Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and
Distance Learning at Allama Iqbal Open University
Akhtar Ali Shah
*
Abstract
This research study was conducted to find out the perceptions of students
about tutorials in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) at Allama Iqbal
Open University (AIOU). The objectives of the study were to find out
the perceptions of the students about tutorials in ODL at AIOU and to
give suggestions for improvement in the tutorial system. In view of the
time constraints, the study was consisted of the students involved at the
Peshawar and Rawalpindi Regions of the AIOU in B.Ed. Course 512 of
semester spring 2012. The data was collected through a questionnaire
developed five point Likart Scale. The data was analyzed and the results
were converted into percentage and mean scores. The students perceived
that tutor engages students in learning activities by using question answer
approach in tutorials which is more active for teaching. Tutorials can
help in student interaction with each other and they can learn and think in
a critical way. Majority of the students agreed that tutorial can aid in the
development of the necessary knowledge and abilities of the students.
Tutorial is based on interactive approach, and its timing and duration is
perfect. It was found that in tutorials tutor remains punctual while the
students are not punctual. It was found that all the necessary facilities
were not available in the tutorials. Tutor’s training was found necessary.
It was recommended that there is a need of comprehensive training for
tutors to conduct the tutorials. The availability of tutors at the study
centers may be made ensure as per schedule issued to the tutor and
students so that to make interaction between students to learn from each
other. Study centers may be established in the locations which would be
accessible for the tutors and students and especially for female tutors and
students of far flung areas. All the necessary facilities, including
*
M.Phil Scholar, DNFCE Department, Allama Iqbal Open University,
Islamabad. Shahakhtarali67@gmail.com
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 68
multimedia may be provided at the study centers. Monitory incentives
for the tutors may be increased and the strength of students per tutor may
be decreased so as the tutor may participate wholeheartedly and give
meaningful feedback on assignments of every student.
Keywords: Perception, Tutorial, Open Distance Learning (ODL), Study
Centers, Interactive Approach,
Introduction
As a force contributing to social and economic development, Open
and Distance Learning (ODL) is today one of the most rapidly growing
fields of education and training. It is fast becoming an accepted and
indispensable part of the main stream of educational systems in both,
developed and developing countries, with particular importance for the
latter (UNESCO, 2000a). Immense attention is given to open and
distance learning to meet the educational needs of the adult population,
with a view to provide new and alternative learning opportunities for
those who were initially deprived of them, or who, for one reason or
another, did not make use of them. Open and distance learning supports
the needs of those who cannot be efficiently reached by traditional
delivery systems. Distance education has gained wide acceptance as one
of the successful modes of extending education in a context of reach,
acceptance, and productivity. As a scholar, reach in a sense that it has
been instrumental in addressing the educational needs of speckled
communities in different continents (Mitchell, 2009); acceptance in the
sense that it has emerged “as a viable alternative delivery system and an
alternative to the conventional system” (Rao, 2006); and productivity in
the sense that "Research & Development in this area has contributed in
many ways to more general educational research and development."
(Spector, 2009). The provision of an opportunity to learn without being
restricted by geographical or time constraints is a major factor behind the
growth of distance education programs. Distance education highly
essential to share the goals of conventional education, aims at providing
access to historically under-served, and highly motivated population
provide students‟ freedom and program flexibility, offer useful learning
opportunity to recipients at a time and local environment convenient to
them, the delivery medium plays a crucial role in minimizing the gap
between teaching and learning (Keegan, 1996). Distance education,
according to Valery and Lord (2000), may offer four different
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 69
benefits to education providers: enabling access to students; alleviating
capacity constraints; capitalizing on emerging market opportunities and
serving as a catalyst in institutional transformation. Since the education
systems of most countries or areas have expanded quickly, these
institutions have suffered from a poor understanding of quality and a lack
of educational standards and indicators, (Cheng & Tam, 1997).
Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on the pursuit of education
quality in ongoing educational reforms in both local and international
contexts. Development of distance learning courses needs good market
research and business planning where a quality-based approach is a
necessity, not a luxury (Lawton & Barnes, 1998). However,
understanding of pedagogical issues in the distance education realm is a
requirement to create a quality distance courses. As Cooke & Veach,
(1997), the production and initial distribution of learning materials and
the management of the student/lecturer interface using tools that permit
the tracking of assignments and response times are important aspects of
distance education. Effectiveness, technology, student characteristics,
and instructor characteristics, institutional support, and supervision
emerged as six key success factors for distance education delivery
(Valery & Lord, 2000).
