Challenges of quality assurance in the integration of ICT in open and distance learning in developing countries
The integration of ICT in open and distance learning is changing the way education is delivered and accessed. While attention has been directed towards teaching and access by learners, the attendant issues of quality assurance have not been adequately addressed. This paper highlights what these issues are and how they pose major challenges to open and distance learning in developing countries. It is argued that forces within the institution, the teachers, the learners themselves, the ICT infrastructure, curriculum and content development processes and factors within the environment pose challenges to quality assurance in the use of ICT in open and distance learning programmes in developing countries. Suggested ways of overcoming them would include: systematic approach to adoption of ICT; create awareness of importance of ICT; provide technical and administrative support through training and policy statements; enhance collaboration with other institutions to access open source software and policy makers to involve stakeholders so as to create ownership of ICT programmes.