Pathway to Quality: Incorporating Students’ Perceptions in the University Learner Support System
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The provision of learner support is pivotal in understanding the development trend in distance education. A survey of the literature indicates limited incorporation of the student perspective in learner support strategies in Open and Distance Education in Uganda. To investigate the students’ perspective of the university learner support practices, this study used a quantitative approach involving a 45 questionnaire items to collect the students’ views. Using factor analysis technique, findings from the study revealed four constructs of learner support, namely; academic advising support, library and technology support, counselling and career support, and communication service support. The study concludes that analysing and incorporating the views of the students in decision making at faculty and institution level help to consolidate learner support efforts, nurtures a relevant learner support culture and creates a pathway to improved learning in Open and Distance Education. It therefore recommends that the views/voice of the students should be considered in the planning and delivery of Open and Distance Education. In addition, investment in affordable ICTs is key to the effectiveness of learner support management and delivery in Open Distance Education.
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