Quality Assurance through Experiential Learning in A Distance Education Context: the Views of Major Stakeholders


The quality of experiential learning in distance education is a dominant concern of all major stakeholders and the public at large. Institutions of higher learning which train school teachers at a distance are often blamed for the poor quality of teachers and teaching. The perception among some sections of the society is that teachers trained at a distance are of poor quality compared to those trained via the conventional face-to-face mode. While this perception can be disputed it gives distance education institutions food for thought. Debunking the wrong perception is to ensure quality in the training of teachers at a distance. Students of the University of South Africa (UNISA) are scattered all over the country and beyond and this makes effective and quality organization, managing, supervision, mentoring and evaluation of experiential learning quite daunting. Effective experiential learning cannot be organized and managed effectively without the involvement of key stakeholders. This paper used the qualitative research approach to explore the views of major stakeholders from two Provinces in South Africa on quality assurance of experiential learning for teacher trainees in distance education. The findings indicate that all the major stakeholders involved in providing experiential learning in the UNISA teacher training program support the idea of collaboration as the basis of quality teacher training.

KEYWORDS: Quality, experiential learning stakeholders, Open Distance Learning, collaboration.

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.444607