STUDENT AND LECTURER PERCEPTIONS ON THE USE OF LMSS IN A STUDIO-BASED TEACHING AND LEARNING CONTEXT AT A UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY IN SOUTH AFRICA
1 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) (SOUTH AFRICA)
2 University of Zululand (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Advanced e-learning technologies and other ICT tools have made significant changes in our daily life especially in the delivery of Higher Education. Currently, most South African institutions of higher learning do engage with some degree of technology in the delivery of their face-to- face curricula, while the implementation of online learning in studio-based spaces is still new. Whilst online learning provides flexible/convenient-learning opportunities for students who cannot attend on-campus courses; to expand or change their career paths, the implementation rate of LMSs in studio-based spaces is low. This paper investigates students’ perceptions on the use of LMSs in a studio-based teaching and learning context at a University of Technology in the fields of communication/graphic design. We wanted to understand why the status-quo, from the faculty member and students’ perspectives. Collected interview data were analysed thematically using qualitative content analysis. Results showed that students perceived ‘LMS as useful tools they can use for their learning activities in studio-based disciplines. Results from this study also showed that students are willing to use LMSs but they were not satisfied with LMSs use by their lecturers since commencing their studies at the university. Students also reported that most lecturers do not use LMSs for teaching, which leaves them disadvantaged. We concluded that despite the challenges such as the under-utilisation of LMSs by lecturers, the students perceived LMSs and ICT tools in their learning as useful. Students’ perceptions in the use of LMS by themselves and their lecturers did not differ much. Moreover, they suggested ways in which lecturers could use LMSs for teaching and learning purposes in studio-based spaces. On this basis, the paper suggests that universities should sustain their ICT e-learning programmes and training by channelling financial support if student academic performance and quality are to be enhanced. The positive impact of such initiatives makes a strong case for massive investment in e-learning programmes especially among academic staff.
Keywords: e-learning, Learning Management Systems, Blackboard, Virtual design studio, Hidden curriculum, Studio-based learning.