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OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

1. INTRODUCTION

1.0 Definition of Online Learning

A few years ago, online education was unthinkable; now it is a reality and it has

expanded beyond imagination. The Internet has allowed us to cross boundaries that took a

long time to cross; technology has allowed us to learn and grow with people from around the

world. It has given access to new opportunities in work, learning and in socializing. We are

now witnessing a transformation in the way people learn. The future of education in general,

and college education in particular, will be of more access, more educational choices, and

new fields in educational research. Electronic learning (or e-Learning or eLearning) is a type

of Technology supported education/learning (TSL) where the medium of instruction is

through computer technology, particularly involving digital technologies. E-learning has

been defined as "pedagogy empowered by digital technology”. In some instances, no face-

to- face interaction takes place. E-learning is used interchangeably in a wide variety of

contexts. Lately in most Universities, e-learning is used to define a specific mode to attend a

course or programmes of study where the students rarely, if ever, attend face-to-face for on-

campus access to educational facilities, because they study online. E-learning is naturally

suited to distance learning and flexible learning, but can also be used in conjunction with

face-to-face teaching, in which case the term Blended learning is commonly used.

1.1 Factor That Demotivate Online Learner

We are using the term "learning environment" to encompass the venue, the

equipment, the resources etc. You should make sure that any practical issues which might

demotivate the learner are minimised. Examples might be too high or too low temperatures

in the training room, training sessions which start late or over-run, extraneous noise or

distractions, technical problems with ICT equipment, interruptions from colleagues seeking

information on day-to-day work. And do make sure that all mobile phones are switched off

before the training commences. If a learner is worried about personal problems, they will be

unable to give their full attention to learning new things. This is possibly the most difficult

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demotivator for a trainer to tackle. After all, you can do little if one of your learners is

experiencing financial difficulties, marital problems or is concerned about their health. All

you can do in these circumstances is to reassure the learner that you are sympathetic to any

difficulties which they have shared with you and that you will attempt to accommodate any

special requests resulting from them. You may be able to take some action about more

practical problems though. An example would be if the training occurs at the venue which is

not the learner's normal workplace, resulting in childcare problems because of long journeys

by public transport. By allowing such a learner to leave ten minutes earlier, you might be

able to resolve the situation.

2. Aspects of online learning that may demotivate online learner to continue learning

in such environment

2.1 Take advantage of your anonymity

One of the biggest advantages of the online format is that you can pursue your

studies without the judgments typical in a traditional classroom. Unless you are using video

conferencing, no one can see you--there are no stereotypes and you don’t have to be

affected by raised eyebrows, rolled eyeballs, other students stealing your thunder, or people

making other non-verbal reactions to your contributions. You don’t have to feel intimidated

or upstaged by classmates who can speak faster than you because you can take all of the

time you need to think your ideas through and compose a response before posting your

comments to your class.

2.2 Be polite and respectful

Just because you are anonymous, doesn’t mean you should let yourself go.

Remember, you are dealing with real people on the other end of your modem. Being polite

and respectful is not only common sense, it is absolutely obligatory for a productive and

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supportive online environment. In a positive online environment, you will feel valued by your

instructor, valued by your classmates, and your own work will have greater value as well.

2.3 Apply what you learn

If you are able to apply everything you learn as you learn it, you will remember it

more readily. If it is possible, take the things you learn in your online course today and use

them in your workplace tomorrow. Also, try to make connections between what you are

learning and what you do or will do in your job. Contributing advice or ideas about the real-

world as it applies to the subject matter you are studying helps you to internalize what you

are learning. Your classmates may also say that it counts for them, as they will gain

valuable insight from the experiences you share.

3.0 Constructive Suggestions To Institution To Ensure Online Continuously Motivated

Learner

Not only had the learners motivated it self, institution also need to ensure that its student will

continuously be motivated to learn. Their need to plan interactive program or encourage

social learning so that online learner can be motivate and will not drop of from they study.

