NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF LESOTHO

OPEN AND DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMME AT THE INSTITUTE OF EXTRA MURAL STUDIES

The Institute of Extra Mural Studies (IEMS) is now offering all first year programmes by Open and Distance mode of delivery in an attempt to increase intake capacity beginning August 2017.Preparartions for this “gigantic “ task have been on-going on for a number of years. For example an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) policy has been developed which will assist in guiding the Institute in offering ODL programmes. Relevant self-instructional materials for learners have also been developed. Learning at a distance is similar in many ways to learning in a full time classroom but there are some significant differences such as the following:

 

  • Learning in full-time is based on teacher- centered approach while in distance education relies on learner-centered approach
  • Learners in distance education primarily learn independently at a distance
  • Through distance education mode, learning opportunities are brought to learners at home or in a work place irrespective of whether they remain in the location or become mobile during their study
  • Its education is not classroom based but a flexible arrangement of home-based study with limited face-to-face classes and hence it is a learner centered and self-paced learning
  • In teaching, it makes use of course modules and educational technology instead of depending on lectures

 

Reasons for offering Open and Distance Programmes

 

  • The distance education system is a major cost effective solution to accommodate the growing demand for higher education and to achieve objectives of “Education for all” with parity in standards of education between conventional and distance
  • Some learners because of financial, family or work reasons are unable to enroll on full-time University course
  • Distance education promotes gender equality and economic growth

 

Distance Education at IEMS

 

The distance component is provided by the course modules. These modules contain all conceptual material learners need to know successfully to complete their programme. In addition, to assist learners interpret and deepen their understanding limited number of face-to-face tutorials will be provided. The tutorials are provided to encourage learners to enter into discussions and debate about what they read in the modules. The expectation is on the learner to contribute and the tutor to guide or facilitate. In the final analysis distance learning learner must take responsibility for their own learning and manage their own time.