical online. Not all distance learning is legitimate . For some courses. On the other hand. Numerous studies have found distance learning courses as effective as traditional classroom training . Almost a third of academic leaders recently surveyed felt online education outcomes were superior to those in traditional learning environments. Many managers see online degrees as "rubber stamped" diplomas. The respondent also feels that the respective distance learning does not give students the opportunity to work on oral communication skills. This is probably the most important factor to check before you enroll in a distance learning institution. meaning the . Distance learning may not be acknowledged by a specific employer. Although most employers do acknowledge distance learning. The students must take a serious risk when they pursue distance learning programs that are not accredited because they may be issuing fraudulent. the respective distance learning must be accredited. physical classroom attendance will be mandatory to complete the course. certain employers do not. Students who want to work for a specific employer upon graduation should be sure of that employer's perspective about online education. For example. Students in distance learning courses do not get the practice of verbal interaction with professors and other students. invalid degrees.

0 Recommendation in Improving Open Distance Learning . As a conclusion. This is similar to an unaccredited program.students paid enough money so that online program just handed them the diploma. It had caused many students still unemployed after they graduates through the open distance learning. most of the company or organization especially in private sector still not well recognizes the quality of the distance learning program. Therefore. the students need to be smart and committed during participating in open distance learning so that they can get the best results and learn more in the academic studies. 3.

Instructors also have adaptations they need to make to the technology. It is important for the instructors to develop a sense of community between the sites. and get the participants to buy in to the process. shared exploration. According to research by Pall off and Pratt (2000). The instructor must decide which attitude they will adopt because it has a profound impact on their approach to instruction. distance learning pedagogy would not differ much from that used in an ordinary classroom. That instructor must be properly trained and motivated to be effective. achieve maximum participation. we must come back to instructors and their attitudes towards teaching in a distance-learning environment as a major potential roadblock to effective distance education. Initially. the instructor can set the tone for learning in the educational environment. An instructor must have technological skills and confidence to use all of the various electronic devices in order to be truly effective in the electronic classroom. handouts. “collaborative learning processes assists students to achieve deeper levels of knowledge generation through the creation of shared goals. and a shared process of meaning making” (pg. and other class items to both sites simultaneously. multimedia presentations are successful (Weber 1996). The students at the remote site are not always in clear view of the instructor. The idea of learning as a collaborative process is very important when students are separated by distance. As in any educational situation.First at all. Instructors must also change the manner in which information is delivered. West . The faculty must also be aware of getting instructional materials. It is up to the instructor to be aware of this in the distance learning environment and to encourage collaborative learning and a sense of community among the students. While lecture does not work well. 6). The students at the remote site are not always in clear view of the instructor. instructors also have adaptations they need to make to the technology. tests. Lastly. An instructor used to visual cues may find it difficult to adapt to a situation such as compressed video. An instructor used to visual cues may find it difficult to adapt to a situation such as compressed video.

that communication is not always present. which can work to create the feeling of a true class (Hiltz & Wellman. McKnight (2000) contends that proximity and eye contact are important factors in education that are limited in the distance learning environment. creating a community is an important factor for the instructor to have an effective class. The instructor must do all he can to overcome the limits of the technology and involve the students in an environment of interaction. Part of this can be alleviated by good communication with the technician.0 Conclusion . 4. but in the distance learning environment they are “both severely and sometimes permanently compromised” (pg. This puts a burden on the instructor and causes the students to respond differently than they might in a traditional classroom setting. She asserts that professors are unable to observe the emotions of the students and cannot detect “moments of anxiety. but as we have seen earlier. As we saw earlier.” thereby limiting their ability to respond to student needs. She says that we inherently recognize the connection these provide. 2).(1994) calls adapting to the lack of visual cues a major adaptation for the instructor. 1997).

However. 5.As a conclusion. Bachelor or even Master Degree in the future.0 Reference . Such problems must be solved in soonest time so that the open distance learning will become a quality solutions and options for the students to pursuit their Diploma. there are still plenty of problem which been faced by the respective students especially in senses of commitment as well as lacking of supports from the tutors is crucial and critical. Open Distance Learning still very promising in the future as it definitely will become the future trend for the entire people especially working adult to further their studies.

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