University Students’ Preferences, Perception and Challenges of Online Learning. A Case of University of Kabianga, Kenya

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // An online class is a system where students can learn, discuss issues with fellow students, clarify doubts with teachers, share material and assess academic progress through the help of computer and internet-oriented technologies. Online learning (OL) had been ignored in many parts of developing countries due to challenges such as lack of access and affordability of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Since the breakout of Covid–19 pandemic in 2020, lockdowns became a challenging situation for everyone and in every sector of the economy, education included. As a result online classes are gaining so much importance all over the world, and has shifted the thought of educators that “Online class is Optional” to “Online class is necessary”. This study looked at students’ preferences, perception and challenges during newly introduced OL at University of Kabianga (UoK). The study is anchored on connectivism theory of learning. Descriptive quantitative and qualitative research design was used and was conducted through an online survey. Study population was 600 2nd year student at UOK, who were taking OL for their first time due to Covid-19 pandemic. Sample size was 240 2nd year students randomly selected. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings indicate that learners preferred smart phones as their learning device, and blended OL. Learners have positive perception towards OL despite citing a number of challenges experienced during OL, such as lack of digital devices, poor and unreliable internet, and power connectivity, unconducive OL environment at campus and lack of digital skills needed for OL. // Paper ID 6074

Online Learning,ICT in Education,Digital Literacy