Olugbara, Letseka & Akintolu

Student Support as a Panacea for Enhancing Student Success in an Open Distance Learning Environment

Cecilia Temilola Olugbara, Unesco Chair on ODL, University of South Africa 
Moeketsi Letseka, Unesco Chair on ODL, University of South Africa
Morakinyo Akintolu, Unesco Chair on ODL, University of South Africa



Student support is a fundamental component of any open and distance learning (ODL) system to mitigate the intrinsic challenges of student isolation, high dropout rates, and low throughput. Research interest in student support is continually growing as a panacea for enhancing student success in ODL, but relatively little research has been carried out to understand factors influencing student support in enhancing student success in an ODL environment. This study conducted a systematic literature review on 84 studies published between 2012 and 2022 as indexed by the Web of Science and Google Scholar, which covered factors influencing student support in the ODL environment. The data were analyzed using the template analysis technique to categorize the factors into the three dimensions of the Simpson distance student support model. The classification sought to provide a comprehensive guide for ODL institutions in the development of support services appropriate for enhancing students' success in an ODL environment. 

Keywords: student support, open distance learning, distance student support model, content analysis

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