Reworking the quality puzzle in open and distance learning for sustainable development

Links
Date
2013-11
Authors
Chiome, Chrispen
Editor
Corporate Author
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Report/Paper Number
Abstract
As the open and distance learning quality debate rages on, this study set to rework the quality puzzle in an open and distance learning context for sustainable development. This was a survey of four regional campuses informed by a purposive sample of 284 students and sixty members of staff. Some very glaring quality puzzles were unearthed in this study. Suppressed voices of quality working as change inhibitors are in effect, silent assassins of quality in open and distance learning. There were far more damaging attitudes to quality than those that promote it. Some manifestations of damaging attitudes were seen through the otherness of open and distance universities and their students, the low status accorded to distance education and the belief that learning equals face-to-face teaching. The invisible hand of power from a close knit highly conservative old boys’ clique from conventional universities became visible in this study. The study concluded that ODL cannot therefore fulfil its purpose of promoting sustainable development without reference to these quality puzzles some of which are inflicting shock and injury to the staff and students. The study thus recommended a re-thinking on conditions heightening quality in an ODL context considering that the quality issue is more than an academic argument about definitions of meaning. There is the question of who gets what from the paymaster’s limited pot and why (Doherty, 2008). // Paper ID: 22
Description
Subject
Institutional Development, Open and Distance Learning (ODL), Sustainable Development, Quality Assurance
Country
Zimbabwe
Region
Africa
Rights
Series
Citation
DOI