Using IT for Distance Learning: Benefits and Challenges for African Learners
Thierry Karsenti, Université de Montréal, Canada
Simon Collin, UQUAM, Canada
Open and distance learning (ODL) offers enormous potential for Africa, where higher education systems face numerous constraints (Gioan, 2007). Yet few studies have addressed ODL in Africa. Against this background, this study aimed to 1) describe the profile of African students enrolled in an ODL program; and 2) gain a deeper understanding of their experience with ODL. We used a mixed-method design, including an online questionnaire (to achieve objective 1) and individual interviews (to achieve objective 2) with two groups of participants: African students enrolled in an ODL program at the time of the study and African students who had completed an ODL program at the time of the study. Results indicate that both groups shared a similar sociological and technological profile and that ODL programs are taken as continuing education courses for purposes of professional development. It appears that the ODL experience resembles that of other students, particularly Western students. Few sociocultural aspects that were specific to Africa were found.
Pour citer cet article
Karsenti, T. et Collin, S. (2012). Using IT for Distance Learning: Benefits and Challenges for African Learners. Formation et profession, 20(2), 13-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.18162/fp.2012.178