Distance Learner and E- Learning

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1.1Distance Learning and E-Learning

Distance learning and E-learning are rapidly becoming popular modes of studies among students and working adults worldwide. This trend is also visible in Malaysia, with the emergence of several higher education distance learning institutions using E-learning to support its learning activities such as the Open University of Malaysia, and Wawasan Open University and many other higher learning institution. However, important points of concern to this survey are the distance learners’ acceptance of E-learning. This cross-sectional survey used questionnaires to obtain the necessary data. The questionnaires used to measure distance learners’ acceptance of E-learning.

The eagerness of working adults pursing their higher education at various universities in Malaysia can be seen as opportunities for the institutions to enhance their teaching method from conventional distance education program into e-learning opportunities. Moreover, with the encouragement of their employer, these working adults are rushing for career advancement. This career advancement can be seen as they are being promoted and well paid based on the academic qualification that they gain from the distance education program.

Ergo, he advancement of information and communication technology (lCT) in the nation, can be considered as contributing factor toward the advancement of the distance education program. In order to facilitate the learning environment of the working adults, most course materials were uploaded into the university's web sites. As the education materials can be accessed from the Internet, it is considered the right moment for the university to embark on the E-learning environment. It is well known that the use of E-Learning as a medium of instruction in distance learning is also becoming increasingly important in. E-Learning includes web-based courses, computer-mediated communications and multimedia enhanced delivery medium and it has the potential to make the learning process an active one.

2.0Pre-Testing Method

In preparation of the KAP questionnaires a Focus Group Interview (FGI) was held involving four participants consists of OUM distance learners, in objectives of Pre-Testing the questionnaires and what are the details needed in ensuring the success of the survey thus in promoting the campaign. A list of important questions related to the topic intended were being prepared for this purpose of PRE-Testing. The interview had produced some level of understanding and formative research to prepare a complete questionnaire. The FGI participants had also managed to highlight differences in views and exceptions in the participants’ thoughts. For examples, the variables in gender and profession will have to be considered in elaboration and to improve the intended questionnaires for this campaign survey.

3.0Survey Methodology

Questionnaires were distributed to 40 selected OUM (open market) and Wawasan Open University students from the Bachelor and Diploma programs (business and management courses, education courses and technology management courses), those who were in their first semester to the final semester of study, carried out between 15 October 2010 and 15 November 2010, using purposive sampling. Questionnaires were distributed in assessing their views on the E-learning method. The students were asked on their acceptance and readiness to embark on the E-learning method. Firstly, the demographic information such as gender, ethnicity, age, and profession were being sought out. The second part determined the learners’ knowledge, acceptance and the expectations of practice characteristic of the students involved in this survey. Apart from that, they also were asked on computer use experience and educational background, thus the availability of personal computer at home and connection onto the...
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