Lecturer can introduce videos from YouTube, share blog links, create or encourage learners

to join discussion forums. Encourage online learner to share their ideas with peer and

experts. There are no needs to stress the important of social learning. Institution

management also should design challenging knowledge check. Design the tasks keeping in

mind the learner's reality. Make them curious about things. Ensure lecturer grab their

attention. Ensure that the answers are not obvious. Design assignments that have no correct

answers. Encourage them to post reports or assignments on blogs/forums. Allow them to

discuss their idea and answers with other.

3.1 Motivate Through Learner Engagement

There are many ways to motivate online learner, in the tutorial lecturers can appeal

to student life experiment. We should relate the topic with student life experiences for

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example in psychology subject, the experience of student can be related to the theory.

Lecturer applies course content to real-world situations, because most of the online learners

are adult students. Most online student knew what happen around this world and their often

watched news in the television or reading newspaper. Their allow students using various

ways to share their understanding such as using of text, visual, audio or mind maps. An

institution should incorporate interactive features that involve learners in practice, reflective

thinking, and problem-solving.

3.2 Motivate through Course Clarity


The institution must clearly state course requirements to their student with emphasis

on learner control over success. Provide clear assignments and assessments, for example

don’t tell different to students when students sending their draft. After the correction lecturer

often tells different form the beginning for correction in make the learner feed up to it again.

Lecturer should provide specific, quick, feedback, encouragement and early grading by

telling the mark they get so that learner can redo they assignment better. Identify specific

due date because some student need to structure of due dates motivating. An institution

must be flexible enough to accommodate emergencies and specific problem that online

learner had and provide learner support through scaffolding assignments. Give time to

encourage students questioning and sharing of concerns. For example here, we have to

meet with our mentor every Friday but our mentor never shows up, at least his show up for a

moment and asks us our concern in this type of learning style.

3.3 Motivate through Ongoing Encouragement

Administrator or lecturers establish ongoing communication with their class through

announcement or personal email. Incorporate text in the course materials that convey the

idea that course materials will be useful in promoting quality of life, job satisfaction, etc.

Lecturer use humor when deliver their speech and light-hearted approaches to increase

comfort among students. Always remind student they’re saving time by not traveling to a

face-to-face class. Also ask students to enjoy the freedom of online courses and provide a

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reminder about the schedule and praise students for staying on schedule. Online learner

should teach to do they own time table and follow it so that they will not leave behind.

Lecture also should provide them the dateline of the assignment so student can follow the

schedule. Encourage students to establish a personal reward system or also can do it in the

group.

Conclusion

Motivation is a huge determinant of online learning success. Being motivated means

that we need to be interested in the courses and program, keep in touch with the lecturers,

classmates, readings etc and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Goal setting and

personal rewards i.e. both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation will keep us going. Always set

aside a study place and time with no distractions. For example the library, computer lab or

your study room at home may be the best place to concentrate and get work done.

Successful e-learners know how to balance. Don't forget to surround our self with positive

family, friends, and co-workers who will root for you! Also don't forget to take time off to

relax and recoup. Do something different and fun from time to time. That will keep you

refreshed.

(1,520 words)

REFERENCES

Bates. A.W. The Impact of Technological Change On Open And Distance Learning.

[Available on line]. http://bates.cstudies.ubc.ca/brisbane.html

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OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

Littlefield, J. The 7 Mistakes Distance Learners Make. [Available On Line].


http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/a/7mistakes.htm

Littlefield, J. 10 New Years Resolutions for Online Students. [Available On Line].


http://distancelearn.about.com/od/managingyourwork/a/Resolutions.htm

Robinson. B. The Management of Quality in Open and Distance Learning. [Available On


Line]. http://www1.worldbank.org/disted/Management/Governance/q-01.html

Rashid Aderinoye. Needs Analysis On The Establishment Of A Higher Education Open

Distance Learning Knowledge Base For Decision Makers In Nigeria.[Available On Line]

http://www.unesco.org/education/studyingabroad/highlights/odl_kb/nigeria.doc

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