The integration of learning technologies in open distance learning at the North–West University
Chapter 2 - Article 1: A localized socially transformative learning technology integration framework for ODL (142.4Kb)
Chapter 3 - Article 2: ODL students’ perceived computer literacy competencies, expectations of support, intention to use and perseverance (183.8Kb)
Chapter 5 - Article 4: Looking out and looking in: exploring a case of faculty perceptions during e-learning staff development (234.1Kb)
Chapter 6 - Article 5: Seamless support: technology enhanced learning in open distance learning at NWU (1.342Mb)
Esterhuizen, Hendrik Daniel
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North-West University in South Africa is committed to expanding use of learning technologies for contact and distance education students by augmenting the existing NWU teaching and learning policy with an e-learning policy. The School of Continuing Teacher Education at North-West University is currently training about 24 000 in-service teacher students through Open Distance Learning. Only a few students submit assignments in typed format and seldom electronically. Students rarely use electronic technologies to augment their learning, and the SCTE employs few to support students. This does not comply with the South African Government’s policy on e-Education that demands information and communication technology mastery in teacher training. The aim of this research was integration of learning technologies in open distance learning at SCTE NWU through recommendations compiled in a sociologically transformative emergent implementation framework. The researcher followed a concurrent mixed-method sociologically transformative approach, focussing on the use of technology for social empowerment to cross the digital divide, through a theoretical lens of ICT for development. The lived experience in the natural setting of distance education students, lecturers, and involved stakeholders was used as initial data collection, informed by a continuous literature study of emergent learning technology use. Purposeful sampling was used during participant selection. The role of the researcher was that of participant observer, interviewer, and human instrument, from a position of methodological pragmatism as a method of inquiry. Using a design-based research approach, the thesis addresses the main research question through five research papers; each addressing one of the sub-questions as design-based research cycles, while collectively addressing the research problem to address the main research question. Non-standardised measuring instruments were developed based on themes identified from literature and the analysis of qualitative data. Significant barriers to population-wide ICT adoption exist. Strong intentions of perseverance in attaining functional computer literacy are evident. Support and enablement are required to promote trust to attempt using computers, necessary to obtain self-confidence through accomplishment. In this way perseverance to attain functional computer literacy may be cultivated. The study presents a model for intention to use, confidence, trust and perseverance in attaining computer literacy competence with statistically significant standardised regression weights. In terms of affective responses of students during computer literacy training, a twodimensional model for computer literacy learning emotions is presented. Perceptions during professional development produced a model for faculty development towards socially transformative learning technology integration for open distance learning. The researcher also presents a people-technology interaction in teaching and learning model in the fifth paper. A distinction is made between reactionary interventions and pre-emptive unobtrusive seamless support, based on requirements identified through bottom-up feedback listening to latent requests of participants. Technology-enhanced learning integration should be legitimised through visible commitment from the university as institution. Lecturer training, innovative planning of time issues, acquisition of appropriate infrastructure, buying in from the institution and IT support services, and support of teacher-students are all essential for evolvement towards an e-mature organisation for the delivery of ODL to vast numbers of newly industrialised context clients.
- Education 
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