Tutorials are one of the main components of the Open Distance
Learning (ODL). The learning environment in Open Distance is intended
to be learner centered and high supportive. Qualified persons are
selected as part time tutors from the formal institutions of the country.
This approach has easy manageable workload and the learner support
services are cost-effective. Programmed schedules are sent to students
with the correspondence packages. In addition, assignments are sent
throughout the period of study. These assignments have threefold
function: i-They enable the students to have their performance and
progress assessed regularly by expert tutors; ii-They enable a tutor to
give instruction to his / her students through the comments; and
corrections made on the assignment; iii-They act as a pacing device for
the students during their period of study. Knowledge Series of
Commonwealth of Learning has explained these aims of tutoring in the
Open Distance Learning (ODL) (Daweti, 2005): a- Being an
interpersonal element to the learning process. b- Faster collaborative
learning and support small group. c-Enrich print-based learning through
a variety of practical and interactive exercises.
D. Keegan (1996), explained the educational philosophy of Open
Learning emphasizes giving learner’s choices about: a-medium or media,
whether print, online, television or video; b-place of study, whether at
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 70
home, in work place, or any other; c-time for study, any time; d-support
mechanisms, whether tutors on demand, audio conferences or computer-
assisted learning: and, entry and exit points.
According to Al. Sparkeset, (1983), “the time continuum is very
important for Open Distance Learning system. At one end all learners
and their tutors interact at the same time and same place, for example,
face-to-face tutorials, seminars, workshops. At the other end, all learners
and their tutors interact at different times and different places, for
example, home study, computer conferencing and learners’ visits to
learning resources centers at their leisure”. The use of new information
and communication technologies has drawn new attention to open and
distance learning and offers new possibilities (Shah, 2004). Distance
education has been defined as an educational process in which a
significant proportion of the teaching is some open and distance learning
programmers lead to a qualification, others do not; some are addressed to
individuals and others to groups; some are tightly organized and others
essentially a way of making learning resources available to teachers. All
fall under this one umbrella of open and distance learning (Richardson,
2001). The aim of this study is to explore the dynamics and challenges of
distance education facing in the tutorial of distance education programs.
The study at hand has paramount importance in exploring the
achievements and challenges that may debilitate the tutorial system,
enables us to consider the views of tutors and students / learners towards
the tutorials and its practical implications for extending and
strengthening the system. In addition to the above, the findings related to
a given study have a broader application about introducing adaption in
the area under consideration. Specifically, it will provide some valuable
suggestions and recommendations for the implementer and users such as
students, counselors, teachers, educational administrators, curriculum
designers and distance education coordinators.
Tutoring in Open and Distance Learning
As the learning environment in distance education is intended to be
highly supportive and learner centered, regular tutor-led contact sessions
are an important learner support strategy that may be an incentive for
student enrolment in a program.
In general, institutions use the tutoring services of qualified
professional or support staff employed on a part time contract basis,
rather than full time academic staff. This approach ensures that lectures
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 71
have a manageable workload, and that learner support services are cost
effective. Tutoring in open and distance learning (ODL) is designed to:-
i-Bring an interpersonal element to the learning process. ii- Enrich print
based learning through a variety of practical and interactive exercises. iii-
Principles dealt with here will apply to main ODL contexts.
Types of Tutorials in ODL
Tutorials, in both media based and contact based formats, are one of
the most effective strategies for opening up learning environments.
Media Based Tutorials
To an extent, well-designed and well-written learning materials serve
as a good vicarious teacher. This means the materials can aid the
development of the necessary knowledge and abilities, as if they were
physically under the guidance of a real teacher when written in a way
that simulates the actual tutorial process. The learning material becomes
a kind of simulated conversation that takes place in a non contiguous
(non contact) environment. One may experience this form of educational
conversation through reading material that conveys a personal tone, in
which the author gives advice on how to handle various concepts and
activities; encourages him/her to interrogate the text, reflection his/her
own thinking processes as he/she reads, and considers alternative
perspectives. These courses or modules may be well designed to promote
a sense of interactivity, but are produced for mass distribution to possibly
thousands of students across vast distances. Skilled tutors will be able to
help students use the material to create their own individual
understanding and knowledge.
