Influence Of Learner Characteristics On Teachers’ Participation In Open And Distance Learning: The Case Of Mbaruk Zone, Nakuru County, Kenya.
This research project has determined the influence of learner characteristics on primary school teachers’ participation in Open and Distance Learning (ODL), the case study of Mbaruk zone in Nakuru County. The study was guided by four objectives: to determine the influence of demographic factors, income level, information and communication technology as well as the accessibility to learner support services on teacher’ participation in ODL. The literature review was organized under the following headings; Demographic factors which deals with the age, gender and work roles as well as the family roles, Income level of the learners, Information and Communication Technology as well as the use of Learners support services. A descriptive survey research design was used to obtain data describing the existing phenomena. A census was done and yielded 60 teachers.A questionnaire was used to collect data and the data was analyzed using frequencies and percentage tables. The data was processed and analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The findings of the study shows that demographic factors, income level, information and communication technology and accessibility to learner support services influence teachers’ participation in ODL Programmes. The researcher recommends that ODL learners should balance time for study and that of other responsibilities. Scholarships, sponsorship, use of Higher Education Loan Board as well as personal loans should be emphasized to meet the financial needs of the learners. Institutions of higher learning should aim at providing improved ICT facilities and learner support services.Individual learners are also encouraged to embrace ODL as the only means to further career development since the community require competent teachers who can transmit knowledge to the society and also act as role models. The findings will also be of great use to institutions of higher learning in realizing the ways of meeting the needs of the teachers. The Government of Kenya will also benefit from the findings as it will get to know the needs of its teachers. Policy makers involved in ODL will benefit from the research information as well as the curriculum specialists in developing the curriculum and the syllabus. Teachers should also be encouraged to study regardless of their geographical, social, economic or other related constraints.
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