Instructors’ experiences of interaction with students at Distance Learning University in Tanzania
This was a qualitative case study which used semi-structured interviews to explore instructors’ experiences of interaction with students at Distance Learning University in Tanzania. Social constructivism theory guided the study. Findings show that instructors used e-mail, face-to-face sessions, written comments on students’ test scripts, regional-center staff/student representatives, e-learning platforms, as well as mobile phones to interact with students. Instructors confirmed that all these means of interaction involved certain challenges or weaknesses. Instructors were positive about the role of interaction in learning. However, they specifically believed that their interaction was more beneficial to the few students who managed to maintain regular interaction as opposed to the majority who did not. This study seeks to contribute to the existing literature on interaction processes, pointing out the major issues that need to be addressed in order to improve student–instructor interaction in distance learning.