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Distance education in European higher education: the students

The [Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning] IDEAL project has been designed to get a better understanding of distance education offered by higher education institutions and to examine how higher education institutions can contribute to adult learning by way of distance education. The central research question of the project is: How can the distance education offer of European higher education institutions be better matched to the needs of adult learners? This report documents the second study in the project which surveyed adult learners enrolled in distance education and analysed their social profile, their motivations, and the barriers they encounter. The report consists of five chapters. Following the introductory chapter, chapter two outlines the research methodology and data set used. Chapter three discusses the data set in the context of existing knowledge about distance education students. In chapter four, the data itself is presented. Chapter five provides a summary of the findings and general conclusions. A glossary of key terms used is included at the end of the report.

The [Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning] IDEAL project has been designed to get a better understanding of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Schneller, Chripa; Holmberg, Carl
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Europe
Resource type: Report
Series name: IDEAL (Impact of Distance Education on Adult Learning) project
Subjects: Higher education; Teaching and learning; Students;

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Harnessing the potential of ICTs for literacy teaching and learning: effective literacy and numeracy programmes using radio, tv, mobile phones, tablets, and computers

The examples of literacy and numeracy programmes included in this compilation confirm that the use of [information and communications technologies] ICTs to support the acquisition and further development of reading, writing and numeracy skills is usually part of broader blended learning strategies. Traditional classroom teaching and learning approaches are complemented by self-directed learning, where learners can practice and progress at their individual pace, at their own time, and in different places. These strategies contain also possibilities for learners to interact with each other and share the learning experience from different places. A number of programmes featured in this selection are enabling learners to connect with each other and exchange information about health, nutrition, religion and other important day-to-day topics or to coordinate their community development activities. These inspiring programmes arose from different cultural backgrounds and are transferable to a variety of contexts.

The examples of literacy and numeracy programmes included in this compilation confirm that the use of [information and ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hanemann, Ulrike
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; Cabo Verde; Kenya;
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Technology; Research; Literacy;

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Firefighter training in Sweden: from face-to-face learning in training grounds to distance learning - a challenge for exercise instructors?

When distance learning supported by digital technologies was introduced in firefighter training in Sweden some years ago, training exercise instructors accustomed to face-to-face teaching in the field had to adapt their professional roles to an electronic landscape with a number of new opportunities and constraints. Based on activity theory and comparisons between campus and distance mode, this study was aimed at increasing the understanding of how the training exercise instructor role is affected by the shift towards technology-enhanced distance learning. An analysis of interviews with instructors and students, and observations of response exercises, show that contradictions are emerging in the distance mode between instructors' motives, their technology tools and the object of the training they provide, and also between the two types of training, that is, the campus and the distance modes. Structural tensions and personal motives contribute to changes in the division of labour with instructors tending to adopt a much more passive role in the distance mode compared to their more active role in the campus mode.

When distance learning supported by digital technologies was introduced in firefighter training in Sweden some years ago, ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Holmgren, Robert
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Sweden; Europe
Journal title: Technology, pedagogy and education
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Providers of education and training; Industry;

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Making real the dream of Education for All through open schooling and open universities in Ghana

Although the last three decades have witnessed astronomical increases in enrollment in basic education, the challenges of access, equity, and quality continue to confront countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, education sector policies and reforms have been unable to deal with low transition rates from primary to junior high schools, from junior high schools to senior high schools, and from senior high schools to tertiary level. Children and young students who are unable to continue fail to re-enter because of the absence of complementary or alternative pathways. The old paradigm of physical expansion continues to dominate policies of access. Although several developed and developing countries have used open schooling and open universities to widen access, the success of these programs has been founded on strong policies, commitment of government, and huge investment in technology. Indeed, the future lies with open schooling and open universities.

Although the last three decades have witnessed astronomical increases in enrollment in basic education, the challenges of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Tagoe, Michael
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; Ghana
Journal title: SAGE open
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Outcomes; Pathways;

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Factors affecting students' retention and attrition in the open and distance learning system

This study was undertaken to find the factors that affect student retention and attrition in the open and distance learning (ODL) system in the Punjab region in India. The main objectives of the study were to find out: (1) retention and attrition rates among the learners pursuing graduate and postgraduate programmes; (2) rate of attrition among the learners pursuing other professional and non-professional programmes; (3) percentage of retention and attrition among male and female, rural and urban students; and (4) factors that cause the attrition rate among the learners pursuing the professional and non-professional programmes. For the purpose of finding the retention and attrition rates of the learners who had opted to pursue their study through distance mode, the admission data of selected degree programmes from selected districts in Punjab was collected and analyzed. After analysis of the data, it was found that the attrition rate was high among the learners pursuing the non-professional programmes in comparison to those pursuing the professional programmes. The number of dropouts among rural learners was larger in comparison to those of urban students. For uncovering the factors that cause the retention and attrition rates among the distance learners pursuing these programmes, a questionnaire was developed for collecting feedback from the learners of the mentioned districts. It was found that factors like the non-receipt of counselling schedule in time from the learner support centre, writing of the study material in tough language, non-availability of self-instructional material in local language, delay/non-receipt of study material, non-receipt of the evaluated assignments in time, inadequate guidance at the study centre level, and delay in updates of student data on the website are the factors responsible for the high attrition rate among the learners.

