Best Practice in Records Management in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)
The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which Records management practice in ODL institutions comply with International best practice (ISO 15489 standards of 2001). The best practice identified in this study included the creation of records management policies and procedures, designing and implementation of the records system, file plan, records management processes and controls, disposal and retention of records. Consistent with the problem being investigated the study adopted a qualitative research methodology premised on the interpretivist philosophy. Document survey, observation and interviews were the major methods used to generate data. A case study design, where the Zimbabwe Open University was the single entity studied, was used. The study concluded that records management in the ODL institution was, to a larger extent, compliant with international best practice. The structure, policies and support systems required in records management are available in the institution. The institutionâ€™s Records Centre is however in its infancy and is yet to be fully equipped with adequate office space, equipment and IT facilities. The study recommends that the ODL institution should consolidate the advances it has made in Records Management by investing in more office space and equipment. The institution should also invest in records management information technology equipment and software which would enable it to effectively manage its electronic records.
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