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Making Open and Distance Learning Appealing to Ordinary and Advanced level students: a case of the Zimbabwe Open University

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Bukaliya Richard


The proliferation of several universities in Zimbabwe has led to stiff competition for students. As some conventional colleges shift to being bimodal, the belief among Open Distance Learning faculty was that there was also need to adopt the same trend in ODL. However, before instituting such measures, there was need to establish how the Zimbabwe Open University could make its programmes receptive to Ordinary and Advanced level graduates, who were the target population for the innovation. The model introduced in this study is the Enhanced Tutorial Programme (ETP), whose receptivity was put to test in a study carried out with 100 student respondents drawn from secondary schools in Mashonaland East. The majority indicated their preference for this model since it meant more contact hours and improved quality due to the increased tutorial hours. Students would have more time for socialization as they come for tutorials. Because of the internship and community service aspects, respondents preferred it to a great extent. While conventional institutions required above 10 points at Advanced level, ZOU was most preferred because only 5 passes at Ordinary level were required. The most prohibitive factor for the majority was lack of access and competence in ICTs.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12681/icodl.678

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