Contact Based Tutorials
I’m not sure now write the first assignment. Are we going to discuss
the layout on Saturday? Contact-based tutorials correspond to Holmberg
s of guided didactic conversation, based on the awareness that human
beings, although learning individually, usually develop their thinking in
an advantageous way by talking their concepts and ideas over with some
partner. So in addition to dialogue between leaner and learning material
and content, we should create personal interactions on at least two other
levels, i.e. i-Between learner and teacher (or tutor), ii-Between learner
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 72
and learner contact based tutorials, also called contact sessions, may
specify compulsory or optional attendance and may carry a portion of the
total course credit. They take different forms: individual or group
tutoring, tutor or peer facilitated tutorials, short (say three hours) but
frequent sessions, or residential holiday schools of a longer duration (a
week or more). The main reasons for creating opportunities for contact
and dialogue go beyond just overcoming the isolation and loneliness of
distance learning.
Effective Strategies for Tutorials
Skills and Qualities
A tutor undertakes multiple tasks that demand a variety of abilities
generally; a tutor should have an academic qualification that is at least
one level higher than the course tutored. Essential qualities include
interpersonal skills, organization and attention to detail, enthusiasm,
creativity, empathy, computer skills and commitment to students and
their learning. Your institution may consider some skills and qualities
more important than others, depending on the scope of your tutoring role.
Teaching and Learning
The structure and value of learner’s support systems including
tutoring, reflect the broader teaching and learning philosophy of the
institution and the extent to which learning programs are really open,
institutions where lectures are the sole custodians of the curriculum, are
less open than those that use student’s and tutors’ feed back in the
design process. Of course, many orientations can coexist. For example,
you could combine experiential and constructivist approaches by
allowing students to work individually and then share experiences with
the group. Also, you may elicit opinion or examples form students to
make a densely written text more accessible.
In planning and delivering a tutorial-learner support system
institutions should carefully consider the implications of introducing a
distance education component in a face to face tuition environment. How
will the student profile change? Are there specific standards for distance
education provision that must be met? Will the current administrative
system and technologies be adequate? What opportunities for
collaboration with other institutions or agencies can be exploited? Re-
evaluate and communicate the teaching and learning philosophy. Is the
tutorial-learner support system to be integral part of teaching and
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 73
assessment? How will teaching and learning practices be evaluated, and
what role will students and tutors play here? Ensure that lecture and tutor
roles do not conflict. Who will manage the tutorial system? Does the
institution need to contract an external experienced tutor/facilitator to
help define roles and responsibilities? Commit the necessary human and
material resources. Will the institution afford the cost of training and
remunerating tutors; developing new or revising existing learning
materials; marketing new programs and tutorial services; hiring tutorial
venues; and increased use of postal services? For which costs can
external funding be sought? Is the system introduced as a pilot project, or
as a planned sustainable tuition feature?
Tutoring at AIOU
The AIOU is the biggest provider of distance education in Pakistan,
with nearly 1000 courses offered to undergraduate and postgraduate
students. The University employs part-time tutors, who act as the human
interface between the university and its students. Each tutor is
responsible for supporting a group of around 40-60 students, although
the group may vary in size depending on the geographical distribution of
students. So, in spite of the scale and size of the University, the strength
of the system is that all students are known individually by their tutor.
The tutor’s role is to mark assignments with detailed formative feedback,
and to provide support to students as appropriate. Central academic staff
designs the courses which are delivered in the form of printed or web
based course materials. The nature of tutor support will vary to some
extent with the faculty and course, but broadly speaking there is a
standard remit.
Earlier research at the Open University (Price et al, 2007) described
how students viewed tutoring and tuition differently. While tuition was
seen as a more objective impersonal activity intended to meet the needs
of a group and involving interpretation and assessment of a subject,
tutoring was a more subjective and personal activity that was intended to
meet the needs of individuals, where the students themselves had the
greatest influence on the nature of tutor- student interactions. It was
pastoral and interactive, involving supporting; counseling; and mentoring
students aimed at helping them grasp the big picture’.
