Gender and Behaviour

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Advocating the agenda of women in open distance learning: feminist adult learning strategies

M.M. Dichaba


Web-based communication systems have emerged as valuable learning innovations in higher education. The paper explores the andragogical value of web-based communication systems in reducing the transactional distance between students and open distance learning (ODL) institutions, particularly the promotion of women participation. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory underpins this paper. The findings show that web-based communication systems are catalysts for fostering the increased participation of women in ODL agenda. Moreover, these tools command a strong andragogical value and this is more evident in an ODL context. It can be concluded that ODL institutions have a crucial role to play in supporting the women adult learner development agenda because they are strategically positioned and mandated to educate society. I therefore recommend that more Feminist Adult Learning Strategies be adopted to foster and educate society about the significance of responding to the women development agenda.

Keywords: Diffusion of Innovations Theory; disruptive innovations; Feminist Adult Learning Strategies; ODL; transactional distance; Web-based communication systems

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