Learners’ perceptions on online library resources at Namibian College of Open Learning

Article Authors: E. Matheus, R. M. Abankwah

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the learners’ perceptions on the use of online resources
at the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) Yetu Yama Resource Center.
Design/methodology/approach – This study used a mixed methods research approach which was also
used by other researchers such as Hamutumwa (2014). It enabled the researchers to delve into the topic under
study by conducting a survey using self-administered questionnaires to collect data from learners, and a semistructured interview guide, to collect data from the Librarian, the Director and tutors. The target population
for the study was Grade 12 distance learners registered with NAMCOL for the academic year 2016, librarians
and tutors. Convenient sampling was used to select 200 Grade 12 distance NAMCOL learners: one Director,
one Librarian and five tutors were purposeful selected as they manage the Yetu Yama Resource Centre. The
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to generate descriptive data, while qualitative data
were manually analysed using content analysis. This approach enabled the researcher to identify key themes
which emerged from the interviews.
Findings – Almost all the learners (159) opted for printed materials. The challenges experienced by learners
included slow internet, as indicated by 78 (39 per cent); limited facilities, 60 (30 per cent); and inability to find
relevant information, 46 (23 per cent), coupled with lack of proper guidance on the use of e-resources as
indicated by 16 (8 per cent) learners.
Research limitations/implications – This study was limited to Yetu Yama Resource Center. The
results cannot be generalised to all distance learners in Namibia.
Practical implications – The results of this study could guide librarians in Namibia when planning and/
or upgrading e-resources.
Social implications – Once the learners are equipped with the required skills, they will make optimum
use of the e-resources which are provided by NAMCOL.
Originality/value – This is the first study to be conducted at NAMCOL, and it is hoped that the results
will be applied to other tertiary institutions which offer distance education in Namibia.
Keywords Information and communication technologies, Library resources, Online resources,
Distance learners, NAMCOL, Yetu Yama resource center

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University Researchers

  • Affiliation

    Kabale University
    International University of Management, Namibia