Prakash V. Arumugam


One of the key elements of the open and distance learning (ODL) is the face-to-face component that is embedded in the delivery system. Due to the sheer geographical reach of an ODL institution, the use of lectures is not feasible. Therefore, most ODL institutions rely on tutors appointed according to regions to deliver education resources in a specific location e.g. learning centres. As the tutors are remotely placed, the issue of quality learning experience for the learners arises. One issue that crops up frequently is whether these tutors are able to deliver effectively. This study looks at the characteristics that learners expect to see in their tutors and their effectiveness. A survey of 176 undergraduate and postgraduate learners was conducted and the responses were derived to gauge these characteristics. A comparative look at characteristics revealed a need for institutions to pay attention to the different needs of undergraduate and postgraduate learners’ educational experience. This ends with some of the support WOU provides to learners and tutors as well to enhance the experiences of both of these important stakeholders.  

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