An investigation on access and use of electronic resources by distance learning students to support research: a case of the Open University of Tanzania

No Thumbnail Available
Date
2015
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Dar es Salaam
Abstract
The main purpose of the study was to investigate access and use of e-resources to support research by postgraduate distance learning at OUT. Specifically, the study aimed at identifying the sources of information accessed and used by the students to support research, determine the extent to which they access and use e- resources to support research, find out challenges they face in accessing and using e-resources to support research, as well as solicit their views on strategies to improve their access and use of e- resources in supporting research.The study was carried out in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam, at the OUT Headquarters, and data was collected through questionnires, interviews, and focus group discussion. The findings revealed that the mostly used resources are journals, theses/dissertations, reports, the Internet and electronic resources, and the situation is so given the fact that the research process requires support of relevant literature. However, from the findings, the use of print resources in supporting research predominated the use of electronic resources, meaning that although e-resources are gaining predominance due to multiplicity of scholarly information in electronic format, yet print resources continue to be predominant. The findings further revealed that the types of e-resources mostly used were electronic journals, electronic databases, as well as the OUT library website, while fewer respondents reported using electronic reports, electronic books or electronic magazines/newspapers. A number of challenges encountered in accessing and using e-resources were mentioned, such as limited access to computers with internet connectivity, slow internet speed, lack of awareness of online databases, restricted access to quality databases, lack of search skills and occasional power failure. This study recommends subscription to online resources, increasing access to computers with internet connectivity, as well as awareness creation on the e-resources available.
Description
Available in print form
Keywords
Electronic information resources, User studies, Distance learning students, Open University of Tanzania, Graduate students
Citation
Mpembo, R. M. (2015) An investigation on access and use of electronic resources by distance learning students to support research: a case of the Open University of Tanzania, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (http://41.86.178.3/internetserver3.1.2/detail.aspx)