2.0 How to Succeed as a Distance Learner
(Students advancing into the second and subsequent semesters may disregard this section.)
Open distance learning (ODL) is the system of education in which education is imparted to learners from a distance. The two (2) basic elements in ODL are:
1. The physical separation of instructor and learner.
2. The changed role of the tutor who meets learners only for selected tasks such as counselling, conducting tutorials and collaborating with learners to solve their problems.
In the conventional educational system, teaching content is communicated by the instructor mainly by word of mouth. In distance education, this interpersonal communication is replaced by print, telephone, electronic communication (such as teleconference, audio and video systems), broadcasting, online communication and others.
For you, the overriding benefit of ODL is that it gives you access to education that you would not have otherwise. Only a minority of adults can afford to stop work in order to further their studies. ODL allows you to study when and where it suits you and enables you to continue learning while fulfilling your commitments to family, work and community.
You may be pursuing higher education for various reasons. You could be interested in changing careers or you might simply want to expand your knowledge base for work or personal reasons. You might even want to pursue a degree programme that was postponed due to family or career needs.
In this regard, ODL is able to cater to your needs as you may not have the time, financial resources or educational background to be a full-time student on campus. Thus, distance education is a means to deliver accessible and affordable education to you. It is important for you to bear in mind that in ODL you are not working alone on your journey to a degree. We encourage you to make full use of the facilities and opportunities during your study at WOU especially in getting to know fellow students with whom you can work to achieve your dreams and aspirations.
You should always make an attempt to attend all scheduled tutorials, form study groups with your coursemates, check for latest updates on WawasanLearn, participate in e-forums and contact your tutors. Your tutors are there to help you understand the course materials, to clarify any subject matter you have difficulty following and to collaborate with you to enhance your learning experience. They are not there to give a lecture or to answer your assignment questions for you. The email address and telephone number of your tutor will be provided. Try to obtain your tutorial coursemates’ email addresses and telephone numbers so that you can work together. An active learning community promotes your successful completion of the course.