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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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Gender analysis of open and distance learning in the Caribbean region

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the Caribbean from a gender perspective. It covers a wide range of themes encompassing the socio-cultural and economic factors. For some there was no data or analysis available directly related to gender issues or the data available is over 10 years old. In these instances, the report summarized key ODL issues in that area and assessed the relevant gender equality issues and questions influencing the related current practices and status.

This report provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature on open and distance learning (ODL) in the ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Peebles, Dana
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Central America and the Caribbean
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Gender; Teaching and learning; Technology;

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Policy for the provision of distance education in South African universities in the context of an integrated post-school system

This policy seeks to resolve areas of uncertainty and provide strong support for the progressive development of South African university distance education as an indispensable and integral component of the national post-school education system. The policy is part of a broader focus on building the capacity of the post-school system but focuses primarily on university education because of its unique features. The development of this policy has taken place in the context of two important factors: the development and release of the ‘White paper on post-school education and training’ with its imperative to expand the system dramatically; and increasing, but by no means ubiquitous, penetration and affordability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) across South Africa. Both factors have a seminal impact on the provision of distance education in the public and private university sector.

This policy seeks to resolve areas of uncertainty and provide strong support for the progressive development of South ...  Show Full Abstract  

Corporate authors: South Africa. Department of Higher Education and Training
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; South Africa
Resource type: Policy document
Series name: Government gazette = Staatskoerant (South Africa. Department of Higher Education and Training
Subjects: Policy; Teaching and learning; Higher education;

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Massive open online course (MOOC) report 2013

The University of London International Programmes launched four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Coursera platform in June 2013. Each of the MOOCs lasted six weeks and was designed to offer a short introduction to subjects the university offered as full degrees. The initial offering of four MOOCs attracted over 210,000 initial registrations, over 90,000 active students in their first week, from over 160 countries and lead to 8,843 Statements of Accomplishment being attained. The programmes offered achieved an aggregate student satisfaction rating of 91 per cent (ranging from good to excellent). While it is still too early to evaluate the conversion of students completing a MOOC to enrolment on a University of London International Programmes degree, over 30 students who applied to the university's 2013/14 fee-paying programmes have indicated that they took one of the MOOCs beforehand.

The University of London International Programmes launched four massive open online courses (MOOCs) on the Coursera platform ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Grainger, Barney
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: England; Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Report
Subjects: Higher education; International education; Teaching and learning;

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