It can be argued that distance learners need help and guidance in
coping with the associated demands of this type of studying (McGivney,
2004) and hence, the attitudes and behaviors of the tutors are crucial to
students perceptions of the academic quality of courses in distance
education (Richardson,Long,&Woodley,2003). Our aim in conducting
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 74
this study has been to explore tutor and student perceptions of what
constitutes good tutoring in a distance learning environment. The
following analytic strategy was used:
Finally, the discriminate analyses were used to determine the scale
that contributed the most to the differences among the different clusters
of tutors and students. This analytic strategy has been used in a number
of previous exploratory studies in higher education and clinical
psychology (Makoe, Richardson, & Price, 2008; Richardson 1996, 2007;
Zelinski, Gilewski, & Thompson, 1980).
Perception
According to Nelson and Quick (1997), “social perception is the
process of interpreting information about another person.” In other
words, you may be in possession of the same set of information that
other people have on a particular situation, person or group but still
arrive at different conclusions due to individual differences in the
capacity to interpret the information that you all have. Rao and Narayan
(1998) obviously share the main characteristics of the above definition.
However, they emphasize that perception ranks among the “important
cognitive factors of human behavior” or psychological mechanism that
enable people to understand their environment. In their own words,
“perception is the process whereby people select, organize, and interpret
sensory stimulations into meaningful information about their work
environment.” They argue that perception is the single most important
determinant of human behavior, stating further that “there can be no
behavior without perception.” From a third perspective “social
perception refers to constructing an understanding of the social world
from the data we get through our senses” (Michener, DeLamater and
Myers, 2004). Thus, perception “refers to the process by which we form
impressions of other people’s traits and personalities.” You may have
noticed that by referring to “our senses” as the means of data collection
the authors may have placed too much emphasis on its perception
component, which the first two definitions clearly avoided. In order to
shed more light on this concept it is important to pay attention to the
following elements of the above definitions of perception listed by Rao
and Narayan (1998):
1. Our attention, feelings and the way we act are influenced by our
environment,
2. Perception helps you to gather data from your surroundings process
the data and make sense out of it,
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 75
3. In perception it is sometimes difficult to separate the information
from the action,
4. It is basically a process of gaining mental understanding, and
5. Perception guides the perceiver in harnessing, processing and
channeling relevant information towards fulfilling the perceiver’s
requirements. (Godwin Ogheneochuko Unumeri , 2009).
Statement of the Problem
Tutorials are used as avenues for tutors and their students at a
physical location to discuss issues related to course content. They also
discuss issues other than course content. These issues require the
attention of the tutors. The issues range from management, financial, and
social, advising to helping learners become more autonomous. The
Allama Iqbal Open University has the aim to provide quality education
to the masses of the country. The university has its tutorial system to
minimize the students’ issues and problems and help them to become
more autonomous in learning. This study is to find out the perceptions of
students about tutorials in Open Distance Learning (ODL) at AIOU and
to identify the issues and problems faced by the students at tutorials.
Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study were to:
i. Find out students’ perceptions about tutorials in Open Distance
Learning (ODL) at Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU).
ii. Identify problems/barriers inhibiting implementation of tutorials in
ODL at AIOU.
Significance of the Study
This study would help the tutors to understand the tutoring in ODL
and they will use the study centers as a platform to reflect their practices.
Tutor will address the tutoring linked challenges at the National and
Regional campuses. Its findings and implementation would benefit the
students’ services department in the ODL to improve and enhance the
students learning. The planner of ODL will be benefited and will change
the rules of planning in ODL. The study may be significant in the
following ways:
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 76
1. It would be beneficial for the planners of ODL at the AIOU.
2. It would be beneficial for the course coordinators at the AIOU.
3. It would be beneficial for the writers of courses at the AIOU.
4. It would be beneficial for the process of evaluation at the AIOU.
Research Questions
1. What are students’ perceptions about tutorials in ODL at AIOU?
2. What is possible solution for problems and issues inhabiting in
implementation of tutorials in ODL at AIOU?
Delimitations of the Study
The study was delimited to the tutors and students of B.Ed. Course 512,
(Perspectives of Education) of Peshawar and Rawalpindi Regions. The
Semester Autumn 2012 was considered for this research.
Methodology of the Study
This study is of survey type and a single questionnaire was used for
the students. Likert’s five rating scale questionnaire was used in this
study. The questionnaire was developed to investigate students’
perceptions of tutoring. The respondents were asked to indicate their
level of agreement or disagreement with each item using 5-point rating
scale. Random sample of available students was selected. Students were
selected from B.Ed. program offered by the AIOU. Those responses
were included in the analysis which contained in the original sample. The
questionnaire was administered through post and personally face to face.
