Distance Learners’ Support through ICT Training: the Experience of the Open University of Tanzania


The Open University of Tanzania is a government owned institution that delivers its services through various means of communication including face-to-face and online interactions. Since 2004 the University started using ICT in delivering its services.  However, the use of ICT in training started in 2011 when the University directed all students to enroll on ICT course. This paper documents the experience of students on the influence of ICT training in supporting their learning process. The study used a descriptive survey design with a view to determine distance learners opinion on how ICT training supports their learning process. 100 respondents purposively randomly selected from Mwanza Regional Centre participated in the study during the 2016 May/ June Examination Session. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The results indicate that ICT course provides support for distance learners in terms of awareness, use and adaptation. Students reported to face challenges related to practical training, availability of ICT resources for practices, internet connectivity, low internet speed and high costs for internet bundles. The study recommends OUT increasing availability of ICT infrastructure to distance learners through collaboration and partnership and increasing ICT learning opportunities to students especially in the use of different systems developed to support students including examination registration system, application system, Students Academic Records Information System (SARIS), E-learning system and the Library system.