Enhancing student development through support services in an open distance learning institution: A case study in South Africa
This article sought to investigate the implementation of curriculum through using student support services to enhance teaching and learning among students. The participants for the study were selected from students who registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education in Open distance e-Learning institutions. Data was collected from 20 students who were selected, using multi-stage sampling. Data pertaining to the experiences of these students were sought, using semi-structured interviews. The findings reveal that student support services were available but were not accessed by most students. The study reveals numerous student support-related challenges including poor handling of the application and registration process, delays in delivery and receiving of study material and the absence of an effective assignment feedback administration system. The study recommends that ODeL institutions endeavour to strengthen their administrative services to be more responsive to students. Furthermore, the lecturers should be oriented to provide services to students.
Arifin, Muhammad Husni. 2018. “The role of student support services in enhancing student persistence in Open University context: Lesson from Indonesia Open University.” Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 3(19): 156‒189.
Braun, Virginia, and Victoria Clarke. 2006. “Using thematic analysis in psychology.” Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2): 77‒101.
Creswell, John. 2009. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Creswell, John. 2014. Educational research: Planning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. 4th Edition. Cape Town: Pearson.
Fry, Heather, Steve Ketteridge, and Stephanie Marshall. 2019. A handbook for teaching and learning in higher education enhancing academic practice. 3rd Edition. London: Taylor and Francis Group, 2019.
Huang, Xiaoxia, Aruna Chandra, Concetta DePaolo, Jennifer Cribbs, and Lakisha Simmons. 2015. “Measuring transactional distance in web-based learning environments: An initial instrument development.” Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning 30(2): 106‒126.
Kamau, Judith Wanene. 2012. “The effectiveness of student support services to distance students in a primary education diploma: A case study in Botswana.” PhD Thesis, University of Pretoria.
Kear, Karen, Jon Rosewell, Keith Williams, Ebba Ossiannilsson, Covadonga Rodrigo, Angeles Sanchez-Elvira Paniagua, Miguel Lancho Santamaria, Andre Vyt, and Harvey Mellar. 2016. “Quality assessment for e-learning: A benchmarking approach.” www.e-xcellencelable.eadtu/ eu/images/E-cellence_manual. (Accessed 1 May 2020).
Makoe, Mpine, and Asteria Nsamba. 2019. “The gap between student perception and expectations of quality support services at the University of South Africa.” American Journal of Distance Education 33(2): 132‒141.
Mbwesa, Joyce Kanini. 2014. “Transactional distance as a predictor of perceived student satisfaction in distance learning course: A case study of Bachelor of Education Arts Program, University of Nairobi, Kenya.” Journal of Education and Training Studies 2(2): 176‒188.
Moore, Michael Grahame. 1993. Theory of transactional distance. In Theoretical principles of distance education, ed. D. Keegan, 22‒38. London: Routledge.
Nsamba, Asteria, and Mpine Makoe. 2017. “Evaluating quality of students’ support services in Open Distance Learning.” Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 4(18): 91‒103.
Raphael, Christina. 2016. Students support services: A case of blended learning in higher learning institutions in Tanzania. Handbook of research on global issues in next-generation teacher education, 18. www.researchgate.net/publication/307042468. (Accessed 16 April 2017).
Ravinder, Rena. 2007. “Factors affecting the enrolment and retention of students at primary education in Andhra Pradesh ‒ a village level study.” Essays in Education 22: 102‒112.
Sanchez-Elvira Paniagua, Angeles and Ormond Simpson. 2018. “Developing student support for open and distance learning: The POWER Project.” Journal of Interactive Media in Education 2(1): 1‒10.
Simpson, Ormond. 2012. Supporting students for success in online and distance education. Routledge, New York
Simpson, Ormond. 2017. Innovations in distance education student support: What are the chances? In The envisioning report for empowering universities, ed. G. Ubachs, L. Konings and M. Brown, 52‒55. Maastricht, NL: EADTU. www.empower.eadtu.eu/images/report/The_Envisioning_ Report_for_Empowering_Uniersities_1st_edition. (Accessed 23 June 2020).
Tait, Alan. 2003. Guest editorial ‒ “Reflections on student support in open and distance learning.” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 4(1).
Tait, Alan. 2004. Management of services to students. In Student support in open distance and online learning environment, ed. J. E. Brindley, C. Walti and O. Zawacki- Ritcher, 205‒218. Oldenburg: BIS-Verlag der Carl von Ossietzky Universitat.
Tait, Alan. 2014. From place to virtual space: Reconfiguring student support for distance and e-learning in the digital age. Open Praxis 6(1): 5‒160.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors, copyright holders, may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.
A copy of the authors' publishers version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal homepage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: This is an electronic version of an article published in SAJHE, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX “XXX", DOI. Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/SAJHE) may be found.
Authors publishers version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
Articles as a whole, may not be re-published with another journal.
The following license applies:
Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0