Open distance learning: Delivering linguistics and education courses in a blended learning environment
Keywords:Learner Management System (LMS), learner support, Online Assignment Submission (OAS) system online learning, Open Distance Learning (ODL), Turnitin, working adults
Taking cognisance of working adults’ aspiration for career advancement, Wawasan Open University (WOU) has beenestablished as the third open university in Malaysia to provide tertiary education via the Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode. This is in line with the country’s Vision 2020 (Office of the Prime Minister, Putrajaya, Malaysia, 2010) to steer the country towards a fully developed nation by the year 2020. In this quest, it recognises that “our people are our ultimate resource .... [and that] Malaysia must give the fullest emphasis possible to the development of this ultimate resource ...[in terms of] the skills of our people ...and knowledge upgrading and self-improvement” (the way forward, p 3). This paper describes WOU’s experience in and model forproviding such distance education with a focuson the courses offered by the School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC). Specifically, it examines the different aspects put in place to sustain and support students’ learning which include,but are not limited to,the physicalinfrastructure, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) facilities and learner support. It concludes with a discussion of some potential pitfalls to avoid and measures foraddressing them.