Compiling an Evidence-Based Improvement Plan for the Support of Distance-Education Students at a Southern African University
Africa Education Review Volume 13, Number 1, ISSN 1814-6627
This article illustrates how an event guide can be used to organise, systematise and prioritise the large amount of findings from an extensive study. The study aimed to enhance student support at a distance-education institute in a Southern African country (Lesotho). In this case study an improvement-oriented evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses and constraints of the current situation at this University was undertaken. Data collection resembled a triangulation mixed-methods design which included questionnaire surveys and focus-group discussions among the students and lecturers in a distance-education programme. A resource inventory was also drawn up. Based on the merged findings, a strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats (SWOT) table was drawn up. The findings clearly depicted the difficulties associated with the provision of quality support for distance learners in a developing country with relatively weak infrastructure and few resources. The main purpose of the article, however, is to describe how the findings and the implicated actions needed for improvement were organised to compile an improvement plan by means of an event guide which consists of a series of event tracks. The article not only shares valuable perspectives about improving the support for distance learners in a developing environment, but also introduces a practical way of organising key findings from research in a way that potentially encourages action and implementation, particularly in an area and context where improvement is of critical importance.
Makhakhane, B., Wilkinson, A.C. & Ndeya-Ndereya, C.N. (2016). Compiling an Evidence-Based Improvement Plan for the Support of Distance-Education Students at a Southern African University. Africa Education Review, 13(1), 20-36.