I=
Pakistan Research Repository Home
 

Title of Thesis

An Investigation into the Nature and Treatment of Learning Difficulties of Distance Learners at Intermediate Level

Author(s)

Khawar Khurshid

Institute/University/Department Details
Department Of Distance, Non-Formal and Continuing Education, Faculty Of Education / Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad
Session
2010
Subject
Distance and Non Formal Education
Number of Pages
243
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
Investigation, Nature, Treatment, Learning, tutors, study centres, Difficulties, Distance, courses, programmes, Learners, Intermediate, Level

Abstract
The study was aimed at identifying the learning difficulties faced by the distance learners of AIOU at intermediate level and to explore the existing support provided by the University to its distance learners to overcome the learning difficulties emerged during self-study the textual material and in completing assignments.
The study was descriptive in nature. It was a mixed designed study i.e. both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used for data collection and analysis. The population of the study consisted of three categories: the distance learners, the tutors and the media producers. The sample for the quantitative part was comprised of 1500 distance learners and 800 tutors using stratified and random sampling techniques. It also included all (10) media producers. The qualitative phase includes the sample of 40 distance learners (repeaters) in the four compulsory courses (English, Urdu, Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies) enrolled in semester spring 2004 at intermediate level. Likewise, 30 tutors and 20 study centres in Punjab province were also drawn for the qualitative design.
Data for the quantitative phase was collected by developing three questionnaires: one for the distance learners, second for the tutors, and third for the media producers. Statements/items were developed at 5-point Likert scale, three point scale, yes/no form and open ended form. Besides, percentage and mean score, one sample t-test was employed to test the six hypotheses of the study.
For qualitative part, interviews were conducted of 40 distance learners and 20 tutors. An observational sheet was also prepared to observe student-tutor interaction in resolving the learning difficulties.
The results revealed that the majority of distance learners faced difficulties in comprehending the textbooks due to multiplicity of concepts ordained in the sentences, lack of proper illustrations in the text and lack of study skills. The textual material was not supplemented with audio and video programs. Lack of time was also a hurdle for the distance learners as they had to study bulky books in short period of one semester. The difficulties in completing assignments were: the difficulties in making notes during self studying the textual material, problems in organization of studied/read material, hurdles in presenting critical analysis of the questions and difficulties in summarizing the answers. The electronic media of AIOU was not playing vital role in resolving learning difficulties of distance learners. Lastly the tutors’ role was also non cooperative as most of the tutors did not correct the wrong answers written by the students. Majority of the tutors did not give proper comments on written assignments and did not return checked assignments to their students in time. The study centres did not function properly and the learning difficulties of distance learners were not properly treated at study centres through tutorial support
and electronic media.
The study recommends that i) a workshop may be held for newly enrolled distance learners to make them acquainted with the distance learning system, study skills, scanning/skimming skills, note making skills, summarizing skills, media using skills and tutorials attending skills. ii) the textbooks may be illustrated with graphs, maps, diagrams and updated knowledge/information/data, iii) the textbooks and electronic media may be integrated during development of new courses/programmes, iv) more audio-video programmes may be produced for each course and their cassettes may be posted to the distance learners, v) free telephonic service may be provided to students during transmissions of broadcasts of AIOU so that students’ queries may be answered, vi) tutors having teaching experience at FA level may be
appointed and their attendance in study centres may be ensured vii) a small sample of Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) may also be re-checked by the AIOU Faculty to improve marking standard, viii) the study centres may be established where students have an easy access and lastly ix) the University should design make up courses for third divisioners (in SSC) so that doors of the University may be opened for them.

Download Full Thesis
858 KB
S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 CONTENTS

 

ix
16 KB
2

1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 Objectives of the Study
1.3 Significance of the Study
1.4 Delimitations
1.5 Limitation
1.6 Null Hypotheses
1.7 Assumptions
1.8 Procedure of the Study

1
49 KB
3 2 REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 The Nature of Distance Education
2.2 Theories of Distance Education
2.3 Modes of Learning in Distance Education
2.4 Concept of Learning Difficulties
2.5 Causes of Learning Difficulties
2.6 Learning Difficulties in Distance Education
2.7 Assessment of Learning Difficulties
2.8 Treatment Models of Learning Difficulties
2.9 Nature of Treatment in Distance Education
2.10 Existing Role of AIOU in Treating the Learning Difficulties
2.11 Discussion

15
237 KB
4 3 RESEARCH PROCEDURE AND METHODOLOGY

3.1 Design of the Study
3.2 Population
3.3 Mixed Sampling Schemes
3.4 Development and Validation of the Instruments
3.5 Data Analysis
3.6 Rationale of Applying t-test

86
57 KB
5 4 ANALYSIS OF DATA

4.1 Analysis and Interpretation of Data Collected Distance Learners
4.2 Analysis and Interpretation of Data Collected from Tutors
4.3 Analysis and Interpretation of Data Collected Media Producers
4.4 Analysis of Open Ended Questionnaires
4.5 Testing Null Hypothesis
4.6 Analysis of Scheduled Interviews of Distance Learners
4.7 Analysis of Scheduled Interviews of Tutors
4.8 Analysis of Observational sheet Regarding Tutorial Meetings at Study Centres
4.9 Discussion

100
285 KB
6

5

SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Summary
5.2 Findings of the Quantitative Phase of the Study
5.3 Findings of the Quantitative Phase of the Study
5.4 Conclusions
5.5 Recommendations

177
108 KB
7

6

BIBLIOGRAPHY & APPENDICES

 

193
192 KB