Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies

Excellence and Timeliness

Choose Language

Chitura and Manyanhaire

Greener Journal of Education and Training Studies Vol. 3 (1), pp. 001-008, March 2015.

  ISSN: 2354-225X  

Review Paper

Manuscript Number: 012315016



Programme Evaluation in Distance Education: A Function of Quality Assurance


Chitura Miriam1* Manyanhaire Itai Offat2


1. Senior Lecturer Health Sciences: Zimbabwe Open University

2. Senior Lecturer, Geography and Environmental Studies: Zimbabwe Open University

Emails: 1miriamchitura @; 2offatmanya @


*Corresponding Author’s Email: miriamchitura @yahoo. com


Programme evaluation is a systematic way of gathering, analyzing and utilizing information to answer basic questions about projects, policies and programmes. Methodologies included cross sectional surveys and review of literature to gather data. Evaluation in open and distance learning is undertaken to guide decision-makers programme leaders, programme coordinators with an overall objective to improve service delivery and client satisfaction. This objectives of this paper is to discuss the concept of programme evaluation as a function of quality assurance citing examples from the Zimbabwe Open University. Quality assurance is described as a process of ensuring that students who enter a programme exit with the requisite standards of competence through employing a combination of learning and infrastructural resources. Programme evaluation, whether it be positivist, interpretive or critical-emancipatory, takes place in specific socio-political contexts. The various evaluation typologies must be understood in the context of the distance and open learning institutions and that they are intended to enhance quality assurance at various levels of programme implementation.


Key words: distance education, formative evaluation, needs assessment.


Birley, M. and Morel, N. 1998 A practical guide to academic research, London: Kogan Page


Dolley, J. 1994 Planning, monitoring and evaluating learning programmes, Buckingham: Open University Press.


Freeman, R. (1993) Quality assurance in training and education, London: Kogan page.


Kurasha, P and Gwarinda, T.C. (2011) Financing a sustainable quality assurance Model for national development through Open and Distance Learning in higher education. The Zimbabwean experience. Zimbabwe international Journal of Open and Distance Learning. Vol.1 No.1.p1-9.


Lockee, B. Moore, M. and Burton, J.(2002) Measuring Success: education strategies for distance education. EDUCAUSE Quartely No1.p 21-26.


Louw, J. (1999). Improving Practice through Evaluation. In D. Donald, A. Dawes and J. Louw (Eds.), Addressing childhood adversity (pp. 60-73). Cape.


MacDonald, B. (1977). A political classification of evaluation studies. In D. Hamilton (Ed.), Beyond the Numbers Games. (pp. 224-227). London: Macmillan.


Mugridge, I. 1999. Quality Assurance in Open and Distance Learning. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 8(3). Town: David Philip.


Potter, C (2006). Programme Evaluation. In M. Terre Blanche, K. Durrheim & D. Painter (Eds), Research in practice: Applied methods for social sciences (2nded.)  (pp. 410-428). Cape Town: UTC Press.


Pradhan, B(2006) concept of programme Evaluation in Open and distance education. STRIDE Handbook. Indira Gandhi National Open University. New Delhi.


Rathmore, H. and Schuemer, R. (eds.) 1998 ‘Evaluation concepts and practice in   selected distance education institutions’, ZIFF paper 108, Hagen: Central Institute for Distance Education Research, FernUniversitat, at


Robinson, B., 1994, 'Assuring quality in open and distance learning', in F. Lockwood (ed), Materials Production in Open and Distance Learning. London: Paul Chapman Publishing, Ltd.


The Zimbabwe Open University (2007) General regulations.


Thorpe, M. 1993 ‘Evaluating open and distance learning’, Harlow: Longman, cited in D. Rowntree 1998 ‘Assessing the quality of materials-based teaching and learning’ in A. Tait (ed.) Open Learning 3:2


Weiss, C.H. (1999). Research-policy linkages: How much influence does social science research have? World Social Science Report, pp. 194-205.


Woodley, A and Kirkwood, A (1986) Evaluation in distance learning. Paper 10 Bletchley, England: Institute of Educational Technology, Open University (ED 304 122).

Call for Papers/Books/Thesis

Call for Scholarly Articles

Authors from around the world are invited to send scholary articles that suits the scope of this journal. The journal is currently open to submissions and will process and publish articles monthly in two yearly issues.

The journal is centered on quality and goes about its processes in a very timely fashion. Seasoned editors/reviewers will be consulted to review each article(s), profer quality evaluations and polish the articles with expertise before publication.

Simply send your article(s) as an e-mail attachment to or

Call for Books

You are also invited to submit your books for online or print publication. We publish books related to all academic subject areas.    Submit as an e-mail attachment to


Login Form

Other Journals