Greener Journal of Social Sciences

Excellence and Timeliness


Choose Language


Tafangombe and Kaputa

Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 5 (3), pp. 051-064, July 2015

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2015 GJSS

Research Paper

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 @

Disability Studies and Special Needs, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe, kaputatm @


*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: kaputatm@ zou.


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.

Post-review Rundown

View/get involved, click [Post-Review Page]


Anderson, A. (2008). Seven Major Challenges for E-learning in Developing Countries: A case study eBIT, Sri Lanka, International Journal of Education and Development using  Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2008, Vol .4, Issue 3, pp 45-62.


Andersson, A. (2007). Beyond Student and Technology: Seven Pieces to Complete The E-Learning Jigsaw Puzzle in Developing Countries, “30th Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, IRIS#), Tampere, Finland, 2007, p.1330. Accessed on 05.05.15.


Anderson, J. and McCormick, R. (2005). Ten Pedagogic Principals of E-learning, Observatory for New Technologies and Education accessed on 18.06.15.


Broadbent, B. (2000). “Anyone, anywhere, anytime,” OH & S Canada (16:8), pp 50-52.


Burge, Liz. (1988). Beyond Andragogy: Some Explorations for Distance Learning Design. Journal of Distance Education, Vol 3, 1, 5-23.


Chokri, B. (2012). Factors Influencing the Adoption of the E-Learning Technology In Teaching and Learning by Students of a University Class. European Scientific Journal December edition vol.8, No.28.


Chou, C., Lin, C., van’t Hooft, M. and Lin, Y. (2008). Factors Influencing the Participation and Perceptions of Asian K-12 Students in Global Networked Learning accessed on 11.06.15.


Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches Sage, Thousand Oakes.


Commonwealth of Learning (2005). Creating Materials for Open and Distance Learning Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning.


Du Plessis, E. C. (2012). Students’ Views on E-Learning. Accessed on 11.06.15.


Flick, U. (2006). An Introduction to Qualitative Research (3rd Edition) London Sage.


Greenberg, G. (1998). Distance Education Technologies: Best Practices for K-12 settings IEEET,           Technology and Society Magazine Winter p 36-40.


Gunawardena, C.N. (1992). Changing Faculty Roles for Audio Graphics and On-line Teaching. American Journal of Distance Education, 8 (2), 30-42.


Gunawardena, C.N. (1996). Designing Learner Support for Media- Based Distance Education. Paper presented at Turkey First International Distance Education Symposium (pp. 271-280). Turkey: Ankara MONE-FRTED.


Hall, B. (1995). "Multimedia training's return on investment." Workforce Training News.


Keegan D (1995) Distance Technology for New Millennium: Compressed Video Teaching ZIFF Papiere Hagen Germany: Institute for Research into Distance Education.


Manson, R. and Rennie, F. (2006). E Learning: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.


Moore, M & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance Education: A systems View (2nd Edition) Belmont, CA Thompson Wadsworth.


Naidu, S. (2006) E Learning A Guide of Principles, Procedures and Practices. New Delhi: Commonwealth Education Media Center of Asia.


Penteliuc-Cotosman, D. (2006). The New Multimedia Technologies used in Open and Distance Learning. Annals, Computer Science Series 4th Tome 1st Fasc.


Perraton, H. 2000 Open and distance learning in the developing world, London: Routledge.


Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., KewalRamani, A., Kemp, J., Bianco, K., Dinkes, R. (2009). The Condition of Education 2009 (NCES 2009-081). Washington, DC;National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S.Department of Education.


Robinson, B. (2008). Using distance education and ICT to improve access, equity and the Quality in rural teachers’ professional development in western China. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning Vol 9, No 1 accessed on 19.06.15


Simpson, O. (2004). “The Impact on Retention of Interventions to Support Distance Learning Students,” Open Learning (19:1).


Taylor, JC (2001). Fifth Generation Distance Education Keynote address to the 20th World Conference on Open and Distance Education, International Council for Open and Distance Education, Dusseldorf, Germany, 1-5 April 2001.


Wallace, M. (2002). Managing and Developing Online Education: Issues of Change and Identity.           Journal of Workplace learning, 14(5), 198-208.


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 articles promptly and publish ready articles daily in each current issue.

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


Login Form

Other Journals