Distance Education Isolation and Control: Ghana Student Case
The establishment of Distance Education at the tertiary level has been fully embraced by universities in Ghana. Its operations focus on the programmers of the University and support for the student learners. Distance learners are bound to face various challenges including methods of learning, adjustment and management of time. Although Distance Education has been found to be cost effective and attractive to many people of different backgrounds, many students are not able to cope with this new industrialized form of learning. The distance learners are regarded as independent, self-directed and self-motivated, yet they face the problem of isolation as they study under most trying circumstances alone and at their own pace. They are separated by distance and geographical location.
The lecture looked at the dynamics of isolation in distance education, the theory of transactional distance as postulated by Moore (1981) and how Ghanaian Universities are providing tutorial and other support services to bridge transactional distance and reduce the degree of isolation. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on the forms of control existing in the operations of the programme in Ghana. This study established that in Ghana, institutional and social controls dominate over learner control and that the Ghanaian student is not completely isolated.
Web 2.0 Technology Teaching: Benefits, Obstacles and Lessons
While Web 2.0 technologies are becoming ubiquitous in the everyday lives of students, many university instructors still have little or no experience with Web 2.0 tools. In addition, professors often use Web 2.0 tools in ways that simply reinforce their existing practices rather than using them to their potential. While there is a wealth of literature that discusses Web 2.0’s potential for transforming education, there is little research that provides data-based guidelines. This study sought to provide a synthesis of key lessons that university instructors, referred to as “Web 2.0 experts”, have learned from their various experiences in teaching with these tools. Fourteen experienced instructors participated in a Web-based survey. The findings of this study provide valuable insights and practical strategies for teaching with Web 2.0.