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Student throughput: The role of the individual lecturer

Botha, P.

Student throughput rates in ODL environments seem to be lower in comparison with full-time higher education. Until recently this has been accepted as one of the consequences of the unique character of this learning environment. More and more pressure is being put on ODL institutions to increase their throughput rate. The cost of the lack of throughput is very high for the learning institution as well as the students. Government grants are reduced, student fee income is lower, and students may lose money and time, while some may suffer from a sense of personal failure. The question which comes to mind is: What can the individual lecturer within an ODL context do to improve the throughput rates of his/her students? In an effort to better understand the experiences of Social Work students studying within an ODL context, I drew a convenience sample of 117 first-years studying through Unisa and requested them to complete a self-administered questionnaire. ‘Listening’ to their experience of obstacles and facilitative opportunities highlighted the importance of regular contact with lecturers, clear communication, availability of counselling facilities, early exposure to the social work profession, the coordination of institutional support efforts and more effective use of technology. By minimising obstacles to learning and enhancing facilitative opportunities, the throughput of these students can be enhanced.

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Document Title: Student throughput: The role of the individual lecturer
Journal: Progressio
Volume: 32
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 102-116

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Teaching and Learning
Keywords:Open Educational Resources (OER), Distance Education, Distance Learning, Distance Teaching Universities

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Date Added:23 November 2012

Botha, P. (2010) Student throughput: The role of the individual lecturer, Progressio 32 (2) 2010 pp 102–116