A Study of Support Services Provided to the Students in Distance Learning
Keywords:Distance Education,, Student SupportServices, Open Universities, Conventional Education, Online Support, Mental Counselling, Career Counselling
This is a generation of smart people and time is considered as a most precious commodity. These two propositions forced the people to utilize their time optimally and to stay updated with the modern economy of knowledge. An important issue that we wish to address in this study is the student support services that provided to the distance education learning students i.e. services other than actual syllabus material that a university or institute provides to the students to realize their learning aims of the course. This study is based on two methodologies, literature review and survey-based method. The basic objective of survey is to find out how much the Pakistani students are satisfied with the student support services provided by different distance learning institutes or open universities. After the keen analysis of the student responses we can make some general inferences that the Pakistani distance education institutes or open universities are far away from the other distance learning institutes around the world. The major areas where Pakistani distance education institutes are lacking are motivational student support, mental health counseling and latest innovative student portals. The majority of the students are not satisfied with the student support services that are provided by the three main distance education universities of the Pakistan like Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad, Virtual COMSATS Islamabad and the Virtual University of Pakistan. At somehow the Virtual COMSATS University is adopting some modern support services for the students for example online student instructor portal, provision of DVDs of lectures and high storage flash derives to the distance learners. The study also suggests some key policy implications to fill the distance gap between students and teachers.