Influence of learner support services on enrolment of learners in distance education programmes at the University of Nairobi. A case of Bachelor of Education (Arts) from Borabu district
The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of Learner Support services in the enrolment of learners in Distance Education programmes at the University of Nairobi. The case of learners from Borabu District. The study had three research objectives namely; The extent to which administrative learner support services influence enrolment of learners in DE programmes at the UON from Borabu District, to assess how technological learner support services influences enrolment of learners in DE programmes at the UON from Borabu District, and to establish the influence of guidance and counseling and peer learner support services on the enrolment of learners in DE programmes at the UON from Borabu District. The study used research survey design which involved a quantitative design. It targeted a population of three hundred and twelve students (312) and a sample size of thirty one (31 ).Stratified random sampling was used. The research instruments used were questionnaires. Data collection began once permission was sought from the University of Nairobi. A pilot study was done on a selected group of the target population after which the questionnaires were then given to the target population. The data was then analyzed using descriptive statistical analyses and the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) The study established that there was no much difference in gender with regards to enrolment. The majority of the respondents were aged between 31 and 40 years of age and were married. From the study findings dispatch of examinations, requirement of courses, and registration were some of the administrative learner support services that were highly rated crucial for enrolment while on the other hand dispatch of course materials, orientation, record keeping and advertisement of courses were lowly rated. It was observed that all the respondents had mobile phones. More than half of the respondents accessed learning materials from the Internet and had e-mail addresses. Fax services were not considered as technological learner support services as none of the respondents indicated its utilization as a learner support service. The study revealed that less than half of the respondents owned computers and knew how to use them. In regard to guidance and counseling support services, the study revealed that encouragement services, motivation and time management services were fully provided. The least provided guidance and counseling support services were giving directions and career choice. The study recommended that the university to consider setting up sub regional centers at each district provide an expert in guidance and counseling, set up a computer lab at the regional centres and provide learning materials in soft copy. The study suggested that further research to be carried out on the influence of learner support services in the enrolment of learners in other districts to find out whether they have similar experiences or impact on learners.