The study is basically descriptive in nature and survey was conducted to
collect the data.
Population
All students of B.e.d Course code 512; i.e. (12000) of Peshawar and
Rawalpindi regions of the A.I.O.U was the population of the study. This
Population was comprised of Semester Autumn 2012.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 77
Sample
Twelve hundred (1200) students were selected from Rawalpindi and
Peshawar Regions randomly which is 10% of the population. The total
responses received were 1008 which is 84% of the population. This is a
survey study, therefore, percentage and mean average scores of each
statement of the questionnaire were calculated.
Tools of the Research
The data was collected with the help of a single questionnaire for
students after the termination of the semester autumn 2012.
Data Collection
The following data was collected from the tutors and students
through a single questionnaire.
Table
The tutors and students participated in the survey.
Category of
population
Population
Sample
Sample
Size
Received
Responses
Response
Rate
Sampling
Technique
Students
12000
1200
10%
1008
84%
Convenient
Data Analysis
Data analysis was made by applying percentage and mean scores of
each statement of the questionnaire. Mean scores were calculated by the
following formula.
Where,
M.A =
5(%SA) + 4(%A) + 3(%N) + 2(%DA) + 1(%SDA)
100
SA= Strongly Agree, A= Agree, N=Normal, DA= Disagree,
SDA=Strongly Disagree. The mean score above 3.0 was taken as
favorable. After percentage and mean scores were calculated, findings of
the questionnaire were drawn. On the bases of findings, conclusions were
made, while recommendations based on conclusions.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 78
Results and Discussions
The data analysis is based upon the responses of the participants to
the statements in the questionnaire. The questionnaire was analyzed
using descriptive statistics to determine the frequencies of the
participant’s responses. The data was tabulated in the form of frequency
distribution, percentage and mean scores. Analysis has been done only
quantitatively. The 12000 students were taken as a random sample from
the Peshawar and Rawalpindi Regions of the AIOU. The response rate
was 84%. The following tables show analysis of the 31 statements of the
questionnaire.
Table 1
Perceptions of the students about tutor engage students in learning
activities.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
1.
Tutor engages students
in learning activities
SA
381
30
A
399
40
N
105
11
4.04
DA
058
06
SDA
040
04
Total
983
100
Table 1 indicates that 79% of the students are agreed that tutor
engages students in learning activities while 10% are disagreed. Mean
score 4.04> 3.0 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 2
Perceptions of the students about the question answer approach in
tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
2.
SA
469
52
A
340
38
N
69
08
4.9
DA
14
01
SDA
10
01
Questions answer
Approach in tutoring is
more active in learning
Total
902
100
Table 2 indicates that 90% of the students are agreed to the statement
that using question answer approach in tutoring is more active in learning
while 02% are disagreed. Mean score 4.39>3.0 shows that the students
supported the statement.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 79
Table 3
Perceptions of the students about tutorials interact students effectively.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
3.
SA
442
49
A
293
32
N
114
13
4.23
DA
41
05
SDA
14
01
Tutorial interacts students
effectively
Total
904
100
Table 3 indicates that 81% of the students are agreed that tutorials
interacts students effectively while 06% are disagreed. Mean score 4.23
shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 4
Perceptions of the students about the tutorials help students to learn.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
4.
SA
588
65
A
241
27
N
49
05
4.53
DA
14
02
SDA
08
01
Tutorial help students to
learn
Total
900
100
Table 4.2.4 indicates that 92% of the students are agreed that tutorials
help students to learn while 03% are disagreed. Mean score 4.53 shows
that the students supported the statement.
Table 5
Perceptions of the students about tutorials help students to think in a
critical way.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
5.
SA
484
51
A
249
26
N
122
13
4.16
DA
74
08
SDA
14
02
Tutorials help students to
think in a critical way
Total
943
100
Table 4.2.5 indicates that 77% of the students are agreed that tutorials
help students to think in a critical way while 10% are disagreed. Mean
score 4.16 shows that the students supported the statement.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 80
Table 6
Perceptions of the students about tutor discussion on assignments in the
tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
6.
