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PhD Study Examines Open Distance Learning

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PhD Study Examines Open Distance Learning

April 22, 2016

“Learner Support in Open Distance Learning at Unisa, KwaZulu-Natal: A Developmental State Perspective”, was the title of a thesis which earned Unisa’s Regional Academic Co-ordinator, Dr Johleen Mouton, her doctorate in Public Administration.


Dr Johleen Mouton with her supervisor Dr Mogie Subban.

“Learner Support in Open Distance Learning at Unisa, KwaZulu-Natal: A Developmental State Perspective”, was the title of a thesis which earned Unisa’s Regional Academic Co-ordinator, Dr Johleen Mouton, her doctorate in Public Administration.

Under the guidance of Public Administration Expert Dr Mogie Subban, Mouton’s research focussed on Higher Education landscapes in distance education and Open Distance Learning (ODL) in a developmental state context. 

Mouton understood that learner support is very important in an ODL environment, realising that research needed to be done on how effective and efficient the initiatives are in KwaZulu-Natal. 

‘In general, the Higher Education environment in South Africa is struggling with throughput rates, therefore this study was undertaken to determine if learner support services can be strengthened and improved to assist students in their learning journey in an ODL educational environment and improve throughput rates,’ she said.

Mouton said the PhD journey was gruelling but she felt privileged and blessed that Subban had been her supervisor.  ‘She was there for me throughout my studies, supporting me and continuously encouraging me to work hard and stay committed.  Her continuous valuable academic guidance was and still is of such high value as we will embark on further research projects.’

Mouton together with Subban has started sharing the findings of her study, presenting a research paper at the 2015 conference of the Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM).

Said Subban: ‘Johleen has been a diligent and disciplined student and I take this opportunity of congratulating her on this great achievement and milestone in her life. I wish her all the very best in her career and vocation.’

‘She has made an invaluable contribution to the teaching and learning fraternity through her thesis,’ added Subban.

Hazel Langa




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