Challenges before Open and Distance Learning: Global Perspective and the Experience of Open University Malaysia

Anuwar Ali, (2011) Challenges before Open and Distance Learning: Global Perspective and the Experience of Open University Malaysia. In: International Conference cum Workshop : Vardhaman Mahaveer Open University, 7-9 March 2011 , Kota, Rajasthan, India. (Submitted)

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Open and distance learning (ODL) has played a significant role in the transformation of higher education from an elite privilege to a democratised opportunity, particularly in view of economic competition and the global drive towards a knowledge-based community. As a novel approach in delivering education, ODL has been able to grant an unprecedented number of people the opportunity to obtain a university degree. Through ODL, it has become a reality for many different kinds of individuals – from marginalised groups to senior citizens and the physically disadvantaged – to partake in higher education. With this newfound educational access, many are now able to play a greater role in nation-building by creating, sharing and mobilising knowledge that is critical for the country’s economic well-being. While this has certainly had positive bearing in many countries, the challenge for ODL is to maintain itself as a viable and feasible educational pathway. It is vital that the development of ODL is accompanied by the appropriate means to ensure that it can be sustainable, accessible, equitable, cost-effective and quality-assured. The progress of ODL is particularly important in the developing world, where an affordable and flexible access to higher education is commonly seen as the only way to cater to rising demands. Many of the world’s mega universities are from China, India, Indonesia and other Asian countries. Significantly, most of these are also ODL institutions or open universities. The challenges facing them are continuous, and they must be innovative in order to overcome them and help ODL to spread and develop even further. This paper will explore what the challenges encompass and what features can be worked into the ODL approach to counter them. These issues will be deliberated from a global perspective as well as from the unique viewpoint of Open University Malaysia (OUM). As Malaysia’s premier open university, OUM has faced its own set of challenges and this paper will share how it has strived to remain in stride with current trends and pressures. The progress of ODL within the last several decades, despite these challenges, is an optimistic indication that a democratised global learning community can certainly evolve in the near future. (Abstract by author)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Open and distance learning (ODL), knowledge-based community, affordable and flexible access to higher education
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5800 Distance education
Divisions: President/Vice Chancellor's Office
Depositing User: Shahril Effendi Ibrahim
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2011 03:38
Last Modified: 16 May 2013 00:55

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