An Evaluation of Learners’ Perceptions of Student Support Services (SSS) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The quality of Student Support Services (SSS) assumes vital importance in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) because the services facilitate the teaching and learning processes while making learning a more rewarding experience for the learners. This paper presents the findings of a study conducted to identify the importance and efficacy of the SSS package currently available for learners in the OUSL. The analysis is based on the findings of a comprehensive study carried out by a team of academics of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The research methodology adopted for this study included a questionnaire survey, focus group discussions and participant observations. The study revealed that learners considered regular day schools, audiovisual aids and timely availability of course material as the most important components of SSS. The study ranked the satisfaction levels and compared them with the rank order importance of SSS components. It was found that there is a significant discrepancy between the order of importance and the order of satisfaction levels indicating that the SSS providers have not been able to prioritize the order of importance of the components to ensure client satisfaction. It reveals that there are significant shortfalls and lapses in the different components of the SSS package. There was also a significant discrepancy in the satisfaction levels of different regions.