Role of Integrated Learning Environment towards Enhancing Professional Competency of Women: A Case Study of Arab Open Univ...
Arab Open University <ul><li>Established in June 2001 with headquarters in Kuwait. </li></ul><ul><li>Six branches in Kuwai...
ARAB OPEN UNIVERSITY AND ITS BRANCHES
AOU-Saudi Arabia  <ul><li>AOU-KSA Branch offers three programs through its network of four regional centres at Jeddah, Hai...
AOU-KSA BRANCH AND ITS REGIONAL CENTRES
Methodology <ul><li>Ten case studies were prepared on women students.  </li></ul><ul><li>Selection on the basis of followi...
Case Studies: An Overview <ul><li>Ten Case Studies  of working women students focusing on the role of AOU in their empower...
Case 1 <ul><li>21 years old Saudi Arabian, married with no children, motivated and encouraged by her father to join this p...
Case 2 <ul><li>Unmarried Pakistani girl less than 20 years old, teacher by profession, and about to complete Business prog...
Case 3 <ul><li>Saudi Arabian (31 to 40 years), married with more than two children, near completion of the degree and work...
Case 4 <ul><li>Married lady, in early twenties, from Yemen, about to complete English program and working as Product Train...
Case 5 <ul><li>Middle aged highly ambitious unmarried Saudi Arabian, doing BSc IT and working as system administrator in P...
Reasons for Student Dropout   <ul><li>Language problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in understanding and studying the cou...
Suggestions <ul><li>1.  Measures for Enhancing Student Retention: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide pre-admission counselling focu...
<ul><li>2.  Measures for Enhancing Necessary Skills for Professional Development: </li></ul><ul><li>Organize short term pr...
The Beginning <ul><li>AOU has been quite effective in reaching the different segments of the society.  </li></ul><ul><li>P...
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PCF5 London Presentation by Dr.Siran Mukerji & Dr.Purnendu Tripathi

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Presentation on Role of Arab Open University Saudi Arabia Branch in the Professional Competency Development of Women Distance Learners.

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PCF5 London Presentation by Dr.Siran Mukerji & Dr.Purnendu Tripathi

