The use of interactive technology for effective teaching and learning in open distance learning programmes
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Various learning technologies for learning are used by HEIs to deliver distance education programmes. Using technologies for learning in the delivery of distance education (DE) programmes enables students to access teaching, learning and resources. The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of learning technologies in developed and developing countries to foster interactivity and interactive technologies for effective student teaching and learning. The aim of this study was to investigate how the use of technologies can enhance the delivery of DE programmes at the UODL. The research question for this study was to identify which components a model would comprise to effectively integrate learning technologies into DE programmes at the UODL. Probability sampling was used during this study. Students enrolled for Education related DE programmes at the UODL (NWU) participated in the study. They resided in diverse geographical areas (rural and urban) and attended scheduled contact sessions at learning support centres (LSCs) close to them. The students taking part in this study were all practising educators registered for the BEd Honours, BEd Foundation phase, Grade R Diploma and ACE programmes. The research design for this study comprised a multi-mode bounded case study, and a fully mixed equal status sequential multi-mode design and methodology was followed. This study commenced with the qualitative research and was followed with quantitative strategies which took place between May to July 2016. The questions for the qualitative questionnaire were developed from the literature. Judgmental and snowball sampling strategies identified participants who were interviewed. All interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the researcher used Atlas ti™ to assist with the coding. A theory-driven approach culminated in 35 codes and were included in a codebook. Ward’s minimum variance method and Pearson’s r correlation clustered the constructs and determined the correlation between the constructs in the clusters. A convenient sampling strategy identified the respondents who completed the questionnaire. A total of 795 (522 electronic and 273 hard copies) completed questionnaires were returned. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, effect sizes and Spearman’s rank-order correlations indicated the statistical effects of the study. Sequential equation modelling (SEM) identified the components for the model on the use of interactivity in DE at the ODL. The components identified from the SEM were interactivity, infrastructure, TEL and flexibility. The results of the data reflected that infrastructure, interactivity and TEL had a definite influence on the degree of flexibility in the delivery of DE programmes. Flexibility in DE is improved when barriers are removed that influence access to resources, learning from anywhere and at any time. Improved flexibility will enable DE students to access academic and administrative support via various technologies available to them at a time convenient to them. The UODL should invest in and manage the infrastructure for the delivery of DE programmes, improve interactivity possibilities, promote TEL to improve flexibility, therefore improving the quality of DE teaching and learning. Without all aspects of support in this regard from the NWU, the UODL will not be able to improve flexibility in delivery of DE programmes.
- Humanities 
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