Advantages of digital resources in ODL

You will need 30 minutes to complete this activity.

  1. In half a page, describe the advantages of using digital as compared to paper-based resources in distance education.
  2. Explain why it is necessary to retain paper-based learning resources in your context.
  3. When you have finished writing, post three or four key words or phrases in the discussion forum to summarise what you have written. Click on REPLY below.
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The greater flexibility and more options that are offered by technology can be useful for both students and teachers, however, some students will be affected adversely due to some reasons such as lack of equipment, internet, and IT skills. There are many opportunities to learn/teach using technology, but technology can be too heavily relied upon at times, affecting students’ problem-solving abilities. For some of the assignments/projects, we can persuade our students to write by hand since they will feel more engaged and energetic in thinking and analyzing. They can edit when writing by hand and will not copy and paste from others. Finally, for a flexible and remote teaching offering mode, technology plays an important role and we can not ignore it. Using technologies we will have some new opportunities to improve learning in students. For example, by employing scenario-based simulations, students can gain the following skills:

  • Interpersonal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Task prioritizing
  • Stress management

Some of the advantages of the digital resources in ODL are:

  1. Digital resources are cost-effective in terms of very low or zero online delivery and distribution costs to reach distance learning hubs and learners.
  2. Support effective teaching and learning especially in the form of OER as it contains a variety of teaching and learning resources that are suitable to all learners.
  3. Accessibility is another advantage. Digital resources can easily be accessed by distributed group of learners in different times and places.

Using digital over paper based resource in distance education is more advance because it will make the work a lot easier and very fast and reliable

It is necessary to retain paper based learning resources in my context so that i will be able to store in my files some of the important information that i manually written down.

Digital resources have many advantages over paper-based resources in distance education, including accessibility, cost-effectiveness, versatility, and customization.

The advantages of using digital resources in distance education in my opinion would be:

  • More accessible and flexible than paper-based resources
  • Can be made interactive and engaging, with multimedia elements
  • More cost-effective
  • Easily updated and revised.
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These are some of the advantages of using digital resources in ODL:

  1. Flexibility
    3.Instant support from your tutor or lecturer
  2. Cost online(Cheaper)
  3. Distance learning is Eco-friendly:
    An alternate to paper based learning and students dont have to travel to and from lecture rooms.
    An example is the Forum that is going amongst the participants. Sharing of knowledge.
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Advantages of Digital Resources/Learning Materials

  1. Flexibility
  2. Learning at Learner’s pace
  3. Rich learning materials
  4. Learning and working simultaneously
  5. Accessible even in place where there is insecurity

Advantages of using digital as compared to paper-based resources in distance education

Digital resources can easily be shared with learners through a learning management system, portal or even by email. Chances of the materials getting damaged before they reach the learner are extremely low. Therefore, the security of the materials and their timely delivery can be guaranteed.

It is necessary to retain paper-based learning resources in your context because, it encourages retaining what is learnt and physical records. It gives room for practice at any time with or without internet connections.

Key words/phrases: advantages, digital resources, paper-based, retaining

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Digital / open and distant education is a game changer in the conduct of the education business, especially in areas that are prone to insecurity, dilapidated infrastructure, and limited choice in areas of specialization. Some of its advantages include:

  • Wider choice of area of specialization that is not readily available in one’s physical location
  • Access to the education of choice in areas that are prone to insecurity.
  • Provision of real-time access to study materials around the world
  • Better opportunities for engagement with wider study forums.

However, despite the advantages of digital resources, paper-based learning resources should still be retained in some contexts because of the following reasons:

  • Change is a gradual process, and so there are people who would still prefer paper-based resources.
  • It is still an uphill task to access internet-ready devices in many parts of the globe, hence the resort to paper-based resources.
  • Concerns about eye strain in the use of devices such as phones, laptops, and other digital devices could also make the retention of paper-based resources attractive to people.

The advantages of using digital resources include accessibility, interactivity, and cost-effectiveness. However, it is good to retain paper-based learning resources in Nigeria as a matter of choice (learning preference), difficulty in accessing internet services in some areas, and limited online infrastructure.

