Exploring the Potential of Virtual Learning in an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Environment
This study was initiated to conceptualize the concept of distance mode of learning and its possible initiative at university of Haripur with special reference to its rationale, significance and challenges. 23 Tutors and 57 students of Teachers’ training programs offered by Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Islamabad, Sarhad University of Science and Technology (SUIT) Peshawar and University of Peshawar were consulted. Respondents of the study were interviewed and asked about the students support services of universities regarding workshops, provision of course text books, assessment of their assignments and papers, professionalism of their respective tutors, and the way university deal with their issues about rechecking of papers, fee submission, issuance of their detail mark sheets and degrees. At the end they were asked what their views are if university of Haripur takes this initiative of launching programs through distance mode of learning. Study revealed that most of the students were not satisfied with students support services of universities; they had very serious concerns about tutors, resource persons of the workshops, rude behavior of staff etc. It was concluded that these universities had not responsible focal persons and professional tutors in the district to facilitate their students. It was recommended on the basis of results that universities must standardize their students support services and university of Haripur must start distance learning programs for the students of district.
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