SA
303
34
A
392
43
N
136
15
4.0
DA
51
06
SDA
20
02
Tutor prefer to have
discussion on the
assignments in the
tutorials
Total
902
100
Table 4.2.7 indicates that 77% of the students are agreed that tutoring
means spend less time on giving information and more time engaging in
discussion while 10% are disagreed. Mean score 4.04 shows that the
students supported the statement.
Table 7
Perceptions of the students about development of students’ knowledge in
the tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
7.
SA
456
51
A
338
37
N
76
08
4.34
DA
25
03
SDA
07
01
Tutorials can aid in the
development of the
necessary knowledge and
abilities of the students
Total
902
100
Table 7 indicates that 88% of the students are agreed to the statement
that tutorials can aid in development of the necessary knowledge and
abilities of the students while 04% disagreed. Mean score 4.34 shows
that the students supported the statement.
Table 8
Perceptions of the students about the timings of the tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
8.
SA
443
49
A
268
30
N
122
14
4.19
DA
45
05
SDA
21
02
Tutorial timings
are prefect
Total
899
100
Table 8 indicates that 79% of the students are agreed to the statement
that tutorials timing is perfect while 07% disagreed. Mean score 4.19
shows that the students supported the statement.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 81
Table 9
Perceptions of the students about the duration of the tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
9.
SA
368
41
A
316
35
N
134
15
4.04
DA
46
05
SDA
31
04
Tutorial duration
is prefect
Total
895
100
Table 4.2.11 indicates that 76% of the students are agreed that tutorials
duration is perfect while 09% disagreed. Mean score 4.04 shows that the
students supported the statement.
Table 10
Perceptions of the students about the available facilities in the tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
10.
SA
306
34
A
220
24
N
161
18
3.58
DA
123
14
SDA
89
10
All the necessary
facilities are available
in tutorials
Total
899
100
Table 10 indicates that 58% of the students are agreed to the statement
that all necessary facilities are available in the tutorials while 24%
disagreed. Mean score 3.58 shows that the students supported the
statement.
Table 11
Perceptions of the students about tutor feels confidence in the tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
11.
SA
369
41
A
346
39
N
119
13
4.11
DA
36
04
SDA
25
03
Tutor feels confident
in carrying out
tutorials
Total
901
100
Table 11 indicates that 80% of the students are agreed to that they feel
confident in carrying out tutorials while 07% disagreed. Mean score 4.11
shows that the students supported the statement.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 82
Table 12
Perceptions of the students about the feedback is given to every student
on assignments.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
12.
SA
361
40
A
301
34
N
123
14
3.98
DA
75
08
SDA
38
04
Feedback is given
on the assignment to
every student
Total
898
100
Table 12 indicates that 74% of the students are agreed that feedback is
given on the assignments while 012% disagreed. Mean score 3.98 shows
that the students supported the statement.
Table 13
Perceptions of the students about tutor is always sympathetic with the
students.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
13.
SA
497
55
A
286
32
N
81
09
4.37
DA
26
03
SDA
10
01
Tutor is always
sympathetic when
students need help on
their study
Total
900
100
Table 13 indicates that 87% of the students are agreed that tutor is
always sympathetic when students need help on their study while 04%
disagreed. Mean score 4.37 shows that the students supported the
statement.
Table 14
Perceptions of the students about tutor knows how to encourage self
learning.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
14.
SA
364
40
A
357
39
N
132
15
4.11
DA
41
05
SDA
11
01
Tutor knows how to
encourage
self learning
Total
905
100
Table 14 indicates that 79% of the students are agreed that tutor knows
how to encourage self learning while 06% disagreed. Mean score 4.11
shows that the students supported the statement.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 83
Table 15
Perceptions of the students about the tutor motivates students to
learning.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
15.
SA
474
53
A
292
33
N
84
09
4.33
DA
34
04
SDA
07
01
Tutor knows how to
motivate students
to learn
Total
891
100
Table 15 indicates that 86% of the students are agreed that tutor knows
how to motivate students to learn while 05% disagreed. Mean score 4.15
shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 16
Perceptions of the students about tutor are aware of students’ needs.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
16.
SA
391
43
A
313
33
N
152
17
4.10
DA
42
05
SDA
16
02
Tutor is aware about
student’s needs
Total
914
100
Table 16 indicates that 76% of the students are agreed to that tutor is
aware about students’ needs while 07% disagreed. Mean score 4.10
shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 17
Perceptions of the students about tutor makes preparation before
tutoring.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
17.
