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The choice of the Asian Journal of Distance Education

Ramesh C. Sharma

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"A Ladder of Publication: Scaffolding for emergent authors"

About "A Ladder of Publication : Scaffolding for emergent authors" by Prof. Fred LOCKWOOD (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK), Asian Journal of Distance Education, 2003, vol 1, no 1, pp 5-11

1Research and publication are very important part of academic life of any teacher / researcher. Either we are involved in fundamental research or action research, we try to find solution to an issue. While we share what we found, we also learn from what other's found on similar issue. This brings us to the next step after research on how to publish our findings. The academia has a lot of pressure to ‘Publish or perish’. They are required to continually and rapidly publish academic work to sustain or maintain one's career (Wikipedia, 2018). Internet has changed the rules the ways research used to be accessed and published. Scholars now have so many channels for publication. There are certain costs associated with publications. There are three types of costs, researchers are concerned about: cash, time and carbon (Kawachi, 2010). He explains carbon footprints "in terms of the trees needed plus papermaking process and inks, and brick-and-mortar buildings to manufacture the journal, followed by wrapping and postage, air fuel and so on." Donovan (2018) suggested a methodology of academic publishing through eight stages for contributing to peer-reviewed scientific literature. He classifies these into: navel contemplation; preparation; submission; review; Revision, Revised, and Resubmitted; acceptance; in press; and publication (p.2). He advises in keeping track of papers between submission and the proof stage, like where is the paper, who is dealing with it right now, is the paper on track or slipping between the cracks? The article written by Fred Lockwood 15 years ago for our inaugural issue is very much relevant as of today. It provides guidance to young researchers on how to get published and what are various channels or pathways one can follow. He provides advice on starting with simple form of publication and then going on to publish in reputed indexed journals. The "ladder of publication" is very important framework which enables an academic to hone their publishing skills initially by sharing their research during workshops and seminars and obtain feedback to improve upon their work. Then they can gradually progress up the ladder and go on to book writing, say in the form of creating a Series on a topic of importance. Social media and web has made it easy for academics to publish, say starting with blogs and then refining their writing skills. We chose this article for the wonderful advice it offers to researchers and writers for facilitating the publication process.

"Tutor-Marked Assignments: Evaluation of Monitoring in India"

About "Tutor-Marked Assignments: Evaluation of Monitoring in India" by Ramesh C. SHARMA & Mohana Kumar RAJESH (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India), Asian Journal of Distance Education, 2007 vol 5, no 3, pp 10 – 27

2The digital age has opened new avenues for distance education to design effective and innovative learning interventions with the purpose to engage learners in self-discovery learning (Sharma & Kawachi, 2012). Assignments in distance education are very important and integral to teaching learning process (Akhter & Ali, 2016). Bååth (1994) reports that basic purposes of assignments in distance education is to promote students' learning. These help learners to check their understanding about the course content and receive feedback from their tutors. Distance learners have a varied profile, and may have a sense of isolation due to absence of direct face-to-face contact with a teacher. Thus tutor or distance educator has 'a positive, ethical and interventionist role by helping the student to learn beyond the stereotypical classroom situation' (Demiray & Sharma, 2009). Tutors play a significant role in assignment evaluation. They not only assess the level of student achievement, but also provide their feedback in the form of comments on where the student did good and where the student need to improve. Assignments are prepared by the course coordinators or teachers based on certain content from the curriculum. These need to be prepared around certain learning outcomes. Right kind of designing the assignment is an important step so that right kind of monitoring of student's progress can be done. Tutors provide their feedback to students in the form of (a) qualitative as comments on the text written by students, (b) quantitative as grades or marks as the case may be. There are two types of comments, (a) teaching-type (for example, Positive comments, Constructive comments, Personal comments, and Global comments), and (b) non-teaching-type (like Negative comments, Hollow comments, Misleading comments, and Null comments). Whether a comment is teaching-type or non-teaching-type, will make a difference if we can trace the strengths or weaknesses of students' academic progress. This article was selected for this issue of DMS because we believe that monitoring and assessment of student progress is crucial to student success and need to be done in right manner. This article looks into the pattern of grading and what kinds of comments tutors provide on the assignments. This study is also important as it helps in identifying problematic areas in assignment evaluation and thus developing suitable training programmes for evaluation skills in tutors to help them understand how teaching type comments can be provided and how we must avoid non-teaching type comments.

About references

3Two sets of references have been selected, one for "A Ladder of Publication : Scaffolding for emergent authors", by Prof. Fred LOCKWOOD (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK), Asian Journal of Distance Education, 2003, 1(1), pp 5-11. See : references 1 to 3

4And another set for "Tutor-Marked Assignments: Evaluation of Monitoring in India", by Ramesh C. SHARMA & Mohana Kumar RAJESH (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India), Asian Journal of Distance Education, 2007, 5(3), pp 10 – 27. See : references 4 to 7

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1-Donovan, S.K. (2018). Reflective Practice: Eight Stages of Publishing a Scientific Research Paper, Publications, 6(8). DoI:10.3390/publications6010008

2-Kawachi, P. (2010). The role of publishing: support for action research. Distances et savoirs, vol. 8,(2), 235-240.

3-Wikipedia (2018). Publish or perish. Web entry dated 14 September 2018, available online at

4-Akhter, N. & Ali, A. (2016). Analysis of Assignments’ Assessment for Distance Learners in Single Vs Dual Mode Institutions, Bulletin of Education and Research, December, 38(2), pp. 15-35

5-Bååth, John. 1994. "Assignments in distance education: An overview." Epistolodidaktika, no. 1: 13-20. Reproduced and available at

6-Demiray, U., & Sharma, R. C. (2009). Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Education: An Introduction. In U. Demiray, & R. Sharma (Eds.), Ethical Practices and Implications in Distance Learning (pp. 1-9). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-59904-867-3.ch001

7-Sharma, R. C., & Kawachi, P. (2012). Engaging Learners in the Digital Age through Self-Discovery Learning. In S. Hai-Jew (Ed.), Constructing Self-Discovery Learning Spaces Online: Scaffolding and Decision Making Technologies (pp. 218-229). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-61350-320-1.ch012

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Ramesh C. Sharma, « The choice of the Asian Journal of Distance Education »Distances et médiations des savoirs [En ligne], 23 | octobre 2018, mis en ligne le , consulté le 08 décembre 2023. URL : ; DOI :

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Ramesh C. Sharma

Ambedkar University Delhi

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