Structure and Process in Dual-Model Institutions: Implications for Development
Distance Education Unit, University of Botswana
Last modified: October 16, 2006
Presentation date: 11/03/2006 10:00 AM in NT Portland A
Without a systems approach, the introduction of distance education in a conventional university comes with structural flaws that militate against the realization of its potential and often leads to the distance education unit being marginalised. This is because the organizational structure of a distance education unit in a conventional university not only provide the framework within which people work but it also shapes the attitudes of organizational members through a process of organizational socialization. Nnazor’s (1994) assertion provides an understanding of the dynamics of a distance education system in dual-mode institutions.
The paper explores the manner in which distance education was introduced into existing conventional institutions, the organizational structures that were created to manage ODL, the challenges that the institutions experienced, their responses to those challenges and the implications for development. The University of Botswana is used to illustrate the challenges as they were experienced by this institution and how it responded to those challenges which included either restructuring or formulating ODL policies. The paper concludes that a systems approach would have provided a smother take-off for the Distance Education Unit at the University of Botswana and that would have optimised the use of distance education in moving forward the national development agenda and strategies.