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Title: Implementing eLearning at a university of technology, South Africa: A qualitative study
Authors: Ivala, EN
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Universities, in general, form a critical component of a country’s national system of innovation and intellectual backbone. However, the capacity of many African universities to lead the process of integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education is woefully inadequate. This paper presents a South African university of technology’s (UoT) experience regarding the integration of the Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard into the teaching and learning environment. In-depth interviews were carried out with lecturers who use Blackboard in their teaching, as well as those who don’t, and in an effort to elicit students’ perceptions concerning the usage of Blackboard, focus group interviews were conducted with students who take one or more courses online. Interviews were also carried out with the staff of the Centre for e-learning, providers of the e-learning services for the University. Significant findings of the study were that an evolutionary and top management driven processes of integrating technology into teaching and learning are utilized in this university; the general uptake of the technology was not very high, with considerable resistance amongst the university teachers to integrate Blackboard into their teaching and learning partly because of the unstable information technology infrastructure in the university, lack of ongoing support after the initiation training, lack of motivation and incentives, and lack of awareness of the potential of Blackboard for teaching and learning amongst other factors. This paper discusses: the approaches of implementation of Blackboard, successes, challenges and lessons learnt, while also providing insights into the way in which higher education institutions in Africa and especially in South Africa can best support academic staff in mainstreaming technology into teaching and learning.
Appears in Collections:Conference Proceedings
Prof. Eunice Ivala

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