➊ African American Learning Styles
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Internet access seem to play a major role in order to observe effective e-learning, but this can never be achieved if students have limited or no access. This assertion shows that online assessment is impossible if the students have no access to the internet. Student get frustrated if lecturers keeps on demanding students to meet due dates while students have no internet access. Furthermore, Selwyn , as well as Khoza and Biyela share the same sentiment that social media sites plays a huge role in mitigating digital divide in order to realise e-learning in this digital age. Consequently, Khoza b further argue that having access to online resources without pedagogy behind the use can limit effective e-learning.
Makumane and Khoza argue that traditional physical resources is influenced by professional reasoning in order to attain specific discipline goals during curriculum implementation. This suggests that traditional physical resources are fundamentals in addressing the module needs in e-learning. While it is valuable for students to have access to modern physical resources like laptops, smartphones, Wi-Fi routers and others in order to enhance e-learning, but affordability to possess such resources remains a question because of social divide poor socio-economic background. Thus, this remains the burden of the university to provide modern physical resources to students for successful e-learning. The adoption and use of online resources in a South African university shows the critical need to serve students for e-learning van de Heyde and Siebrits, Van de Heyde and Siebrits further argue that online resources like learning management systems are highly used by universities for online lectures, but the form of customisation to adapt them to a local context may hinder learning.
This suggests that Moodle was customised as a depository, and not to provide asynchronous online lectures. In other words, there was poor customisation of the Moodle learning management system to link with other online resources for chatting Pear Deck , video conferencing Zoom , and recording CamStudio and others Anderson, Consequently, the findings indicate the general consensus that the Moodle learning management system alone is not capable of offering online lectures, but needs to be supplemented by other online software and social media sites.
This suggests that, universities should start to think out of the box to consider social media site as an official platform to supplement learning management system to offer lecturers online. Consequently, students therefore preferred social media sites Facebook and WhatsApp for communication, which were not officially adopted by universities for e-learning. Findings showed that even if students have limited access to internet but free data bundles form their social media sites account, they could access each other for content discussion and communication.
As a result, Hamidi and Chavoshi further argue that if students can use social media sites successfully, universities should consider bringing social media sites Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, twitter and others for e-learning. Moreover, the findings show that the university did not have any policy in place guiding the use of e-learning and nor was training provided. In other words, the shutdown that occurred because of pandemic outbreak COVID demanded student to have access to online resources in order to take their lectures online while most of them are from remote areas having no internet access, and are still battling to use the newly introduced software for e-learning video conference software like Zoom.
As such, students were confused as to what resources were available for e-learning and how they will transition from face-to-face to e-learning. This was worsen by the unavailability of the guiding e-learning policy in place and no instructional designers employed by the university to provide relevant capacity building for students. As such, Mpungose b assert that the power lies with the university management to use e-learning policy that can address issues on content dissemination, execution of assessment, and online resources in order to equip students with necessary skills for effective e-learning.
This suggesst that policy viability on the use of online resources also give direction to both students and lecturers so that they can know their roles. Several students agreed that traditional physical resources is the core of learning at the university, even if there are challenges hindering e-learning, because they relied on recommended books, module outlines, written notes and others. This proves that the old technology is irreplaceable, and that it acts as a back-up to e-learning. This suggests that traditional physical resources may be most useful to those students who have no or limited access to internet. Moreover, traditional learning is vertical formal and driven by student knowledge for learning in a demarcated environment Khoza and Biyela, As result, students preferred and opted to use the nearest local community libraries with access to Wi-Fi rather than staying at home often with no Internet in order to access online resources irrespective of difficulties faced at home.
Most students did not have laptops, even though these were provided free of charge by the university many had been sold for personal benefit. They preferred to use mobile phones with free network data bandwidth for communicating amongst themselves. In other words, the use of modern physical resources provides an easy way to ensure e-learning, because it provides access to recorded lectures and electronic resources like videos, but it needs good planning Keengwe et al. The main concern that hindered students from realising the full potential of e-learning was the expensive cost of Internet infrastructure such as Wi-Fi routers, laptops, mobile phones and access to data bandwidth. Consequently, Van Deursen and van Dijk argue that Internet access and technological resources the first digital divide is the main limiting factor in universities from developing countries like South Africa, even though students do have skills the second first digital divide to benefit from e-learning the third first digital divide.
