Open Distance and e-Learning: Ethiopian Doctoral Students’ Satisfaction with Support Services

  • Tsige GebreMeskel Aberra University of South Africa (UNISA)
  • Mogamat Noor Davids University of South Africa (UNISA)
Keywords: doctoral students, gaps model, ODeL, satisfaction, service quality, student support

Abstract

This study assessed students’ level of satisfaction with the quality of student support services provided by an open distance e-learning (ODeL) university in Ethiopia. The target population was doctoral students who had been registered at the ODeL university for more than a year. To conduct a quantitative investigation, data were collected by means of a 34-item six-dimensional standardized questionnaire. Data analysis methods included linear as well as stepwise regressions. Using the gaps model as the theoretical framework, findings showed that the doctoral students were dissatisfied with four aspects of the student support services, namely supervision support, infrastructure, administrative support, and academic facilitation. In contrast, students were satisfied with the corporate image (reputation) of the ODeL university. For this ODeL university to play an effective role that coheres with the country’s socio-economic development plan, more attention should be given to the provision of supervision support, as there was strong dissatisfaction with this. The university could also build on or leverage aspects of their corporate image, for which there was strong satisfaction. Doing so will help the university make ongoing contributions and strengthen its commitment to the field of higher education and human capacity development in Ethiopia.

Author Biographies

Tsige GebreMeskel Aberra, University of South Africa (UNISA)

Tsige GebreMeskel Aberra is a graduate of Doctor of Education in the field of Education Management. Currently, she works at the University of South Africa at the capacity of the Director of the Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre. She has been working as an Assistant Professor at Addis Ababa University which gave her opportunities to publish some articles and also work as reviewer of articles that were published in the Ethiopian Journal of Education. Her research areas of interest focus around student support service quality especially in the open distance environment.

Mogamat Noor Davids, University of South Africa (UNISA)

Mogamat Noor Davids is an Associate Professor and National Research Foundation (NRF) rated academic in the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of South Africa. His experience in higher education institutions spans a wide area including universities in the east and in South Africa. M Noor Davids publishes in accredited journals and is currently the leader of a project developing of an ICT-based solution for the supervision and assessment of the Teaching Practicum Module in Teacher Education. With a broad interest in the history of education, he is researching the teaching of sensitive and controversial topics in the school history curriculum.

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Published
2022-11-01
How to Cite
Aberra, T. G., & Davids, M. N. (2022). Open Distance and e-Learning: Ethiopian Doctoral Students’ Satisfaction with Support Services. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 23(4), 147-169. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v23i4.6193
Section
Research Articles