This study was undertaken to find the factors that affect student retention and attrition in the open and distance learning ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Kumari, Santosh
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Asia; India
Journal title: Indian journal of open learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Teaching and learning; Students;

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Accreditation of prior learning experiences of adult learners in open and distance learning

In 2001 the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) embarked on the recruitment of adult learners through accreditation of prior learning (APL). This was in recognition that adult learners who embark on open and distance learning (ODL) have a variety of learning experiences which relate to the world of work which can be incorporated into their degree programmes. The ZOU in recognition of the above philosophy and practice went ahead and admitted students into the counselling degree programme using the APL route. The assumption was that the learner's would achieve personal development and growth through their involvement in APL advisement and assessment. This qualitative study therefore aimed to find out what the APL students' experiences were. Convenient sampling was used to select the students. An extensive open interview was carried out with them. Lecturers and administrators were also interviewed to solicit their views on the students' experiences. The findings revealed that the students lacked adequate support. ODL institutions need to improve awareness of APL and support to students.

In 2001 the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) embarked on the recruitment of adult learners through accreditation of prior ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Kaputa, Thomas M.
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Zimbabwe; Africa
Journal title: Asian journal of educational research
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Pathways; Teaching and learning; Students

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The economics of online postsecondary education: MOOCs, nonselective education, and highly selective education

[The author] considers how online postsecondary education, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), might fit into economically sustainable models of postsecondary education. [The author] contrasts nonselective postsecondary education (NSPE) in which institutions sell fairly standardized educational services in return for upfront payments and highly selective postsecondary education (HSPE) in which institutions invest in students in return for repayments much later in life. The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for some NSPE, but there are risks even in these situations. The analysis suggests that MOOCs will be financially sustainable substitutes for only a small share of HSPE and are likely to collapse the economic model that allows HSPE institutions to invest in advanced education and research. [The author] outlines a non-MOOC model of online education that may allow HSPE institutions both to sustain their distinctive activities and to reach a larger number of students.

[The author] considers how online postsecondary education, including massive open online courses (MOOCs), might fit into ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hoxby, Caroline M.
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Resource type: Discussion paper
Series name: SIEPR discussion paper
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Finance; Economics;

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Scaling business development services through distance learning: a case study of WESST

Compelled by the drive to serve larger numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs in a tightening funding environment, many organizations are looking more closely at distance learning - but challenges abound. This case study profiles the experiences and lessons WESST has learned from its experience developing distance learning services to serve entrepreneurs across New Mexico.

Compelled by the drive to serve larger numbers of aspiring entrepreneurs in a tightening funding environment, many ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Thetford, Tamra; Edgcomb, Elaine
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: North America; United States
Resource type: Paper
Series name: Progress notes from FIELD
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Skills and knowledge; Research;

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Distance higher education programmes in a digital era: good practice guide

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to provide guidelines on how general programme accreditation requirements need to be interpreted for a distance education context and the wide variations thereof, including the effective integration of supporting information and communication technologies (ICTs). The guide is divided into eight sections as follows: introduction and background; a conceptual framework for distance education in a digital era; curriculum design, development and delivery for distance education in a digital era; teaching and learning in distance education in a digital era; assessment in distance education in a digital era; partnerships and collaborations for distance education provision in a digital era; managing distance education provision in a digital era; and concluding remarks. These sections include examples of good practice in distance education. There is also a glossary of terms that are useful in the discussion of distance education provision, and a distance education bibliography.

This guide sets out to clarify the key distinctions between distance and contact education provision in South Africa, and to ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: Council on Higher Education (South Africa)
South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE)
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Resource type: Guide
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Quality; Higher education;

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Measuring student graduateness: reliability and construct validity of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially administered to a random sample of 272 third-year-level and postgraduate-level, distance-learning higher education students. The data were analysed using exploratory factor analysis. In a second study, the scale was administered to a stratified proportional random sample of 1102 early-career, undergraduate open distance-learning higher education students in the economic and management sciences field. The data were analysed using confirmatory factor and Rasch analyses. The structural validity and reliability of the scale were confirmed by the results. Educators and learning and development practitioners may be able to use the findings in their teaching, learning and assessment design.

This study reports the development and validation of the Graduate Skills and Attributes Scale which was initially ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Coetzee, Melinde
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: South Africa; Africa
Journal title: Higher education research and development
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Employment; Skills and knowledge;

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