BLENDED OPEN DISTANCE LEARNING (ODL) CHALLENGES IN 21ST CENTURY: PRIMARY FINDINGS FROM ODL STUDENTS FROM MALAWI
Keywords:Challenges, Open distance learning, CCU, Drop-Out rate, Late programme completion, ICT
The purpose of this study was to investigate and document the challenges facing Open and Distance Learning students at the Central Christian University (CCU) and other institutions of higher learning in Malawi. The study was conducted at CCU Blantyre main study centre with 8 institutions which offer programs on ODL. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The main data collection techniques were questionnaires and structured interviews, supplemented by documentary review. Tables, frequencies and percentages were the key descriptive statistics used to analyse and present the findings. The results showed that ODL learners were challenged with a range of obstacles in their course of studies. The most reported challenges were lack of sufficient time for study, difficulties in access and use of ICT, ineffective feedback and lack of study materials. It was recommended that CCU should strive to achieve effective and balanced teaching and learning system that satisfies the desire of the learners to the extent that they would wish to come back to the institution for further studies and feel proud to recommend the institution to others who are seeking for knowledge.
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