University of South Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 2718-2729
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
The University of South Africa (Unisa), a distance education university, is one of the world’s largest ‘mega universities’ with a total population of over 300 000 students. The Department of Marketing and Retail Management (DMRM) is one of six academic departments within the School of Management Sciences, which in turn is one of three Schools within the College of Economic and Managements Sciences, the largest College within Unisa. The challenge of the Chair of Department of the DMRM is to plan and manage the Department in such a way as to ensure that the Department continues to deliver relevant marketing education to students, while still meeting the broader University objectives. This planning and management task needs to take into consideration the challenges (opportunities and threats) facing the Department in the delivery of marketing education. Deciding on what these challenges are can either be done by drawing on the current thinking on this topic in the academic literature, by asking the lecturers involved in the every-day delivery of this education, or by surveying students themselves, or both. This study focuses on the lecturers’ perspectives. The Unisa lecturer, after all, is the key driver behind the delivery of education within the Department. Their views were obtained using the Delphi methodology and analysed using Analytic Hierarchy Process. The findings suggest that issues such as the effect of globalisation, the ever-increasing speed of adoption of technology, the relevance of educational offerings, the incorporation of experiential learning, the need to achieve equity of education, the business viability, and the need to meet academic quality standards are just some of the challenges facing the DMRM. It also became clear from the research that there are limitations and/or inhibiting factors to each method and technology due to amongst others resistance to change, access to technology, and so forth. The lecturer in a distance education setting is therefore faced with many different challenges which implies the use of a hybrid method of teaching to secure success. These represent areas of further focus for future research.
learning technologies, higher education, learning management systems (lms).