Academic Challenges Facing Distance Education Learners: Empirical Evidence from Jackson College of Education Centre in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana

DATE PUBLISHED
March 28, 2019
SECTION
Articles

Abstract

The study sought to find out the academic challenges facing distance education learners at Jackson College of Education in the Brong Ahafo Region. The study employed descriptive survey design employed and stratified sampling technique in selecting a total sample size of 335. Questionnaire was the main instrument used for this research. The study found out that academic challenges facing the respondents included residential facilities, classroom facilities, communication/feedback, learning and assessment, and course modules. There were statistically significant differences between male and female distance learners’ challenges in three out of the five areas, namely, classroom facilities, learning and assignments, and feedback/ communication. The main coping strategies adopted by the learners included obtaining assistance from tutors before face-to-face sessions, having modules and other reading materials for use, formation of discussion groups and engagement of services of housemaids. Orientations and matriculations, payment of fees in installment/financial aids, examination questions based on modules and provision of teach guides, information provision via notice boards, car parks and canteen services were identified as the commonest learner support services available at the College. Based on the findings for the study, the following recommendations were made: Authorities of the Jackson College of Education should as a matter of urgency begin to arrange for residential accommodations for learners especially mothers and those from afar at a more considerate cost, spacious classrooms should be acquired and used for face-to-face sessions by the college authorities, distance learners should be counselled and encouraged to read their modules and other relevant materials before attending face-to-face tutorials, learners should also consider forming cluster discussion groups and college authorities should prioritize issues of learner support services. For policy, it was recommended that management of Jackson College of Education must begin to dream about building their own hostel facilities for their learners to reduce the residential challenges that they normally face and the National Accreditation Board and University of Education, Winneba (the affiliation institution of Jackson College of Education) should make learner support services a core of the requirements for accreditation and affiliation, respectively.

Keywords

University of Education, Winneba (UEW), College of Distance Education (CoDE), and Jackson College of Education Complex (JEC)

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Author Details

Georgina Cate Foli

Augustine Adjei

Daniel Adjei Mensah