Keywords: accessibility, interactivity, and cost-effectiveness.

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The advantages identified in the use of digital resources are apt; but the retention of paper-based resources because “it encourages retaining what is learnt and physical records”, and “gives room for practice at any time with or without internet connections”, are also applicable to digital resources.

Well answered Farid!! It is true that technology offers a lot of advantages in teaching and learning and we should all take advantage of the affordances of such technology. A the same time, we should also not leave behind those learners/students who, for one reason or the other, cannot use the technology. Excellent ideas you give!!!

Good answer Samaila. Indeed, it is easier, faster and cheaper to share digital resources.

However, in terms of storage, one ca also argue that digital resources can be stored more conveniently than paper-based resources. I think the main advantage of still using paper-based resources even where an institution has gone digital is to try and cater for students who struggle to access and use digital (electronic) resources.

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Yes, you are correct Toaiauea. It’s more cost-effective to distribute digital resources to students. As you suggest, the other advantage of using digital resources is that they are easy to adapt and update, especially if they are OER.

  • Digital resources are easy, quick and secure to send to learners not as cumbersome as dispatching print-based learning materials. The latter is more likely to be delayed, lost in the postal service or damaged in the process.

  • Digital resources can be easily shared through LMS, portals or e-mails. They can also be retained and retrieved whenever needed by the learners.

  • Tracking and updating are made easy too with digital resources.

  1. However, retaining paper-based learning resources in my context is necessary because not all learners can afford technological gadgets and constant data.
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Advantages of using Digital base resources:
There are numerous advantages for using digital base resources than the paper base. Some of which are:

  1. Flexibility: The digital resources avails learners the options and opportunities of both synchronous and asynchronous learning platform. This allows the learners have options of meeting and asking questions real time via zoom, Skype or other synchronous means or through email, note etc. They can pick up their studies right where they stop at their pace, space and speed.

  2. Accessibility: Digital base resources foe Open learners avails them access to numerous learning. Because the mode is boundless, learners have access to their materials at any given time and space.

  3. Affordability: over time, it has becomes obvious that digital (soft resources) are cheaper compare to the hard copies or face to face. The cost of accessing digital materials are far cheaper to printed copies.

  4. Availability of wider option course of study : Open resources gives learners the opportunity to chose or study course that might not necessarily be available in their locality. With the help of digital resources, that is possible.

Well, i will say its still necessary to retain paper base learning resources due to the following reasons.

  1. Unavailability of technologies: The rate of those having access to learning technologies is still very much low in the developing countries compare to developed countries.

  2. High cost of data usage: The high cost of data and other related facilities makes it more relevant to have paper base resources.

  3. Low adaptation to the trending Technologies: A lot of learners are not familiar with the usage of computer and other devices… Over the years, this has pose a great challenge to technological learning.

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This is very correct.
Some of the benefits also includes
Low cost of materials

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I concur with you C-Right

Some of the advantages of distance learning is that it is easy. It is also quick. Learner can learn at its own pace. It’s affordable since nowadays every is access to internet. It is very flexible. Resources are readily available on the internet. Reduces the stress of carrying bulk of books home to study and and to do assignment. It’s also important to keep Paper based as well because Incase of internet glitch , paper materials can be used. Some of the important terms are access, flexible, resources, stress and glitch.

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Digital resources


  • Many people nowadays are more and more inclined to typing as opposed to hand writing.
  • Once typed, it makes sense to save on paper by not printing the resource to save on environment.
  • It is easy and faster to distribute digitally than by post or manually.
  • Digital resources are more interactive and more informative, could be adapted to a variety of forms and media.


  • There is still a huge population that is cut off from the digital space hence the need for physical resources.
  • There is a populations of persons with disabilities whose use of digital resources would be compromised.
  • The elderly population would need support of physical resources to fully benefit from learning.
  • Resources and skills needed for full production od digital resources still remain out of reach of a wider section of the population.