Factors influencing the choice of suitable web based learning for distance learners: the case of Kenya Methodist University
Gitahi, Wachuka J A
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Web based learning has dramatically changed the way teaching is delivered and learning outcomes are achieved. This study concerns web based learning and the factors that determine its choice for distance learners at the University. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of personal characteristics, student needs analysis, the teaching and learning practices, financial commitments and organizational policies on the choice of suitable web based learning for distance learners at Kenya Methodist University. The study aimed to determine the extent to which the University has made use of research based results in the implementation of successful WBL. The study used descriptive survey to carry out the research. Due to time and financial constraints the study used a cross sectional survey and collected data using the questionnaire and interview schedule. Purposive sampling was used since the researcher was aware that the extent to which WBL had been implemented was limited to a particular group of students. The target population consisted of 305 students from the BSc. and MSc. in Health Systems Management and 16 Senior Administrative .Staff of the Institution. The study revealed that personal characteristics and financial commitment had no significant influence on the choice of suitable web based learning. It further revealed that Students Needs Analysis, Teaching and Learning Practices, Organizational Policies, ICT Infrastructure and use of multimedia tools had a significant Influence on the Choice of Suitable Web Based Learning for Distance Learners. The study concluded that the model currently being implemented is still at the pilot stage and is in agreement with current literature and theories of distance learning. In addition, the model is customized to suit the caliber of students and staff The study recommended that intensive training for staff and students on use of WBL tools is conducted. Secondly, the study recommended thorough analysis and harmonization of the main stakeholder needs for successful implementation of WBDL. Thirdly, it was recommended that WBDL policies are created and/or improved in order to facilitate proper administration and management.