Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Learner's Attitude towards Printed Word in Distance Education

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Learner's Attitude towards Printed Word in Distance Education

Article excerpt


Distance Education is combination of printed material, Radio, Television, Tutorial and Audio Visual Aids. It is a real alternate to formal education system for imparting education and training to the masses at large. The printed word (material) is different from the formal text book. It involves the students into studies by adding some activities in the text. The use of simple language in the printed work makes the student to learn at ease. The provision of self-assessment exercises makes the students to assess the extent they have learnt the lesson. However, there are many reasons for the failure of printed word because of varied cultural, social and educational background. Some students fail to learn as they are used to learn through spoken word. Apart from this, the system of twoway communication can be affected due to the interaction between tutors and taught. The tutor marks the students' assignment and sent back with his comments. Such process makes the teaching learning process effective. On the whole the distance education makes the learner learn through the medium of the printed word and other technical devices. This paper analyzes the relevance of the printed word in the growing complicities of instructional media.

Keywords: Printed Word, Distance Education, Instructional Technology, Teacher/Tutor, Evaluation and Feedback


The term 'Distance Education' is used to describe various forms of study at all levels. One of the main characteristics is that there is not a continuous and immediate supervision of tutors; but there is planning, guidance and tuition through tutorial organization. According to Rashid, (2009, p.l): it is an educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/or time from the learner. Garrison (1998, p.4) considered distance education as "... may be defined as the family of instructional methods in which the tracking behaviours are executed part from the learning behaviours, including those that in a continuous situation would be performed in the learner's presence, so that communication between the teacher and the learner must be facilitated by print, electronic, mechanical or other devices

However, the backbone of distance education is printed word in the shape of study material, and assignments along with the other components (Rashid, 2000). The printed word plays a multi-faceted role in distance education from the pre-admission period till the learner has completed his course. However, it is the printed word in context of the instructional material, student assignment and the feedback instructional material that ultimately counts. Almost every student feels uncomfortable when confronted with the written instructional material. His inability to comprehend through reading affects his completion behavior. The use of technical devices is advocated because somewhere along the line the printed word fails. Although the learner's understanding of the material is of primary value, nevertheless, learning is incomplete without the learner's ability to express what he knows. To advocate the use of multiple-choice questions is to reduce the dimensions of distance education. The process of learning through distance education is completed when the learner's response is corrected by the tutor and returned to him. The correction of a learner's response is more than a mechanical process, and this remedial teaching is possible through the printed word alone (Lars - Olof Edstrom, et. al. 1970, p.20).

The question whether or not the printed word is irreplaceable; depends not so much upon the availability of technical devices as upon how much time the learner will devote to reading. Technical devices can act as stimuli, but the mode of distance education will thrive on the learner's acceptance of and adjustment to the written medium with the shift in emphasis from "who ought to be educated" to "who is capable of being educated" the sphere of education has grown wider. …

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