Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lockard, James A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment


Distance education--Botswana


This dissertation analyzed the provision of distance education at the University of Botswana (UB) from a systems perspective. The purpose was to identify and describe the model of distance education within its context. It was a bid to understand the practice of distance education with a view to identifying its strengths and shortfalls and to come up with suggestions for improvement. The study utilized systems thinking as its conceptual framework and soft systems approaches, which are applicable in social systems such as education. The two approaches, Systems Models Approach and Soft Systems Methodology guided the data collection and analysis within the qualitative paradigm. Purposive sampling was used to identify the interviewees and constant comparative and analytic induction were used to make sense of the data. Further, the descriptive model of distance education at UB that resulted was compared with a conceptual model of distance education to identify areas that need strengthening. The outcome of the comparison formed the basis for the recommendations. The study identified two major flaws in the practice of distance education at the University of Botswana. They are the lack of a strategic plan for the provision of distance education and a structure that restricts or even inhibits the unit that is charged with the responsibility to administer distance education programs at UB, from performing to its optimum level. The organization and governance of distance education at UB needs to take into consideration the special nature of distance education and to come up with structures that will facilitate its performance and growth. Because UB was a conventional university that introduced distance education along the way it needs to reorganize and reorient its other components to accommodate distance education's special management needs and the needs of distance learners. Hence the recommendation to create a university-wide inter-faculty advisory board or committee on distance education which will bring together all the pertinent units of the University for the provision of distance education programs. This will enhance the performance of the distance education unit (however it will be restructured) and raise the standard of distance education at UB to an international level.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [275]-283)


xix, 303 pages




Northern Illinois University

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