A recent survey carried out in 12 public and private universities in Kenya that offer open and distance learning programmes, showed that students preferred face to face or blended methods of teaching and learning. Just 19,000 out of 500,000 students were enrolled for open and distance learning. This points to the challenges that students face in online or distance courses – they prefer to enrol in regular programmes. Less than half (about 45%) of students enrolled in distance learning programmes accessed course materials through their university’s online platforms; the rest either received them through email or in hard copy. Researchers found that there are no programmes on offer that don’t require face to face meetings, for introductory lectures or exams. This shouldn’t be the case for e-learning programmes. All students should be able to access all material on a university portal. Physical meetings shouldn’t be necessary. some of the major challenges include instructors who don’t have the skills to teach; scarce electronic content; a lack of internet connectivity; limited access to computers; students with limited computer literacy, and frequent electricity blackouts. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these issues.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION