Instructional design challenges within the Polytechnic of Namibia.
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Education in Namibia, since independence (1990), is underpinned by learner-centred and social constructivist learning theories. Within the Polytechnic of Namibia’s Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning (COLL) efforts are being made to ensure that instructional material are in line with these learning theory principles. However, for varying reasons educationalists are struggling to implement these principles in practice. Additionally, in a world where technology is king and e-learning is rapidly becoming the norm in distance education circles, Namibia’s status as a developing country is limiting its ability to electronically interact with its students. As a consequence, Namibia is at a beginner stage for e-learning, and print-based materials are still the major medium of instruction. This paper outlines the need for COLL to rely on appropriately developed print-based instructional materials for learner support. Initial research has focused on investigating COLL’s instructional materials alignment with the education principles subscribed to in Namibia and on the perspectives of writers on the support they get as writers of distance education instructional materials. Analysis of the results will help develop strategies to improve print-based instructional materials, through the support of writers.