An Assessment of Constraints of Distance Learners: The Case of Alpha University College at Addis Ababa Branch

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective 0/ this study was to assess constraints 0/ degree level distance learners in ACDS at Addis Ababa branch. To conduct this study, descriptive survey research design was employed. The subjects olthis study were chosen using simple random and stratified random sampling procedures. To get the necessCllY data, questionnaire were administered to 273 sample distance learners and interviews were conducted with 15 course tutors, 5 coordinators and 3 administrators of A CDS Besides, document inventOlY was made. Data analysis were made by using statistical tools such as percentages, /i'equencies and weighted mean to identify whether there were diflerences or agreement in the views of the respondents regarding the various variables. Accordingly, the analysis based on the data revealed that majority of distance learners have personal constraints such as lack of study skill, feeling ol isolation and lack of motivation. Particularly, 66.8 per cent o.lthe respondents reported that they lacked the ability to use different approaches and techniques for learning and study respectively. As to feeling ol isolation o.f the respondents during their distance study, 63.5 per cent o.l the respondents asserted that they felt isolated .Fom a teacher during their distance study. Regarding respondents motivation towards their learning, the study revealed that most of distance learners in ACDS in Addis Ababa are externally motivated. Problems identified by respondents which were related to course/instructional materials include: lack of clear indication ol any prerequisite knowledge or skill/or the course (689%), the instruct ional materials were not cater for diflerent learning prelerences (66.4%), the instructional materials were not visually allractive(56.4%). Besides, the study indicated that inadequate student support services, limited instructional media and inappropriate assessment methods were some 0/ the institutional problems 0/ distance learners. Moreover, inability to adjust job and /amily responsibilities with the study, finanCial constraints and negative attitude olthe society towards distance education in general and towards learners in particular were identified as constraints 0/ distance learners at A CDS in Addis Ababa. Thus, we can infer that personal, institutional and socio-economic constraints ({ffect the success of distance learners at ACDS in Addis. Therefore, it is recommended that the institution should give emphasis on quality o.f course materials and instructional methods to motivate learners, prepare study guidelines to solve some oflack of study skills 0/ learners, increase the interaction between learners and tutors as well as among learners to reducefeeling 0/ isolation during their study. Besides, the insti!ution should develop programs and services to enhance its academic status and social credibility by giving emphasis for the achievements of its educational programs and the /ii/fillment 0/ learners need.



Constraints of Distance Learners