Students' perceptions of e-learning in the Department of Information Science at the University of South Africa
Author(s)Ncube, Lancelord Siphamandla
Information and Communication Technologies
University of South Africa
Students and lecturers
University of South Africa
Internet in higher education -- South Africa -- Case studies
Education, Higher -- South Africa -- Computer-assisted instruction -- Case studies
Education, Higher -- Effect of technological innovations on -- South Africa -- Case studies
Distance education -- South Africa -- Computer-assisted instruction -- Case studies
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AbstractThis study was conducted at the University of South Africa in the Department of Information Science and looked at the students’ perception about e-learning. The study context was Open Distance Learning (ODL) which allows multi-dimensional e-learning aimed at bridging the time, geographical, economic, social, educational and communication distance between student and institution, student and academics, student and courseware and student and peers. It has emerged in the literature that student’ perceptions and understanding of e-learning are susceptible to challenges related to infrastructure, geographic location, skills set, support services, pedagogical matters and other related matters. These challenges are likely to affect the students’ perceptions of e-learning which is likely to have a negative impact on effective learning as well as success and completion rates.
The main aim of the study was to examine the perceptions of Information Science students towards e-learning. This study opted for multi-methods. The quantitative approach which involves the use of controlled questionnaires was employed. The questionnaire was designed in the web survey for the purpose of reaching scattered respondents and the opportunity to obtain large numbers of respondents to contribute. Also the qualitative method was considered as appropriate for this study because it helped to conceptualise the research and enabled the researcher to gather information from lecturers on influencing students and the strategies used to promote e-learning. The overall population of this study was 125 students and 17 lecturers.
The study revealed that not all students knew what e-learning was, and the major challenge was the internet access as students complained about the shortage of internet bundles. Many students at UNISA considered e-learning as a flexible for teaching and studying method because it is not bound to a particular time and place, also they commended that the usability of myUnisa has created more accessibility in learning environment for tuition. If the current students are not assisted with the lowest prices for internet access, students might not continue interacting with lecturers in the e-learning platforms. Also, first year students at UNISA should be trained for the e-learning environment and be given an overview of the UNISA e-learning platform.
Ncube, Lancelord Siphamandla (2015) Students' perceptions of e-learning in the Department of Information Science at the University of South Africa, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/19900>
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