n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Promoting quality in a distance education programme in an African university




This article discusses the quality measures used in a distance education programme at the University of Botswana. It explores the beginnings of the Diploma in Youth in Development Programme since its residential days in Lusaka, the issues involved in running it at the University of Botswana in partnership with the Zimbabwe Open University, and the nature of quality-enhancing mechanisms in its second phase when it became fully institutionalised at the University of Botswana. Against the background of expectations of quality provision in higher education, captured extensively in literature, the article highlights the programme's quality measures and enabling processes, and discusses the dynamics of such interventions. It discusses the involvement of outside agencies, and focuses on activities at departmental, faculty and other committee levels. Based on the expectations of the university's distance education mainstreaming policy and other policy papers, the article explores the strengths and challenges of the quality mandate on the programme. The article provides information on learning and teaching expectations, course development processes, and service support and assessment procedures. Finally it identifies strengths and weaknesses in running the programme, and suggests ways of improving on its practices.


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