Institutional and Community Perceptions of Distance Education in Bangladesh: Preparing for The 21st Century


Bangladesh Open University (BOU), the sole distributor of distance education (DE) in Bangladesh, is regarded as one of the mega universities in the world. Nonetheless, the institution faces numerous issues and challenges that revolve around not only its administrative and academic operations, but also the lack of acknowledgement of its sociological value and concomitant recognition within the local community. This study examines the perceived challenges facing DE provision in Bangladesh from the point of view of the local Bangladeshi community as well as senior academics and administrators within the institution. Qualitative case study formed the methodological basis of the study. Using purposeful non-random sampling supplemented with snowballing technique, five senior academics and directors from BOU were selected for individual semi-structured interviews. Four focus groups were also formed using stratified purposeful sampling to determine the perception of the community towards DE. The paper introduces an innovative theoretical model, ‘Adapting Structuration Theory In Distance Education (ASTIDE)’, conceptualised as part of a broader study, to address the underlying issues and challenges relating to the future provision of DE in Bangladesh.

KEYWORDS: Distance Education, ASTIDE, Bangladesh.

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.340370