Assessment of Challenges in Distance Education at University of Ghana
The purpose of this study was to assess main challenges in implementation of a distance education (DE) programme at tertiary level at University of Ghana. Quantitative data was collected from 49 tutors and 139 students. The key survey questions to tutors were on their background education, training received, challenges in tutoring, courses taught and inter-relationship between them. The important survey questions to students were on their profile, challenges in registration process, adequacy of tutorials, timeliness, prompt evaluation and feedback related to assignments. Qualitative data was also obtained from coordinators and organizers on main challenges inhibiting the implementation of the distance education programme. Inadequacy of training, inadequate financial motivation, learners shifting from one tutor to the other, inadequacy of time allocated for tutorial, late attendance of students, faulty public address systems, late delivery of modules to students and overloaded modules to be treated within the semester were major challenges reported by tutors. Majority of the students felt that registration process at the beginning of the semester was very difficult, tutorial periods were not enough and they were not enthused with
assignments given to them during tutorials. The coordinators felt that some members of the implementation committee were not experts in the field of distance learning and that they had to learn on the job. Other major problems faced in implementation of the programme included the difficulty of getting course writers and low fee for writing the modules. To address the challenges it is recommended that finance and other logistics should be ensured beforehand and all stake holders should be duly informed and offered the necessary training to equip them with the requisite skills and knowledge to take part in new programmes.