Evaluation of teaching and learning, access to information and personal and social needs on learner support in open, distance and e-learning programme in selected public universities in Kenya
Laichena, Edward Mutabari
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The study investigated the nature of learner support services in open, distance and e-learning programme in three public universities in Kenya. Specifically, the study set out to ascertain the types of learner support services offered to open, distance and e-learning students as well as identify learner support services that the students and the administrators felt were essential for effective learning. The study also intended to establish the attitudes of the users of open, distance and e-learning programmes on the learner support services offered and identify the factors that influence learner support services offered in open, distance and e-learning programmes in selected public universities in Kenya. The study limited itself to fourth year students undertaking a bachelor‟s degree programme only. This study was guided by the systems approach model whereby the types of learner support services offered by an institution enhances the success of open, distance and e-learning programmes through provision of adequate learner support services. Literature reviewed on the categories of services such as teaching and learning needs, access of information and personal and social needs (independent variables) showed that they determine the overall satisfaction of learner support services (dependent variable) offered. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Purposive sampling was used to select three public universities offering open, distance and e-learning programmes, namely Egerton University, Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi. Further, purposive sampling method was also used to select three study regions where each of the three universities had a study centre. A sample size of 329 fourth year students in the selected universities was arrived at using tables instituted by Morgan and Krejcie (1970). Stratified sampling technique was used to get a representation of students from each university while convenience sampling was used to select the students at each study centre from each university. All the administrators (directors and coordinators) were used in the study. The study instruments (interview schedules and questionnaires) were constructed to help in data collection. The data collected was coded, analysed and tabulated using the SPSS version 20 programme. Results were presented in form of frequency distribution tables and graphs. The study established that students rated majority of learner support services offered by their institutions across the three universities as poor while the administrators indicated that the services offered were good. However, the students and the administrators were of the opinion that there were essential learner support services that were very necessary to open, distance and e-learning students. Further, there was a consensus by the students and the administrators that the services offered were necessary though they needed to be improved. Lastly, the study found out that the administrators were aware of the essential learner support services but were limited by other factors that were beyond their control. The study recommends that; institutions offering open, distance and e-learning programmes should constantly assess the value of learner support services offered by constantly seeking the students‟ opinion and offer few but essential learner support services that are of high quality, adequate, of good quality and satisfactory to the students.