What Can We Still Offer? Understanding Student Support in Distance Education Teacher Preparation Programs
Most literature underscores that there is general high student attrition in distance education. Such literature emphasises that lack of relational and academic support is largely to blame for the attrition in distance education. Literature on students support in distance education seems to indicate an institutional responsibility to curbing attrition. Realising that the previous assertion is an incomplete understanding of factors that influence attrition in distance education, the present study focused on understanding the self-efficacy qualities that students require to complete their degree programs. The research was theoretically underpinned by Banduraâ€™s self-efficacy theory. The study used a quantitative approach. The studyâ€™s population comprised of 1800 distance education students at Solusi University. Stratified sampling was used to select 360 students who were respondents. Data was collected using a 10 itemed Likert scale Generalised Self-Efficacy questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was used for data analysis. The results indicate that students require coping, proactive, ingenuity, problem solving and tenacity as self- efficacy dispositions to complete their distance education studies. From the studyâ€™s findings, it is recommended that student support research in distance education focus on nurturing studentsâ€™ self-efficacy dispositions that enhance their academic performance.Â
Artino Jr, A.R, 2012. Academic self-efficacy: From educational theory to instructional practice. Perspectives on medical education 1 (2):76â€“85.
Bandura, A. 1986. Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Bandura, A. 2007. Much ado over a faulty conception of perceived self-efficacy grounded in faulty experimentation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 26(6): 641â€“658.
Barnett, R. 2007. A will to learn. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
Berge, Z & Huang, Y. 2004. A Model for Sustainable Student Retention: A Holistic Perspective on the Student Dropout Problem with Special Attention to e- Learning. DEOSNEWS, Volume 13 (5). http://www.ed.psu.edu/acsde/deos/deosnews/deosnews13_5.pdf (accessed 8 January 2016).
Edwards, F. 2005. The neglected heart of educational development: primary teacher education strategy in Malawi. Journal of Education for Teaching 31(1): 25â€“36.
Gatsha, G. & Evans, R. 2010. Learning support: Perceptions and experiences of distance learners in Botswana. Progressio 32(1):155â€“169.
Heydenrych, J. 2010. Definition of student support. http://uir.unisa.ac.za/handle/10500/3296 (accessed 8 January 2016).
Gultekin, M. 2009. Quality of Distance Education in Turkey: Preschool Teacher Training Case. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 10(2): 1â€“19.
Kelly, P., & Mills, R. 2007. The ethical dimensions of learner support. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning 22(2):149â€“157.
Ludwig-Hardman, S. and Dunlap, J.C., 2003. Learner support services for online students: Scaffolding for success. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(1):1â€“10.
Lynch, R. and Dembo, M. 2004. The relationship between self-regulation and online learning in a blended learning context. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 5(2):1.â€“16.
Pajares, F., 2002. Overview of social cognitive theory and of self-efficacy. http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/eff.html (accessed 28 January 2016).
Ross, K. N. 2005. Sample design for educational survey research. Evaluation in Education. International Institute for Educational Planning/UNESCO.
http://www.unesco.org/iiep/PDF/TR_Mods/Qu_Mod3.pdf (accessed 05 November 2015).
Robinson, B. 2004. Research and pragmatism in learner support in Handbook B5: Researching tutoring and learner support. Vancouver: Common Wealth of Learning.
Schwarzer, R. and Jerusalem, M. 1995. Generalized Self-Efficacy scale. In J. , S. Wright, & M. Johnston, Measures in health psychology: A userâ€™s portfolio. Causal and control beliefs, 35â€“37. Windsor, UK: NFER-NELSON.
Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. 2010. Learning presence: Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and the development of a communities of inquiry in online and blended learning environments. Computers & Education 55(4): 1721â€“1731.
Simpson, O., 2013. Student retention in distance education: are we failing our students? Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 28(2): 105-119.
Stewart, B.L., Goodson, C.E., Miertschin, S.L., Norwood, M.L. and Ezell, S., 2013. Online student support services: A Case based on quality frameworks. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 9(2): 290â€“302.
Thorpe, M. 2002. Rethinking learner support: The challenge of collaborative online learning. Open Learning 17(2): 105â€“119.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2006. Teachers and educational quality: monitoring global needs for 2015. UNESCO Inst for Statistics.
Yeazel, M.R., 2008. Relationship between critical thinking disposition and level of tolerance. ProQuest.
Williams, B., Onsman, A. and Brown, T., 2010. Exploratory factor analysis: A five-step guide for novices. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 8(3):1â€“14
Copyright Notice for Subscription Content
Copyright will be vested in Unisa Press. However, as long as you do not use the article in ways which would directly conflict with the publisher's business interests, you retain the right to use your own article (provided you acknowledge the published version of the article) as follows:
- to make further copies of all or part of the published article for your use in classroom teaching;
- to make copies of the final accepted version of the article for internal distribution within your institution, or to place it on your own or your institution's website or repository, or on a site that does not charge for access to the article, but you must arrange not to make the final accepted version of the article available to the public until 18 months after the date of acceptance;
- to reâ€use all or part of this material in a compilation of your own works or in a textbook of which you are the author, or as the basis for a conference presentation.