The creation of an environment conducive to adult distance learning at Technikon Southern Africa

Govender, Dayalan (2001-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Distance education is increasingly being regarded as a possible solution for some of South Africa's educational problems. The Literature, however, illustrates no concrete research that has been conducted in terms of the creation of an environment conducive to adult distance learning institutions like Technikon Southern Africa. There are perhaps numerous reasons for this, however being a 'distance learning setting' is probably one the most prominent reasons for not seriously considering the learning environment as both an essential and vital determinant governing the learning process. In this research an interpretative study has been done of the programme group Police Practice of Technikon Southern Africa. The purpose of this study was to establish whether an environment conducive to adult learning does in fact exist in Police Practice and to develop a set of recommendations/criteria which could be used by this programme group of TSA. Various critical questions stimulated this study. These questions were in tum used to generate interview questions, which were used during the interview process. A qualitative approach was followed and data was obtained by means of interviews. The subjects of the study were educators of the programme group Police Practice of Technikon Southern Africa. There were a number .of conclusions drawn from this study. Some of the most prominent of them were as follows: • This is a lack of meaning given to the open / flexible approach. • Considering adult learning principles in distance learning IS of vital importance. • A more personalized approach to distance learning is necessary. • There is a crucial need for in-service training and staff development. • Technological advancements should be adopted with caution. • There exists a need to create a much more challenging environment for learners. Various recommendations were generated from both the conclusions and the literature study of this research. Some of the most important of them were as follows: • An open learning approach should be used. • The implications of adult learning principles should be carefully considered. • Personalising learning through the use of the text should be implemented. • Appropriate in-service training for educators should be made available. • A challenging environment should be created. In addition to this a possible checklist was proposed for the creation of an environment more conducive to adult learning (distance education).

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: DIE SKEP VAN 'N OMGEWING WAT BEVORDERLIK IS VIR LEER AAN TECHNIKON SUIDER-AFRIKA Afstandsleer word toenemend beskou as 'n moontlike oplossing vir sekere Suid-Afrikaan onderwysprobleme. Volgens die literatuur is daar egter geen bewys van konkrete navorsing oor die skep van 'n omgewing wat bevorderlik is vir volwassene onderwysinstansies soos Technikon Suider-Afrika nie. Een van die hoofredes waarom die onderwysomgewing in afstandsonderwys nie as 'n noodsaaklike bepalende faktor in die leerproses beskou word nie is juis dat dit binne 'n "afstandsleer-konteks" val. In hierdie navorsing is 'n interpretatiewe studie van die Programgroep: Polisiepraktyk van Technikon Suider-Afrika uitgevoer. Die doel van die navorsing was om vas te stelof daar wel 'n onderwysomgewing wat bevorderlik is vir afstandsleer by polisiepraktyk bestaan. Verder was die doelook om riglyne te ontwikkel wat deur die Programgroep van Technikon Suider-Afrika gebruik sou kon word. Verskeie kritieke vrae het hierdie navorsing gestimuleer. Hierdioe vrae is op hulle beurt gebruik om vrae wat in die onderhoudproses gebruik sou word, te genereer. 'n Kwalitatiwe benadering is gevolg en die data is deur middel van onderhoude ingesamel. Fasiliteerders/dosente van die Programgroep: Polisiepraktyk van Technikon Suider- Afrika vir die onderhoude gebruik. Verskeie gevolgtrekkings/afleidings het uit die navorsmg gespruit. Van die mees prominente gevolgtrekkings sluit in: • Daar is 'n gebrek aan sinvolheid met betrekking tot oop/plooibare leer. • Dit is duidelik dat volwassene leerbeginsels in afstandsleer belangrik is. • 'n Meer persoonlike benadering tot afstandsleer is noodsaaklik. • Daar is 'n deurslaggewende behoefte aan indiensopleiding en ontwikkeling. • Omsigtigheid in die benadering tot tegnologiese vooruitgang is noodsaaklik. • Daar bestaan 'n behoefte aan die skep van 'n veel meer uitdagende omgewing vir leerders. 'n Aantal aanbevelings is op grond van die gevolgtrekkings en die literatuurstudie van hierdie navorsing gegenereer. Voorts is 'n moontlike kontrolelys vir die totstandkoming van 'n omgewing wat bevorderlik is vir volwassene afstandsleer, voorgestel. Die belangrikste daarvan was die volgende: • Die gebruik van 'n oop-leer-benadering • Die inagneming van die implikasies van volwassene leer-beginsels • Die verpersoonliking van leer deur die gebruik van die teks • Toepaslike indiensopleiding vir opvoeders • Die sken van 'n omgewing wat uitdagings bied.

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