Challenges Facing Female Teacher-Learners on Distance Education Programmes at Winneba Study Centre, University of Education, Winneba (Ghana) and Existing Support Services (Published)
The study explored the challenges facing female teacher-learners on distance education programmes at Winneba Study Centre, University of Education, Winneba, and the support services available for them. A descriptive survey design was employed for the study and a structured questionnaire was used to gather data. A sample of 140 female teacher-learners selected through stratified and simple random sampling procedures was used for the study. The data gathered was presented in means and standard deviations. The study revealed that the students were confronted with many challenges relating to poor academic performance, funding of their programmes, communication with the Study Centre and, sometimes, their tutors for feedback on the quizzes written and the assignments submitted. Among others, the study concluded that most of the teacher-learners struggle to study at home which translates into poor academic performance. This was attributed to combination of numerous household duties and social responsibilities. Therefore, the study recommended that the Study Centre in collaboration with the authorities at the University of Education, Winneba, should support these students by strengthening the counselling services offered to them. Apart from the support from the University’s Counselling Centre, Academic Counsellors could be attached to each of the study centres so that they could assist the students to address the challenges they face.
In light of empirical experience from Morocco, combined with new possibilities afforded by Information and Communication Technology (ICT), there is a wish to integrate new technologies into distance education to help solve a set of problems identified in the initial training at the Regional Centre for the Professions of Education and Training of Fez. The results of a study conducted among 71 trainee teachers of the Earth and Life Sciences allow us to conclude that Open and Distance Learning (ODL) could constitute a promising solution to address the many challenges linked to the initial training of teachers in Morocco. Finally, the trainee teachers’ experience with ODL has also strongly contributed to their eagerness to integrate ICT in their subsequent teaching practices.
MOODLE-BASED PREPARATION OF COURSEWARE MATERIALS FOR A MASTERS PROGRAMME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA (Published)
Advances in information communication technologies (ICT) and the exponential growth of internet usage are rapidly influencing the delivery of education and the transformation of teaching and learning approaches. One such transformation is the Moodle, an e-learning software platform, which is a Learning Management System (LMS) with the potential of integrating course deliveries in teaching and learning modes. The moodle platform is being adopted in a hybrid form into a Masters degree programme offered by the Distance Education Centre at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. A review of the literature reveals that there has been successful implementation of the LMS in diverse academic programme deliveries. However, since this is an innovation in the Ghanaian context, the study aims at exploring the experiences of developers during the preparation and development of coursewares for a distance mode delivery programme. Mixed methodologies of quantitative and qualitative methods using questionnaires and interview guides as instruments were used in collecting data from 50 courseware developers who worked collaboratively in developing the materials. Findings from the study will be used in informing the development of other coursewares and during the revision of the current materials.
SOURCES OF STRESS AND ITS MANAGEMENT AMONG THE DISTANCE EDUCATION STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA. THE CASE OF ACCRA STUDY CENTRE IN GHANA (Published)
The study investigated sources of stress among distance education students of the University of Education, Winneba and the strategies they employ to manage it. Quantitative methodology which made use of questionnaire was employed to collect data from 105 students at Accra study centre, selected through stratified and simple random sampling techniques. The study found that the main sources of stress among the students were travelling over long distances to attend tutorials, financial challenges, and multiple responsibilities, coping with studies, lack of study skills and poor attitude of their tutors. The study has also shown that the students employ variety of stress management strategies some of which are regular exercises and being humorous. Based on these findings it was recommended among others that comprehensive workshop on stress and its management should organized for the students at the start of every semester and also that periodic training should be organized for the tutors to equip them with the skills of handling distance education students effectively.
Towards providing better Distance Education: A roadmap for Universitites in Pakistan (Review Completed - Accepted)
Today, technology has become an essential part of our daily lives and its increasing integration in Higher Education (HE) makes it an essential component of effective teaching and learning process. Where HE is expected to provide strong basis for a knowledge-based economy, access to Higher Education turns out to be the defining block in the whole process. With world witnessing drastic rise in number of students pursuing HE over the last few decades, HE providers seek alternate methods of providing HE to overcome the time and space barriers to delivering HE. What was accomplished via the classroom or lecture hall is now done in ubiquitous environment without any restrictions of time, place, or media through a phenomenon usually referred to as Distance Education (DE). Use of technology in teaching has not only enhanced the learning experience for DE students, it also has addressed time and space obstacles in learning environments throughout the world. While a variety of technologies are available to achieve the goal of providing convenient learning, choosing the right method that go well with cultural, demographic and economical situation is vital to accomplish the sought objectives.
This paper discusses common DE technologies with pros and cons of each mode, presents an overview of various Distance Education methodologies practiced locally and internationally in Higher Education, and identifies various barriers to improving Distance Education in the country. The paper also discusses various challenges to creating a learning community in a DE setting and finally, an improved DE model is proposed for Universities of Pakistan who are opting to start or have already taken initiatives in providing DE.