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Distance Learning
Enlarge photo: Some of the published modules of the Distance Learning Programme.

Some of the published modules of the Distance Learning Programme.

When Nkumba University started in 1994, there was principally one mode of teaching – that is, the face-to-face lecture room mode of instruction. In 2004 it was deemed necessary to start Distance Learning to cater for employed people who could not leave their workstations to attend regular classroom lectures at the University.

So, Distance Learning commenced in September 2005 with 23 pioneering students.

Distance Learning is a mode of teaching or tutoring in which the lecturers impart knowledge and skills to students who pursue their studies mostly at a distance rather than within the University campus in face-to-face classroom settings. The students study in times suitable to themselves, and the lecturers pass on instruction and communicate with the students by traditional post, e-mail and internet, audio cassettes or video recordings.

In addition to the long distance contacts, the students are asked to report to Nkumba University campus once every semester for face-to-face sessions, each session lasting two weeks. The session begins with examinations that are undertaken in the first week. Students then attend lectures and receive other study material in the second week at the end of which they are given coursework assignments with which they return home or their work places. They are required to complete given assignments and forward these to the University within stipulated dates.

Among other things, the face-to-face sessions acquaint the Distance Learning students with the University environment. The sessions also permit the lecturers to compare the various students’ academic progress and devise changes for improvement.

 Mr. Noah Sentongo, Director Distance
Learning programme

The Distance Learning courses are formulated in study modules that are handed to students at the periodic face-to-face sessions. The modules offer everything students would expect from a teacher – that is, notes, instructions for further reading as well as assignments.

When a person enrolls as a Distance Learning student, he or she initially stays on the University campus for a period of two weeks. During this time resource persons instruct them in face-to-face sessions. They also receive the initial study modules during this period.

Distance Learning at Nkumba University has a working team of 35 resource persons coordinated by Mr. Nuwa Sentongo who is the Head of Department, Distance Learning.

Virtually all courses and qualifications offered by the School of Business Administration as well as the School of Education are available for Distance Learning. The bulk of the current 137 Distance Learning students are teachers who get time off to attend face-to-face sessions during the primary schools and secondary schools holidays.

In April 2009 nine students graduated after the successful completion of their Distance Learning courses. In April 2010 the number of Distance Learning graduates rose to sixteen, and the figure is set to rise with each passing year.

The University is now engaged in transforming the Distance Learning programme to become IT-based, complete with electronic study modules and electronic library access. It will be a virtual campus entailing virtual interaction between lecturers and students.


Added on: Friday, April 08th, 2011

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