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Title: Enhancing strategies for the quality teaching–learning practice through open and distance education: a case study
Authors: Moges, Birhanu
Keywords: open and distance learning, Ethiopia, teaching, learning, strategies.
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Open and distance learning systems are making an increasing contribution to the quality teaching–learning development of teachers and students as school standards and professional standards are inextricably linked, and the need for a teaching force that is flexible and adaptable to the impact of rapidly changing structures of work and leisure. This study aims to understand how open and distance teaching–learning practices influence the learning of students. Understanding student learning in a open and distance education environment is an important factor to consider in improving the learning experiences of those students who for one reason or the other opt not to study in conventional institutions of education. This study also utilized the case study design and both primary and secondary data gathered through a review of the literature, consultations with program administrators, interviews with facilitators, and direct observations. Both random and non-random sampling methods were used to come up with samples used qualitatively. This case study explores strategies for the design and delivery of quality teaching–learning practice for open and distance learning program. It finds that for students originating mainly from remote regions of Ethiopia, open and distance learning can offer good opportunities of receiving cost-effective, quality-education on their doorsteps. The study established that in a open and distance education system, the type of learning environment has the potential to influence students’ learning, both positively and negatively, of which the main contributing factor is the learning support system. The study found that the learning support system provided by the institution and distance educators can have an impact on student learning. Findings also revealed that open and distance learning was a suitable and effective means of transformation development of Ethiopia such a programme provided an enhancing technological back-up can be easily accessed. The study also revealed that students have varied learning style preferences, and that the open and distance learning environment has the potential to impact on students’ learning styles. Since learning styles occupy a central place when it comes to improving open and distance learning materials, the study further explored the relationship between the constructs of learning styles and understanding. Improving students’ learning in an open and distance education environment rests mainly on improving the course materials, learner-centered approach, support systems and assessment strategies. A carefully designed and well supported instructional open and distance learning package can facilitate learning. Although the study reveals the potential of coordinated educational efforts, internal weaknesses and inefficiencies need serious attention to ensure the success of such initiatives in the future. Implications and recommendations of the findings point towards the improvement of the open and distance teaching-learning practices through the improvement of a mentoring program, expanded quality control, professional development initiatives, learning materials and the learning support systems for the open and distance education programme.
Appears in Collections:The 3rd Annual Open and Distance Education Seminar

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