The higher education sectors are constantly moving towards the incorporation of explicit measures of the outcomes of their activities. It is especially important in the context of distance education to address the issues of being accountable to the society. This paper presents the comparative study of the dimensions of outcome indicators employed by the distance learning institutions at the Asian region. By means of both quantitative and qualitative approaches, the relative importance of the outcome indicators from teaching, research, consultancies as well as cultural and social activities were analyzed in an attempt to understand the differences among the perceptions of outcomes employed by these institutions in the region as well as important issues about the topic.
When quantifying and qualifying Distance Education and Continuous Education interaction, perceptions may be less than reliable. In a study comparing distance educationâ€™ perceptions of interaction (as compared with observations of their interaction), Sorensen and Baylen (2000) noted that students accurately noted that: across-site interaction was very low, that within-site interaction was very high, that interaction changes with instructor location, that remote site students participate less, and that group activities increase interactions. However, students perceived that less interaction occurred over time (when, in fact, interaction increased), and that technology inhibits interaction (when, more accurately, it seems to create different patterns of interaction.
The OU provides university education to those wishing to pursue higher education on a part-time and/or distance learning basis, including people with health disabilities, who are officially a priority group for the university; nearly 13,000 OU students have health disabilities. The British Government has also tasked the Open University to continue the work of the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) when it was dissolved. The CNAA formerly awarded degrees at the polytechnics which have since become universities.