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Delivering quality in the Zimbabwe Open University: A paradigm shift on the role of the programme co-ordinator

Authors
Publisher
The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Education

Abstract

This study sought to find out the role of the programme co-ordinators in the Zimbabwe Open University in delivering quality service to students. A case study (Flick 2004) of a purposive sample of 50 students and 12 programme coordinators participated in this research. Data was obtained from students and programme coordinators’ essays evaluated with Qualitative content analysis. Respondents were of the view that there is need for a paradigm shift in the way in which programme co-ordinators work and pay critical attention to developing trust in students, empowering students, and work as knowledge creators and knowledge retrievers. They suggested that the programme co-ordinators must run parallel leadership centres and be visible in the community. The study recommended a paradigm shift in the work of the programme co-ordinators. Programme coordinators need to work as managers of their programmes, incorporating students in planning, instructional design and course development. Quality decision making by the programme coordinators in their endeavours to provide quality serviced to the students need not to be emphasised in the contemporary higher education programme management. Further studies need to be done on supporting the programme co-ordinators in the regions. Key Words: Quality; open and distance learning; programme co-ordinator; paradigm shift.

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