In other words, the use ideological resources of any available physical resources is not a problem to students digital natives in a digital age—the problem is the affordability and availability of those physical resources for e-learning. Based on the case study and the literature, including the guiding theoretical framework, the study identified benefits, challenges, and other related issues on the use of physical resources and online resources to realise e-learning.
Most importantly, the interpretation of empirical data generated provides a summary of proposed alternative pathways and implications related to the use of physical resources and online resources to enhance effective e-learning. On the first hand, findings suggest that students are influenced by formal experiences hardware , which seek students to use traditional physical resources to enhance e-learning. On the other hand, students are also influenced by informal experiences software , seeking them to use online resources for effective e-learning.
In complication this findings, students seem to miss non-formal experience pedagogy , which seek them to use their own identities love, passion, values, self-direction and others to find thousand ways or theories to enhance a successful e-learning. In addition, free monthly Wi-Fi data bandwidth should be provided to students so that they may access e-learning, since this seems to be the main challenge to achieving e-learning in the South African context. Downes argues that e-learning needs connectedness of specialised nodes or information sources, so that students can learn anyhow, anywhere and independently, at their own pace.
This will serve to eliminate the dichotomy between face-to-face and e-learning, because the learning taking place when at the university should be the same as that which is available when students are at home. The findings indicate that fully equipped university information centres should be identified and used to provide blended lectures, through the special arrangement of community libraries since even these are not accessible now owing to COVID , in order to meet the needs of students coming from remote areas halfway.
The findings also show that without proper planning, e-learning will never be achieved at a university. Hence, a university should have an e-learning policy, intense scheduled online learning capacity building, and allocated instructional designers not technicians to capacitate both lecturers and students. All learning management system share the same features: pedagogy, learner environment, instructor tools, course and curriculum design, administrator tools, and technical specification features Cavus and Zabadi However, the findings showed that the learning management system is missing the personal feature for students that will motivate them to love and have a passion for using online resources.
This study posits that in order to leverage the potential of the Moodle learning management system, it should be linked with software that provides educational videos NBC Learn , games for student-centred activities game-based learning software , Edublogs assessment for learning and others. In other words, choosing what resources to use and learning to offer depends on rationale, time management and goals to be achieved during e-learning. Despite challenges experienced by students in transitioning from face-to-face to e-learning—in particular, the prominence of the digital divide as the main hindrance to students realising effective e-learning—overall the customisation of the Moodle LMS to meet the local needs of disadvantaged students is beneficial to realise e-learning.
Moreover, the findings indicate that while there may be many challenges that can hinder students from realising the full potential of e-learning, alternative pathways like the provision of free data bandwidth, free physical resources and online resources, and the use of an information centre for blended learning and others, seem to be the solution in the context of COVID However, it must be taken into consideration that while this can be the solution, students are unevenly challenged, and therefore still need capacity building on the use of learning management systems and other newly adopted online learning software. It is also imperative that university-wide teaching and learning pedagogy, instructional designers and e-learning policy consider the potential benefits and challenges when encouraging the use of e-learning.
Within the South African context, there is a critical need for increased investment in upgrading resources, both in universities and at community level, because of the digital divide. While there is still a need for further research, this article emphasises the both practical and theoretical alternative pathways that can be used to enable university students to realise the full potential of e-learning. Universities need to plan ahead of hindrances to learning such as a pandemic outbreak, student protests and others, and be abreast of the current literature on the rapidly evolving discipline of ET.
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Furthermore, I want to acknowledge support and advancement from the National Research Foundation NRF and the Fulbright scholarship within the framework of the Research and innovation. You can also search for this author in PubMed Google Scholar. I was the main author of this article and was involved in conceptualising the article. I have read and approved the final manuscript. Get quality returns on your purchases. You can only get the best. We offer practical solutions to the challenges faced by the black race.
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