E-learning Opens Door to the Global Community: Novice Users' Experiences of E-learning in a Somali University
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AbstractE-learning has become one of the primary ways of delivering education around the globe. In Somalia, which is a country torn within and from the global community by a prolonged civil war, University of Hargeisa has in collaboration with Dalarna University in Sweden adopted, for the first time, e-learning. This study explores barriers and facilitators to e-learning usage, experienced by students in Somalia’s higher education, using the University of Hargeisa as case study. Interviews were conducted with students to explore how University of Hargeisa’s novice users perceived elearning, and what factors positively and negatively affected their e-learning experiences. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model was used as a framework for interpreting the results. The findings show that, in general, the students have a very positive attitude towards e-learning, and they perceived that e-learning enhanced their educational experience. The communication aspect was found to be especially important for Somali students, as it facilitated a feeling of belonging to the global community of students and scholars and alleviated the war-torn country’s isolation. However, some socio-cultural aspects of students’ communities negatively affected their e-learning experience. This study ends with recommendations based on the empirical findings to promote the use and enhance the experience of e-learning in post conflict Somali educational institutions.
TypeArticle in journal