|South African College for Open Learning: A Model of an Inservice Distance Education Programme for Initial Teacher Education (CIE, 2002, 37 p.)|
|6. The Initial Teacher Education Curriculum and its Evaluation|
Questionnaires administered to second year certificate and diploma students sought to capture the students' evaluation of the SACOL programme. Over 80% of students indicated SACOL needed to improve the course in relation to: more information on subject content; more information on how to teach; smaller teaching groups in contact sessions; more information on study guides; more help in preparing for the final examinations; more group work activity in contact sessions; more demonstration lessons in contact sessions. Interestingly only about 60% of students indicated they wanted more meetings of the regional learning centres.
Students' rating of the usefulness of the different type of interactions for their learning showed the following pattern. The most useful were the contact sessions (91%); learning groups (85%); study guides (80%); lecturers (79%); library (63%); regional learning centres (62%); other students on the course (60%). Lecturers commented that the students did not interact with materials before coming to the contact sessions, but rather the contact sessions gave them the first taste of the materials and thereafter they engaged with the materials. About 70% of the students rated the experiences of seeing lecturers at the colleges as positive. About 90% of the students visited or telephoned the lecturer for administrative matters - e.g. querying about the study guides. About 20% of students either telephoned or visited a lecturer about academic matters. Again it seems there is a big burden on the lecturers to handle administrative matters. Much of this should have been handled by an administrative support structure.
Three-quarters of students thought they needed more training to be effective teachers. Only 40% of the respondents indicated that they learnt more from qualified teachers than the training courses. This is interesting given that they are in the teaching system and the SACOL programmes are based on the assumption that these students would be learning from their peers at school.