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distance learning; experiences; narrative analysis; previously disadvantaged; study mode

Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi

Abstract


Distance learning is a popular mode of study in South Africa, especially among previously disadvantaged individuals. In a post-democratic South Africa, such individuals have become a priority in efforts of redress and social justice initiatives. An investigation into the experiences of enrolment can be a useful precursor to current and ongoing career counselling support, especially among population cohorts such as previously disadvantaged individuals. The study drew on a narrative inquiry that investigated a sample of 40 previously disadvantaged individuals’ experiences of studying via distance learning. Based on the narrative analysis, three main themes emerged as informing the aims of the study mainly to investigate students’ experiences of studying via distance learning. First, distance learning, as a mode of study, was not the first choice, with preference being given to non-distance learning institutions. Second, distance learning was chosen due to pragmatic reasons. Finally, being a distance learner was framed as a difficult yet opportunity-yielding experience. Based on these findings, strategies for improving the distance learning experience from a career counselling, teaching, administrative and policy point of view were suggested.


Keywords


distance learning; experiences; narrative analysis; previously disadvantaged; study mode

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/0256-8853/1938

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