Experiences of the Namibian College of Open Learning tutors in using multimedia resources in distance education

Edwig Karipi

African Educational Research Journal
Published: January 24 2019
Volume 7, Issue 1
Pages 14-21
DOI: https://doi.org/10.30918/AERJ.71.18.092


Although print–based materials remain the main distance education mode of delivery, the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) recognises the use of multimedia as an important tool to enhance access and strengthen operational systems. Multimedia resources such as video, audio, animations and online content are produced as complementary resources to the print-based materials. The College appoints tutors to provide support to learners through various methodologies including face-to-face and online support. This study aims to explore the experiences of the NAMCOL Southern region tutors regarding the use of multimedia when they conduct their tutorial duties at a distance and through face-to-face interactions. The theories that underpin this study are; Michael Moore’s (1990) theory of transactional distance, Charles Wedemeyer’s (1981) theory of independent study and Hede’s (2002) Integrated Model of Multimedia Effects on Learning. The study was informed by an interpretive paradigm and adopted a qualitative case study design. Five tuition centres were purposively selected based on the set criteria for this study. Methods of collecting data used included semi-structured interviews, document analysis and observations. Data analysis was done by way of providing detailed descriptions of the setting, participants, and activities. Data was categorised and coded into themes. The study finding revealed that NAMCOL tutors in Southern region do not use multimedia in their instruction due to some challenges such as lack of time, lack of ICT skills, and lack of awareness. Tutors, however, show willingness to integrate ICT in their tuition. There is a lack of collaboration between NAMCOL Learner Support and Material Development operations which results in resources produced not utilised by learners. The study recommends that NAMCOL should ensure that all operational units are integrated to facilitate successful implementation of eLearning at the College.

Keywords: Multimedia, eLearning, distance learning, tutors.

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