Quality Assurance in Modules at the Institute of Distance Education, the University of Zambia
AbstractAlbeit distance education currently focuses attention on the use of Internet and elearning facilities, these cannot overtake the importance of using the printed modules. It therefore follows that the quality of these printed modules which are by and large used as instructional materials must be of high quality. To the contrary the printed modules that are used at the Institute of Distance Education at the University of Zambia have for a long time never been reviewed to ascertain their quality. In fact these modules are more of batches than they are modules. This study aimed to close this overt gap by assessing the quality of the modules used in all programmes of study having in mind the inevitable need to improve them.
Data was collected in 2009/2010 from 1,107 students drawn from all of degree programme courses by way of using a questionnaire designed by the researcher. The data were analysed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) from which frequency distributions and averages were obtained. It was found out that students were not satisfied with the quality of the modules. They indicated that the modules were less interactive, the language used was not appropriate to the learners, the font sizes and types were not in line with the learning materials being used. The conclusions made were that it is inevitable to improve the modules by ensuring that these were made interactive. Some of the measures that needed to be taken were that of pre-testing of the modules, training of course writers and editors. It would also be useful to encourage teamwork when producing the modules.