Institutionalizing Support Distance Learning at Universiti Putra Malaysia

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2002-07
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF2 // About three decades ago, distance education, when it first started in Malaysia, was seen as misplaced and frowned upon by many educationists, parents, learners and the general public. It was first formally implemented by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1971. However, it was only in the mid-1990’s that some form general acceptance was seen and injected into the mainstream education. There was a general agreement that distance learning will enable larger audience to take advantage of the government’s effort to democratize and liberalize education by bringing education to the doorsteps of the learners. There are different approaches taken by different institutions with regard to distance education and learning. Universiti Putra Malaysia, through the experience of handling the Diploma in Youth in Development Work, came up with several alternatives to produce excellent distant learners. This paper is aimed at revealing some of the major issues and challenges faced by learners and distance education providers. These includes the issue of motivating and sustaining self-directed learners; learning by doing and independent learners. The issue of quality assurance will also be discussed. The paper will also discuss the steps taken to come up with the contingency model of institutionalizing support distance learning at UPM. Recommendations for different approach for different learners are put forward including those who are working on shift basis, normal hours or freelance. //

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Malaysia
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Asia
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