Tafangombe and Kaputa
Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 5 (3), pp. 051-064, July 2015
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2015 GJSS
Manuscript Number: 050715069
An Analysis of Challenges encountered by students on the E-learning platform at Zimbabwe Open University
Judith Tafangombe and Thomas Musankuleni Kaputa*
Materials Development Uni, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe, judithtafa @ gmail.com
Disability Studies and Special Needs, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe, kaputatm @ zou.ac.zw
*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: kaputatm@ zou. ac.zw
The philosophy of distance education is that it removes barriers to learning. Individuals learn what they want, when they want, and where they want. All this freedom is accomplished by a variety of technologies. Hence technologies in printed and non-printed formats can be used. This study focused on the challenges that students encountered on the E-learning Platform at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). The study used a qualitative approach using a case study design. Structured interviews and document analysis were used to collect the data. According to Flick (2009) these enables the generation of appropriate descriptive information on the phenomenon under study. Purposive sampling was used identify the students; lecturers from the four faculties of the ZOU who have used the e-platform Key informants from the Information, Communication Technology (ICT) department of ZOU were also interviewed. The findings of the study show that ODL students face challenges when accessing the e-platform. Students, lecturers and even most ICT personnel do not have the capacity to use the myVista internet based programme. This is an e-tutoring programme which allows learning to occur between the student and the tutor on line. The study recommended as a priority that all students, lecturers and key ICT personnel be trained in the use of the e-platform especially the myVista programme. ZOU should put in place a policy on how e-tutoring should be conducted. This would help to make the e-platform materials student friendly. Furthermore there is need to improve students’ computer literacy skills.
Key words: distance education, technologies, e-learning platform, e-tutoring.
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