Cross Disciplinary Learning in Distance Higher Education: Empowerment for Sustainable Research Prowess among Professionals in the African Sub-Region

Cross Disciplinary Learning in Distance Higher Education: Empowerment for Sustainable Research Prowess among Professionals in the African Sub-Region

Jonathan O. Osiki (National University of Lesotho, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-852-9.ch017
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Adequately selecting and applying the multi-model structure from the backdrop of cross-disciplinary learning in stimulating professionals’ research empowerment in distance higher education, is a regular focus of research. How the benefits of research is developed, nurtured, continuously enhanced, and sustained in value-driven academic activities is the direct consequence of learners’ emotionality. The study argues that distance learners learn meaningfully when their emotionality is adequate. Using the emotional spiral model, the study in a pre-test, post-test, control quasi-experimental research design evaluated the impact of behaviour techniques subsumed psychotherapeutically in facilitating learners’ emotional stability for inducing research competences. The distance learners were initially screened for their fears in research activities and quantitative abilities, and then subsequently allotted into four independent intervention sub-groups. Under the vantage application of psychotherapy, for a four-week out of a six-week maximum teaching-learning encounter, prior to the post-evaluation (i.e. post-test) period, the learners were exposed to the benefits of the reframing techniques, rational emotive bahaviour techniques, assignment method, and the control technique (i.e the non-treatment) group. Utilizing the analysis of variance statistical method at the 0.05 alpha, the findings showed that the participants’ research prowess improved tremendously with a statistically significant treatment effect [F (4, 1052) =7.52; P
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An age-long phenomenon in academic institutions of higher learning, which has constituted an unusual and restricted meaningful research impact in higher education, is the continuous and or perpetuation of academic islands (otherwise, academic boundaries or territories). While academic boundaries have some limitedly defined and beneficial merits, however, the annexation of its maximum benefits is not merely in the future perse, but in collaboration, when effective and eventual benefits of cross disciplinary learning and or research approaches would have permeated all known academic programmes. The challenges arising from economic, social, political and health-related issues that should have benefited from the adaptation and sustenance of cross disciplinary methodology and or the pairing and the use of the Blended Method have therefore, for now, rested on the pendulum. Most academics, for instance, within the pure and applied sciences, just like it is the case with other disciplines, who are presently unenthusiastic, in widening their cooperation (otherwise, horizon) would therefore be goaded when empowered, through collaborative research activities following the cross disciplinary paradigm.

Empowering research skills both in terms of knowledge search and shared, its utilization and application are necessary activities for an all-round professional teacher development. How to search for, and apply relevant knowledge, particularly for a sustainable and value-driven research in distancehigher education and or open distance learning is therefore, part of the total package encapsulated in academic and professional teacher behaviour. Knowledge and value-driven research, especially needed to instigate the twenty-first century marginal difference in professional teacher behaviour, that would impact on our national and or sub-regional survival, growth and development, socio-economically, politically and or, in mental health, should necessarily be directed from the perspective of research orientation that annexes, the macrocosm of cross-disciplinary approaches and the blended method. Cross-disciplinary learning and or cross-disciplinary approaches provides important recipe for sound academic interaction that can be instrumental in motivating and sustaining research interest among professionals and with a concomitant influence on academic credibility and competence in distance higher education.

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