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      Benefits and Challenges of ODeL in Postgraduate Education: The Case of Unisa–Ethiopia

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      UnisaRxiv
      UNISA Press
      open distance e- learning , benefits, challenges , doctoral graduates, Ethiopia
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            Abstract

            The focus of this paper is on identifying the benefits and the challenges of the open distance e-learning mode of education and their relationship with learners’ satisfaction. A total of 78 master’s and doctoral graduates responded to a 35-item 7-dimensional Likert-scale questionnaire that consisted of 2 open-ended items that allowed respondents to write their reflections. Means, standard deviations, Pearson’s correlation and stepwise regression were used to analyse the quantitative data, whereas the data from the open-ended items were analysed thematically. The results showed that studying in the open distance e-learning system assists learners to develop professional competence, personality skills and computer skills. It has given them access to postgraduate education, accomplishment of problem-solving research, studying from the comfort of home while earning a living, access to rich library resources, and increased life skills such as research language and independent learning. Although the benefits outweighed the challenges, the main challenge that stood out in this paper was the lack of supervision support. Other challenges were loss of motivation, procrastination, poor internet connections, lack of human touch, and lack of support from employers. The paper recommends that open distance e-learning institutions improve their supervision systems and ensure that their student support systems contribute to curbing students’ challenges including feelings of isolation.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            UnisaRxiv
            UNISA Press
            1 July 2021
            Affiliations
            [1 ] University of South Africa
            Author notes
            Article
            10.25159/UnisaRxiv/000018.v1
            9ef2611e-f914-41bf-a76e-9b1621257ebd

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .


            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Education
            open distance e- learning ,benefits,challenges ,doctoral graduates,Ethiopia

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