Investigating teachers' experiences as learners in a distance education program

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Zeenat Shariff

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Distance Education (DE) is a formal mode of learning that a teacher can engage in to learn. The use of DE has grown, and many teachers choose to engage in DE in order to learning in a DE program is not well documented in the Kenyan context. This study set out the investigate teachers’ experiences as learners in a DE program. This was a qualitative study since experiences cannot always be easily quantified. A case- study design was used to took at one DE program, in one face- to face center of this one program. Data collection was trough one- to- one interviews with four facilitators and four teachers engaged in the DE program, two group interviews of eight and six teacher respectively, classroom observations and document analysis. The study found out that teacher choose DE because it is convenient and accessible. DE is also an option for some teachers to obtain a diploma in order to qualify for university entrance. Factors that facilitated learning included the structure of the program that allowed for face- to- face sessions, the timely provision of models which were interactive and easy to understand, support services provided by the institute, individual families, and schools where the teachers work. However, teachers experienced challenges such as lack of time, inconsistences in assessment procedures, financial constraints, lack of supplementary reading resources and social isolation. The findings implied that while some teachers desire to gain new knowledge and skills, others sought to improve their status by obtaining a diploma through DE. Professional development for facilitators on methods of adult learning may be necessary as well as revision of assessment procedures, for the program to remain relevant.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library