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

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 Presentation Transcript

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