The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Patrick Seleta Ngoma

Assessment of distance learning programs and factors that contribute to the dropout rate among distance students at the University of Zambia

Patrick Seleta Ngoma
Adult Education and Extension Studies, University of Zambia

Moses Changala
Directorate of Distance Education

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     Last modified: August 14, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/02/2006 10:00 AM in NT Ginger Lilly
     (View Schedule)

The study sought to assess the distance learning programs and factors that contributed to the drop out rate among distance learning students at the University of Zambia. The sample consisted of 91 distance students (66males,25females) who attended Residential School in 2004. A simple random sampling method was used to identify the subjects.
A questionnaire was used to collect data. Some objectives of the study were to: establish the main factors that led to some distance students dropping out from studies; to establish whether quality of course materials affected learning, and determine ways of arresting the situation.Descriptive statistics were used to analyse findings.Results showed that 98% of the respondents were employed and on self-sponsorship. They also showed factors that contributed to the drop out like limited self-sponsorship, receiving misleading time-tables leading to missing examinations,and it took too long to finish studies.Respondents suggested solutions to the problems like use of Internet in teaching; and government should provide loans to students in order to access higher distance education.
It was hoped that the findings would benefit the University administration and other stakeholders in the improvement of distance education in Zambia.

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