Students’ Perception on Quality Dimensions and Challenges Faced on Open Distance Learning in the Higher Education, Ethiopia

Birhanu Moges


The objective of this study is to explore students’ perception on quality dimensions and challenges faced on Open Distance Learning (ODL) in the higher education, Ethiopia. An exploratory research design using mixed methods of questionnaire and interviews as the data collection techniques was adopted for the study. Specifically, the study focused on distance students in the Ethiopian public and private institutions (Harmaya University, Jimma University, St.Mary University and Alpha University). Both stratified and purposive sampling techniques were used in sampling 48 ODL (11 from each of the four study centres) and four student leaders, 1 from each of the four centres). Descriptive statistics, frequencies and percentages were utilized to analyze the data. The result shows that the majority of respondents feel that interactivity happens at various stages of the teaching-learning process and that contributes further to the positive dialogue between the tutors and students. The majority of students are satisfied about how tutors communicate with them and their level of language. Students were happy with the time table and how modules are structured in sections. The students were also happy with the activities of work they received from the tutors. Among the challenges identified were- institutional, instructional, social, psychological and financial. The findings of the study, it is expected, will be utilized instrumentally and conceptually in informing policy directives by private and public universities presently involved in ODL programmes. It is recommended that, intensification open distance learning units at the institution and ensuring that students have a suitable educational background when they join to the specific programme would make ODL efficient. In addition to this, it is good to try to make the system more flexible and use different information and communication technologies to support open distance learning.

Keywords: Challenges to dl students, open distance learning, perception; students, higher education

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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