  1. 1. Role of Integrated Learning Environment towards Enhancing Professional Competency of Women: A Case Study of Arab Open University- Saudi Arabia Branch Dr. Siran Mukerji and Dr. Purnendu Tripathi, Arab Open University-Saudi Arabia.
  2. 2. Arab Open University <ul><li>Established in June 2001 with headquarters in Kuwait. </li></ul><ul><li>Six branches in Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. </li></ul><ul><li>Provides higher education through system of coordinated open learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Academic partnership with Open University, UK. </li></ul><ul><li>Offers programs in Business Administration, IT and Computing, and English Language and Literature. </li></ul>
  3. 3. ARAB OPEN UNIVERSITY AND ITS BRANCHES
  4. 4. AOU-Saudi Arabia <ul><li>AOU-KSA Branch offers three programs through its network of four regional centres at Jeddah, Hail, Medina and Al-Ahsa and the main branch at Riyadh. </li></ul><ul><li>Had a modest beginning of 3174 (fresh and registered) students in 2002-03, the strength is now 20898 in 2006-07. </li></ul><ul><li>An average of 40% of total students enrolled is women. </li></ul>
  5. 5. AOU-KSA BRANCH AND ITS REGIONAL CENTRES
  6. 6. Methodology <ul><li>Ten case studies were prepared on women students. </li></ul><ul><li>Selection on the basis of following criteria: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Programs of study; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Status of program completion; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nationality and age group; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family status; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment sector, service length and annual income. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Selected women respondents were either working before joining the program or secured a placement while studying at AOU. </li></ul><ul><li>Study conducted with detailed questionnaire having four sections and a personal interview: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Information; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AOU and ODL Mode; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AOU and Professional Development; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AOU and Social Development </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Case Studies: An Overview <ul><li>Ten Case Studies of working women students focusing on the role of AOU in their empowerment and professional development. </li></ul><ul><li>Age Group: S ix (21-30 years), Three (31-40 years) and One (less than 20 years) </li></ul><ul><li>Marital Status : Six were married and four were unmarried. </li></ul><ul><li>Program of Study : Eight from Business, One each from IT and English Language. </li></ul><ul><li>Status of Program Completion : Eight students were near completion of their program while two were in the mid-way of studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Income Group : Five Students (less than US$22,000 per annum) and Five Students (US$ 22,000 to 32,000 per annum). </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Area : Cosmetic retail, Health Care, Fast food, Call Centre-tourism, Charity and Social Welfare (for autistic children), Readymade fashion garment retailing, Social Research Centre, School Education, International non-governmental organization, and Airline industry. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Case 1 <ul><li>21 years old Saudi Arabian, married with no children, motivated and encouraged by her father to join this program and in the mid-stage of Business Program. </li></ul><ul><li>Reason for pursuing studies: </li></ul><ul><li>Family openness, their desire to see her as a model woman in the society, self-dependent, able to understand and resolve ones own issues and not to be depending on husband and father. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit from ODL: </li></ul><ul><li>Planning the studies at her own place and pace. </li></ul><ul><li>The programs are in English, cost-wise affordable and flexible. </li></ul><ul><li>No mandatory attendance making it more attractive for working women. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of studying at AOU: </li></ul><ul><li>Improved Computer and English communication skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed professional approach by applying business skills at work. </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoys better status in the society, feels empowered, more mature and proud of her awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Admired in her family, able to look at the society in a different way with a better understanding of the social issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Better positioned to guide her children in the future and understands the importance of higher studies. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Case 2 <ul><li>Unmarried Pakistani girl less than 20 years old, teacher by profession, and about to complete Business program. Her father is instrumental in her success. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from ODL: </li></ul><ul><li>Convenient for planning studies and in interacting with group members and tutors through LMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to manage so many things simultaneously. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits for Professional Life: </li></ul><ul><li>Developed better awareness about business organizations and corporate life as compared to her colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>Better equipped professionally and competent to handle issues of work life. </li></ul><ul><li>Role model for others in the society and is now encouraging others to enrol in programs that are suited to their professional needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to make a career in business organizations which she perceived was only a male bastion earlier. </li></ul><ul><li>AOU and its program have helped to reduce the social distance felt earlier. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Case 3 <ul><li>Saudi Arabian (31 to 40 years), married with more than two children, near completion of the degree and working as Project Coordinator (UNDP). </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from ODL: </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated her to realize her dream of getting a university degree. </li></ul><ul><li>She could remain in touch with the course group thus felt togetherness. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible time, online availability of material, online interaction with the tutors through LMS and ability to coordinate course activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from AOU: </li></ul><ul><li>Programs offered help to meet the competitive arena of employment as new job openings and avenues for women employment are emerging. </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth understanding of business studies and an upgraded knowledge makes her more competent at her work place and successful professionally. </li></ul><ul><li>Looks at things with open, proactive and different perspective and now gives her views with an academic approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Gives her a good public image and competitive feeling with better communication skill and a British degree. </li></ul><ul><li>Role model for others and intends to help others think differently. </li></ul><ul><li>AOU is effective in reducing the social distance experienced by women earlier in the family and the society as a whole. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Case 4 <ul><li>Married lady, in early twenties, from Yemen, about to complete English program and working as Product Trainer in Retail Cosmetics Company. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from ODL: </li></ul><ul><li>Class attendance not mandatory so she could manage work and studies simultaneously. </li></ul><ul><li>Manage by self-learning and support from tutors and peer group through LMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated by father to enrol in AOU, an opportunity and a dream come true for both father and daughter. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from AOU: </li></ul><ul><li>Higher education for expatriate students. </li></ul><ul><li>Improved communication and public relations skill and increased awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Feels privileged, self-dependent and empowered managing both studies and work together. </li></ul><ul><li>At home she is looked upon by others as their guide for their studies and even otherwise. </li></ul><ul><li>She would be able to provide better guidance and parentage to her children also due to higher education. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Case 5 <ul><li>Middle aged highly ambitious unmarried Saudi Arabian, doing BSc IT and working as system administrator in Prince Faisal Bin Fahad Centre for Autism. </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorship by employer for studying in AOU. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of ODL: </li></ul><ul><li>Access to higher education specially IT. </li></ul><ul><li>Helped in career progression. </li></ul><ul><li>Manages multitasking well with e-learning, student forum and tutor group forum of LMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of AOU: </li></ul><ul><li>Viable alternative mode for attaining higher education. </li></ul><ul><li>Helped her to perform better in her life and now she can provide guidance to younger generation. </li></ul><ul><li>Her family respects her now for what she does and congratulates her when she gets good grades. </li></ul><ul><li>Her perspectives towards the society have changed! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Reasons for Student Dropout <ul><li>Language problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in understanding and studying the courses or program, </li></ul><ul><li>and not enough sessions for specialized courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Financial constraint. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of family support. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional constraints. </li></ul><ul><li>Dissatisfaction due to delay in the declaration of mid-term and final results. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding and awareness of the ODL system. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in managing self studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Quest for high grades and their inability to reach that level. </li></ul><ul><li>Over dependence on supplementary notes, summaries, and questions and answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in managing multitasking. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Suggestions <ul><li>1. Measures for Enhancing Student Retention: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide pre-admission counselling focussing on specific goals and requirements of the students. </li></ul><ul><li>More comprehensive and practical English placement test. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate in job placement, internship and part time jobs, thus helping to imbibe and improve professional skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Practical oriented course content. </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed feedback on the performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation sessions on ODL system and self-learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Intensive training on English verbal and written communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop at Branch level / regional level area specific case studies / reference material on organizations of Middle East / Arab world. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>2. Measures for Enhancing Necessary Skills for Professional Development: </li></ul><ul><li>Organize short term programs on business communication, personality and self development, confidence building, CV writing and interview skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop audio-video lecture sessions of senior subject experts. </li></ul><ul><li>On the field short internships to provide training in different sectors. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase job options through short term programs on translation and basic health care like first aid, managing small business, entrepreneurship, banking, finance and accounts, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>More focus on developing end of course projects for applying theories learnt during the semester. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Beginning <ul><li>AOU has been quite effective in reaching the different segments of the society. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing opportunities for learning and enhancing knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Contributed towards professional development and competency enhancement of women. </li></ul><ul><li>But it needs to further improve the present system so as to provide a better platform for improving access to life long learning towards professional and social development of women in Saudi Arabia. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Thank you…
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