SA
364
40
A
357
39
N
132
15
4.11
DA
41
05
SDA
11
01
Tutor knows how to
encourage
self learning
Total
905
100
Table 17 indicates that 83% of the students are agreed that tutor makes
preparation before tutoring while 05% disagreed. Mean score 4.25 shows
that the students supported the statement.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 84
Table 18
Perceptions of the students about the tutors’ expectation of success from
all students.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
18.
SA
440
50
A
299
34
N
116
13
4.31
DA
27
03
SDA
04
00
Tutor has expectation
of success from all
students
Total
886
100
Table 18 indicates that 84% of the students are agreed that tutor has
expectation of success for all students while 03% disagreed. Mean score
4.31 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 19
Perceptions of the students about tutor gives adequate guidance for
students.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
19.
SA
325
36
A
342
38
N
165
18
4.00
DA
51
06
SDA
25
02
Tutor gives adequate
guidance on assignment
and about examination
Total
908
100
Table 19 indicates that 74% of the students are agreed that tutor gives
adequate guidance on assignment and about examination while 08%
disagreed. Mean score 4.00 shows that the students supported the
statement.
Table 20
Perceptions of the students about tutors’ punctuality.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
20.
SA
475
54
A
306
35
N
80
09
4.40
DA
10
01
SDA
09
01
Tutor is punctual
Total
880
100
Table 20 indicates that 89% of the students are agreed to the statement
that tutor is punctual while 02% disagreed. Mean score 4.40 shows that
the students supported the statement.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 85
Table 21
Perceptions of the students about students are punctual.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
21.
SA
59
07
A
88
10
N
122
13
2.18
DA
303
34
SDA
328
36
Student is punctual
Total
900
100
Table 21 indicates that17% of the students are agreed that student is
punctual while 70% disagreed. Mean score 2.18 shows that the students
didn’t support the statement.
Table 22
Perceptions of the students about the tutors’ knowledge.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
22.
SA
407
45
A
357
39
N
119
13
4.25
DA
17
02
SDA
08
01
Tutor has thorough
knowledge of
his subject
Total
908
100
Table 22 indicates that 84% of the students are agreed that tutor has a
thorough knowledge of their discipline while 03% disagreed. Mean score
4.25 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 23
Perceptions of the students about tutors communicate effectively in the
tutorials.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
23.
SA
342
38
A
390
43
N
137
15
4.14
DA
29
03
SDA
08
01
Tutor is punctual
Total
906
100
Table 23 indicates that 81% of the students are agreed that tutor
communicates effectively in the tutorials while 04% disagreed. Mean
score 4.15 shows that the students supported the statement.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 86
Table 24
Perceptions of the students about tutor promotes students learning
through media use.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
24.
SA
109
12
A
233
26
N
214
24
2.94
DA
180
20
SDA
155
18
Tutor promotes
students learning
through effective
media use
Total
891
100
Table 24 indicates that 38% of the students are agreed that tutor
promotes students learning through media use while 38% disagreed.
Mean score 2.94 shows that the students didn’t support the statement.
Table 25
Perceptions of the students about tutor clarify course objectives and goals
to students.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
25.
SA
328
37
A
326
36
N
169
19
3.99
DA
48
05
SDA
29
03
Tutor clarifies
course objectives and
goals to students
Total
900
100
Table 25 indicates that 73% of the students are agreed that tutor clarifies
course objectives and goals to students while 08% disagreed. Mean score
3.99 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 26
Perceptions of the students about tutor checks students’ progress.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
26.
SA
400
44
A
320
35
N
85
09
4.07
DA
67
08
SDA
38
04
Tutor checks the
student’s progress
Total
910
100
Table 26 indicates that 79% of the students are agreed that tutor checks
the students’ progress while 12% disagreed. Mean score 4.07 shows that
the students supported the statement.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 87
Table 27
Perceptions of the students about tutor are expert in the ODL system.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
27.
SA
413
46
A
304
34
N
74
08
4.09
DA
63
07
SDA
47
05
Tutor is expert of the
open distance
learning system
Total
901
100
Table 27 indicates that 80% of the students are agreed that tutor is not
expert of the open distance learning system while 12% disagreed. Mean
score 4.09 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 28
Perceptions of the students about tutor need training in the ODL system.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
28.
