Learner Support Services in ODL: Gaps at Regional Level in Sindh, Pakistan
Keywords:Distance Education, learner support services, distance learners, regional centers
The current research studied the gaps in student support services at regional level in Pakistan. It was a mixed-methods case study research where explanatory sequential paradigm was used. The study was delimited to regional network of Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, in Sindh province. The sample of study comprised of 280 B.Ed. students and a focused group consisting of 14 students. The quantitative data was collected through self-developed five point Likert type questionnaire and qualitative data through semi-structured interview schedule. The descriptive and inferential statistics were used, findings were categorized according to themes, conclusions drawn and recommendations made. The finding of the study includes: poor academic and general facilities at study centers and regional centers. Lack of DE thought at regional centers, poor information system, useless communication through media, traditional and non-professional approach of ROs. The study recommends establishment of model study centers at tehsil level, use of ROs as model study centers and academic hubs, provision of physical facilities at study centers, arrangement of orientation programs, decentralization of books on regional level, attending DLs Add Contributorqueries through media, strong and meaningful two-way communication and appointment of DE qualified staff.
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