The impact of the Students Academic Records Information System (SARIS) on learning flexibility in ODL at the Open University of Tanzania

Tolly S A Mbwette, Kassimu A Nihuka and Regina Monyemangene
Open University of Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The use of computer-based systems to enhance flexibility in open and distance learning universities is well reflected in the current literature. At the Open University of Tanzania, a computer-based system called the Students Academic Record Information System (SARIS) was introduced back in 2004 to enhance student academic records management, which was in crisis at the time. This study will explore the extent to which the Students Academic Record Information System (SARIS) has enhanced flexibility in terms of the management of studentsí academic records, and in terms of access to course grades by students at the Open University of Tanzania. The study will employ a survey research design, and a total of 400 students will be drawn from three regional centres of Dar es Salaam (i.e. Kinondoni: 150 students, Ilala: 120 and Temeke: 130) to participate in the study. Both structured questionnaire and interview guides will be used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Then, the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) will be used to analyse the quantitative data, whereas a thematic data analysis technique will be employed to analyse the qualitative data. Based on the findings, relevant recommendations shall be made in relation to the use of SARIS in ODL institutions and in education in general.