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 faceto- 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 oncampus 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 xplore75@yahoo.com Page 1

OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

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 xplore75@yahoo.com Page 2

OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

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 realworld 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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OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

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 xplore75@yahoo.com Page 4

OUMH1103 LEARNING SKILLS FOR OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNERS

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.

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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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