Distance Learner’s Perspective on User-friendly Instructional Materials at the University of Zambia
This case study focuses on print-based instructional materials available to distance education learners at the University of Zambia. Using the Visual Paradigm Software, we model distance education learners’ voices into sociograms to make a contribution to the ongoing discourse on quality distance learning in lowly resourced communities. The key finding shows that out of the four modules (PEM 2082, PEM 2061, PEM 2071, PEM 3122) engaged in, learners rated PEM 2082 as the most user-friendly module at 65.9% while PEM 3122 was rated least at 2.3%. Emerging from this study are the ten elements that instructional designers will need to re-consider some of which are: (i) presentation and layout of content; (ii) use of interactive language; and (iii) inclusion of real life situations. In view of the foregoing, it is recommended that the university adheres to ODL instructional design fundamentals in all its instructional materials as a means to improved quality distance learning.
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