Huria: Journal of the Open University of Tanzania

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Challenges Faced by Adult Learners Enrolled in Blended Distance Learning Programmes: A Case Study of the Institute of Adult Education

B Kapinga, M Mtani


This research attempted to provide an insight into major barriers facing adult learners pursuing a diploma in adult and continuing education programme through Blended Distance Learning. Participants included the adult learners, staff from the Department of Open and Distance Learning who are also the facilitators of the programme. This study was conducted as a descriptive case study of the barriers and difficulties faced by adult learners seeking an alternative route to education. Data were collected in the form of interviews, email correspondences, and documents from participants - both learners and facilitators. The findings of the study show that, most of the learners pursuing this programme did not have computers and internet access. Secondly, participants had limited ICT knowledge. Thirdly, most of them didn‟t have study skills and fourthly, these adult learners had competing priorities and struggled balancing family responsibilities, job obligations, and commitment to the programme. It was recommended that, the Institute of Adult Education should introduce capacity building programmes such as provision of short ICT courses concerning for both facilitators and adult learners, improving ICT infrastructures as well as introducing resource centers at the head-quarters and all regional centres.

Keywords: Adult learners, distance learning, blended distance learning, education technology, case study.

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