SA
318
35
A
230
25
N
123
14
3.60
DA
150
17
SDA
79
09
Tutor need training
about open distance
learning system
Total
900
100
Table 28 indicates that 60% of the students are agreed that tutor need
training about open distance learning system 28% disagreed. Mean score
3.6 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 29
Perceptions of students about tutor provides an environment for the
students learning.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
29.
SA
406
47
A
337
39
N
89
10
4.27
DA
21
02
SDA
16
02
Tutor provides an
environment for the
students to learn
Total
869
100
Table 29 indicates that 86% of the students are agreed that tutor provides
a learning environment for the students while 04% disagreed. Mean
score 4.27 shows that the students supported the statement.
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 88
Table 30
Perceptions of the students about tutor encourages discussion among the
students.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
30.
SA
439
49
A
291
32
N
115
13
4.22
DA
38
04
SDA
17
02
Tutor encourages
discussion among
students
Total
900
100
Table 30 indicates that 81% of the students are agreed to that tutor
encourages discussion among students while 06% disagreed. Mean score
4.22 shows that the students supported the statement.
Table 31
Perceptions of the students about tutor uses appropriate participative
methodology.
S. No.
Statement
Level
Frequency
Percentage
Mean Score
31.
SA
355
40
A
345
38
N
149
17
4.10
DA
16
02
SDA
28
03
Tutor uses appropriate
participative methodology
Total
893
100
Table 31 indicates that 78% of the students are agreed to the statement
that tutor uses appropriate participative methodology while 04%
disagreed. Mean score 4.10 shows that the students supported the
statement.
Conclusions
Collected data was analyzed and on the bases of findings obtained
through data analysis the following conclusions may be drawn.
1. Majority of the students (79%) are agreed that tutor engages students
in learning activities by using question answer approach in tutorials
which is more active for teaching. Tutorials help in student
interaction with each other and to learn and think in a critical way.
Majority students (90%) are agreed that tutorial can aid in the
development of the necessary knowledge and abilities of the
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 89
students. Tutorial is based on interactive approach, and its timing and
duration is perfect.
2. Majority of the students (58%) are agreed that all necessary facilities
are available in tutorials. Majority of the students (80%) feel
confident in carrying out the tutorials.
3. Majority of the students (74%) are agreed that tutorial is important
for the transmission of knowledge and feedback is given on the
assignments to every student, and also tutor is sympathetic when
students need help on their study. The tutor is aware about students
needs, makes preparation before tutoring, gives guidance on
assignments and about examination, and counsels students when
necessary in tutorials.
4. Majority of the students (89%) are agreed that tutor is punctual
but70% students are disagreed that students are punctual in tutorials.
Tutor has a thorough knowledge of his subject, communicates
effectively in tutorials, and promotes students’ learning in tutorials.
5. Majority of the students (73%) are agreed that tutor clarifies course
objectives and goals to the students. The students (79%) are agreed
that tutor checks the students’ progress, and also is an expert of the
open distance learning system. However, (60%) of students are
agreed that tutor needs training about ODL system.
6. Majority of the students (86%) are agreed that tutor provides an
environment for students to learn. Majority of the students (81%) are
agreed that tutor encourages discussion among the students while
(78%) students are agreed that tutor uses appropriate methodology in
tutorials.
Recommendations
On the basis of finding and conclusions the recommendations of the
study, the perceptions of students about tutorial in ODL at AIOU are
proposed as under.
1. There is a need of comprehensive training for tutors to conduct the
tutorials and give meaningful feedback on the assignments which can
help in students learning.
2. The availability of tutors and students at the study centers may be
made ensure as per schedule issued to the tutor and students so as to
solve the students’ problems related to course work well in time, and
make interaction among the students to learn from each other and
promote critical thinking among the students. Attendance of students
Pakistan Journal of Distance & Online Learning [Vol. II, Issue II, 2016] 90
in tutorials may be awarded with marks in their academic program so
that they may understand the worth of tutorial meetings.
3. Study centers may be established in the locations which would be
accessible for the tutors and students and especially for female tutors
and students of far flung areas. All the necessary facilities, including
multimedia and internet may be provided at the study centers.
4. The strength of students per tutor may be decreased so as the tutor
may participate wholeheartedly and give meaningful feedback on
assignments of every student.
Perception of Students about Tutorials in Open and Distance Learning 91
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