Pakistan is a developing with 148 universities and degree awarding institutions including public and private sector. The enrolment as given in the National Educational Policy 2009 was up to 5% only. It reflects greater demands of higher/tertiary education and calls for alternative strategic measures for addressing the issue. An innovative approach was necessary to address the issue of access. Therefore, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur –a formal mode university took an innovative initiative to become a dual mode university by establishing an Institute of Distance Education (IDE) in 2011. The institute offered along with others, an M.Phill programme in ten disciplines through distance education mode in semester fall 2011. More than eight hundred applications were received by potential learners against 275 seats. However, after test and interview 189 students were enrolled in M.Phill programme in Applied Psychology, Arabic, Education, English, Media Studies, Islamic Studies, Pakistan Studies, History, Persian, and Urdu. In the beginning, the Institute organized an orientation workshop for learners to guide them studying in distance education system. The programme was offered under semester system and the semester was broke up into two halves –mid-term and final term. The respective departments provided learning materials to students whereas the IDE provided instructional booklet. Submission of two assignments was compulsory for the entire semester; one before mid-term and second before final-term workshop/ examination for each of the courses. Similarly, students’ presence in workshops for 24 hours (12 during mid-term and 12 during final-term workshop) for one 3-credit hour course was mandatory. Students’ support services were provided through Skype conference, social media and mobile phones. Students necessarily had to give presentations and submit their assignments after checking their similarity index by using turnitin software. At the end of the course work the instructors rated performance of learners’ to be good. Learner’s appeared to be enthusiastic for continuing their studies. The experience appeared to be a milestone in promoting higher education and feasible for replication at larger scale in Pakistan. The process and procedures; achievements; and problems, issues and challenges were discussed paper to be presented during the conference. The detailed experience will be shared during the conference.
Dual Mode University, Educational Technology, Distance Education, Viable Approach, Learning Experience