ERIC Number: EJ1108291
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Using ICT at an Open Distance Learning (ODL) Institution in South Africa: The Learning Experiences of Students with Visual Impairments
Mokiwa, S. A.; Phasha, T. N.
Africa Education Review, v9 suppl 1 pS136-S151 2012
For students with visual impairments, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an important means through which they can learn and access learning materials at various levels of education. However, their learning experiences in using such form of technologies have been rarely documented, thus suggests society's lack of understanding and/or interest about the effectiveness of such technologies in responding to the learning needs of people with visual disability. Following narrative inquiry design, the research question that guided this study is: What are your learning experiences of using Information and Communication Technology at an Open Distance Learning institution in South Africa? The narratives were obtained in two ways, namely a written form and then followed up verbally using one-on-one interviews with each participant and were analyzed qualitatively. The findings are presented in the following themes: (a) challenges with mathematical, scientific and accounting signs; (b) difficulty in accessing graphic learning materials; (c) incompatibility of software; (d) lack of timely access to electronic learning materials; (e) unfulfilled promises; and (f) inflexible pedagogical practices. These challenges occur alongside perceptions, which narrowly view students with visual impairment as incapable of following particular subject streams [career], conceptions that make such students blame themselves for having impairments. The findings of this study will contribute towards the improvement of learning experiences of students with visual impairment in institutions of higher learning and fostering positive conceptions about visual impairment.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Distance Education, Learning Experience, Visual Impairments, Open Universities, Technology Uses in Education, Assistive Technology, Interviews, Narration, Qualitative Research, Signs, Computer Graphics, Usability, Electronic Learning, Electronic Publishing, Access to Information, Educational Practices, Accessibility (for Disabled), Content Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A