Pushing through the boundaries: A tale of implementing e-learning in a developing country

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Date
2010-11
Authors
Frohlich-Avard, Georgina L
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Abstract

The Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning (COLL), Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) is responsible for coordinating and administrating the institute’s distance education programmes. Of recent, COLL has taken on the responsibility to design, develop and deliver e-learning courses for the benefit of distance education students. This is in response to the PoN’s want of producing students that can perform within a knowledge based economy and as steered by globalisation pressures. Such a task is daunting especially seeing as Namibia is considered a ‘developing’ nation and constrained by a number of issues such as poor bandwidth, restricted computer and network access and limited human resources with technical ‘know-how’. However, COLL is forging ahead to offer e-learning as a mode of study and in doing so improving strategies for supporting teaching and learning at a distance. // COLL is piloting two e-learning courses this year, and is in the process of developing another eight for implementation in 2011. The piloting involves planning and development of e-learning courses with PoN lecturers (the e-learning course developers) through to implementation with students and finally conducting overall evaluations. This process is moving ahead even though there are a number of glaring challenges to the implementation of such a technically enhanced mode of study. In order to do so we have followed Ascough’s (2002) model and have carried out empirical research to feed into the development of e-learning. This paper will briefly discuss the process of developing e-learning courses for Namibia within the four stages proposed by Ascough (2002) namely, undertaking analyses; setting goals and objectives; selecting teaching strategies and administrating evaluations. I discuss the challenges faced and highlight some strategies for implementing e-learning under constrained circumstances.

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Subject
Formal Education,Open and Distance Learning (ODL),eLearning,Distance Education,Developing World
Country
Namibia
Region
Africa
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