MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS FOR PURSUING COURSES THROUGH DISTANCE LEARNING
KCA University (KENYA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Distance learning is a unique method of acquiring knowledge that gained popularity in the recent past and it is becoming a preferred mode of study for many students. Institutions of higher learning have shown increasing interest in this mode of study and are adopting it as an alternative way of offering education within and beyond their borders.
This study attempts to find out the motivator factors that influence students to study through distance learning. Further, it tries to ascertain areas of improvement in this mode of learning. This is a case study of University of South Africa (UNISA) students and distance learning at KCA University situated at Nairobi Kenya, one of the UNISA centres in East Africa.
The sample was 110 undergraduate students who were taking their courses through distance learning. The motivator factors that were considered included flexibility, availability of the course, personal commitments, sponsors’ decision, image and reputation of the institution, cost of the course and desire to acquire foreign degree.
An analysis of the responses showed that flexibility, availability of the course, personal commitment, institutional image and reputations are factors that motivate students to pursue courses through distance learning.
Concerns of respondents that needed improvement include: timely communication to students, continuous feedback on assignment and other inquiries, availability of relevant prescribed text books, and timely delivery of study materials.
The article concluded that these factors can be considered for other institutions intending to start distance learning and can be used as a basis for improving service delivery to distance learners.
Keywords: Licensee, UNISA, distance learning, motivator factors.