n Progressio - An exploration of students' experiences of a distance service-learning course in four African countries

Volume 38 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0256-8853



This article explores the experiences of students who participated in a distance service-learning programme. The students from Lesotho, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe had completed a service-learning project in their communities. Using telephone interviews, this study attempted to ascertain the benefits and challenges of doing service-learning via distance learning, and in addition to establish whether the experience had been meaningful to the students from an Afrocentric perspective. Interviews of 11 students revealed that the challenges they had experienced were those commonly experienced by African students enrolled in distance learning. Service-learning added challenges in terms of additional costs, and the difficulties of establishing relationships of trust in communities. The students also reported having a sense of responsibility and empathy towards others which made their service-learning endeavours meaningful to them. Issues of social justice and learning from the communities in which they were placed did not feature in the interviews. This highlights the importance of foregrounding these matters in the materials developed for these courses.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error