CHALLENGES FACED BY STUDENTS IN AN ONLINE TEACHING AND LEARNING MODULE IN A SOUTH AFRICAN UNIVERSITY: A CASE STUDY
1 Central University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
2 University of South Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 7149 (abstract only)
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This study seeks to investigate challenges faced by students in online teaching and learning module. This study is conducted at a South African University offering distance learning programmes. It is premised on the notion that most of the students who have enrolled in this online module come from rural places and they may not have prior exposure to online teaching and learning .The sample of the study consisted of 200 students enrolled for an Online module offered at that South African university. As part of the assessment regime students enrolled for this module are expected to submit their assignment online and participate in online discussion forum with fellow group members with the assistance of a teacher assistant. This online signature module is set on NQF Level 5 for 12 Credits in the field of Teacher Education. It is a compulsory module for all those students who would like to obtain an undergraduate qualification in education. A random sampling technique was used in this study to enlist data from a captive audience during data collection exercise. A questionnaire was used to collect data. The data was organized around central research questions. A qualitative approach was undertaken in conducting the study because such design enabled the researcher to conduct the research in the natural setting of social factors . The study stem from phenomenological approach using a case study as a method, because it descriptive study of how individuals experience a type of research. All the participants were informed that their participation is voluntarily and they can withdraw from the study at any given time. Furthermore, because the interest of this study was in the average responses of the entire group of participants, individual participants were not identified (nor were they identifiable) in any way in any written reports of this research. The results of the study found that most of the students have a problem on online learning because online learning was new to students and most of the students lacked elementary computer skills and some of them are newcomers to the internet. Students were faced with the need to integrate technology with human interaction in order to communicate effectively, but most had no idea how to accomplish this task. Left without the opportunity for face-to-face communication, students quickly felt disconnected from the campus, their motivation dwindled, and they appeared unable to initiate any self-direction in learning.
Keywords: Online module, assessment, teaching assistants, online teaching and learning.