E-Learning and Conventional Learning in 21st Century Information Age: A Case Study Of Students from Selected Universities in Buffalo City Metropolitan Eastern Cape South Africa

Agyei Fosu
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Volume 3  •  2019  •  pp. 031-041
Aim/Purpose
The main aim of the study is to critically examine the forces that can impede or support students to use e-learning in higher education teaching and learning environment which require not only pre-technological literacy’s but easy access to the e-learning platform and ICT devices.
Background
The concept of e-learning has grown considerably in the past three or four decades, which according to Pollock and Cornford, (2003) has prompted a great deal of interest in using and integration of technology into teaching and learning environment thereby transforming the very nature of the traditional higher education system. Murphy et al (2001) have highlighted that not only does the new technologies supplement the conventional course delivery in institutions of higher learning, but they have also become a catalyst for change in higher education. South Africa as a developing nation has adopted the introduction of ICTs in the education system with the hope that it may offer some solutions to the challenges of education in South Africa. The South African Department of Education believes that developments in ICTs and its introduction to the education system creates access to learning opportunities, redresses inequalities, improve the quality of learning and teaching, and deliver lifelong learning (Department of Education, 2004). Even though internet access and ICT devices are becoming more common in South Africa, the use of them for teaching and learning purposes are limited. According to the White Paper on E-education in South Africa (SA, 2004), the Province of Eastern Cape has ranked lowest in terms of number of schools with computers for teaching and learning and as a result many students from Eastern Cape Province who enter higher education do not have adequate technological literacy levels to cope with the demands of higher education teaching and learning environment.
Methodology
The design of the study was a case study and it utilized quantitative method. The number of sample units in the study was 65 students from Walter Sisulu University, University of South Africa, Pearson Institute of Higher Education (formerly called CTI) and University of Fort Hare campuses based in East London Eastern Cape Province South Africa. The data were analyzed using MS Excel spreadsheet database for conversion into percentages for the descriptive statistics.
Contribution
It is essential to understand the forces that can impede or support e-learning. Possible solutions can be suggested for successfully integrating e-learning into higher education teaching and learning environment to meet 21st century students’ needs. The South Africa case study identified that a number of respondents indicated that the resources are available for e-learning on their university campuses. But these available resources are not efficiently used by most respondents to support their studies.
Findings
The results indicated that in the area of infrastructure required for e-learning, the majority of respondents indicated that the resources are available for e-learning on the campuses of the sampled universities. But these available re-sources are not efficiently utilized by respondents to support their studies.
Recommendations for Practitioners
While universities and other institutions of higher education are encouraging integration of e-learning into the curriculum, it is also imperative that their teaching and learning strategies and policies take into account that some students are unevenly challenged in terms of technological skills and still require additional support.
Recommendation for Researchers
There is the need to explore in depth the aspects that lead to the successful integration of e-learning into conventional lecture method of courses delivery.
Impact on Society
With the dawn of 21st century digital and knowledge-based economies evolution where the integration of computers and other ICTs tools in higher education teaching and learning environments have been found to be very beneficial to students, hence not only pre-technological literacy’s of students but easy access to the e-learning platform and ICT devices are critical to higher education learning environment. Assessing students technological skills and access to e-learning platforms to which this study contributes will assist in improving quality education which has a greater impact on society.
Future Research
In the context in which this study was conducted further examination of the technological skills of academic staff of the successful integration of e-learning into curriculum would be advisable.

Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies, technological skills, training.
Information and Communication Technologies, technological skills, training.
7 total downloads
Share this
 Back

Back to Top ↑