Open Distance Learning (ODL) in South Africa

Moeketsi Letseka
College of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA), Editor-in-Chief: Africa Education Review, South Africa

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU041000

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Access to higher education and the prospect of obtaining a higher education qualification through full-time contact institutions seems a remote reality for the majority of black South Africans who were denied opportunities for higher education during apartheid. The majority of this group is either in full-time employment, part-time employment, temporary posts, unemployed and at most unemployable. This book opens up the debate on the open distance learning (ODL) mode of teaching and learning.

The book is written in user-friendly English accessible to professionals in higher education and ODL as well as the non-professional layman. The book debates among others, the critical issues of access to higher education in South Africa. It offers ODL as a viable alternative to millions of South Africans who were denied opportunities to study in higher education by past policies of apartheid. The book puts across ODL as a viable mode of access to higher education qualifications that are accredited by South Africa’s Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and are recognized by the country’s labor market. The book tackles the sensitive but necessary issue of assessment in ODL. It discusses best practices in ODL and offers justifications for ODL practitioners to align their practice with internationally recognized benchmarks and examples of best practice.

The book explores the sensitive issues of pass rates and throughput rates in ODL. Given their very nature as higher education institutions whose student clientele is mature working adults, ODL institutions’ qualifications completion targets tend to be more relaxed and extended than their full-time contact higher education institutions counterparts. Invariably throughput rates in ODL institutions are perceived to be very poor. The book opens up debates on the dynamics of ODL pass rates and throughput rates. It explores the notions of throughput rate and pass rate and interrogates the nuances of perceived ODL poor rates. A question the book seeks to address is whether ODL throughput rates and pass rates are indeed poor or seem poor relative to performances of full-time contact institutions?
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1 - Introduction: Open Distance Learning (ODL) in South Africa (pp. 1-6)
Moeketsi Letseka (Department of Educational Foundations, College of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Chapter 2 - A Fit for Purpose Mission for Widening Access through Open Distance Learning (pp. 7-20)
Mpine Makoe (Open Distance Learning Institute, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Chapter 3 - Participation in Open Distance Learning (pp. 21-38)
Paul Prinsloo (Department of Business Management, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Chapter 4 - Assessment in Open and Distance Learning (pp. 39-50)
Motlalepule Ruth Mampane (Department Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education: University of Pretoria)

Chapter 5 - Best Practices in Open Distance Learning Assessment (pp. 51-64)
Victor Pitsoe and Matsephe M. Letseka (Department of Leadership and Management, Department of Educational Foundation, College of Education, University of South Africa)

Chapter 6 - Pass Rates in Open Distance Learning (ODL) (pp. 65-76)
Moeketsi Letseka and Keleco Karel (Department of Educational Foundations, Adult Basic Education and Training and Youth Development, College of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Chapter 7 - Throughput Rates in Open Distance Learning: Towards Understanding and Managing the ‗Revolving Door‘ Syndrome (pp. 77-90)
Folake Ruth Aluko (Unit for Distance Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria)

Chapter 8 - Conceptions of Success in Open Distance Learning (pp. 91-104)
Victor Pitsoe and Gezani Baloyi (Department of Leadership and Management, Adult Basic Education Training and Youth Development, College of Education, University of South Africa)

Chapter 9 - Student Support for Open Distance Learning (ODL) (pp. 105-116)
Shakila Dhunpath and Rubby Dhunpath (Tuition and Facilitation of Learning, University of South Africa (UNISA), and others)

Chapter 10 - The Nexus between Open Distance Learning and the Labor Market (pp. 117-128)
Maximus Monaheng Sefotho (Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria)

Chapter 11 - Shift from Open Distance Learning to Open Distance e-Learning (pp. 129-142)
Sindile Ngubane-Mokiwa and Moeketsi Letseka (Institute for Open Distance Learning, Department of Educational Foundations, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Conclusion: After Thought
Moeketsi Letseka (Department of Educational Foundations, College of Education, University of South Africa (UNISA))

Index 147

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