Evaluating the integration of ICTs into teaching and learning activities at a South African higher education institution

Van der Merwe, Antoinette Deirdre (2004-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is a structured evaluation of the integration of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in teaching and learning activities at the University of Stellenbosch. Although anecdotal evidence exists of the success of the e-Learning initiatives at the University of Stellenbosch, this study addresses these questions in a more structured approach within the global and local higher education context in order to: - Improve the e-Learning project (as part of the e-Campus initiative) and other e-Learning initiatives, - Generate knowledge to improve our understanding of how the e-Learning initiatives work and how people change their attitudes and behaviours because of successful interventions, - Evaluate the institutional characteristics of successful integration, - Evaluate the technological environment and, more specifically, the use of WebCT as learning management system, and - Assess the overall progress of the e-Learning initiatives at the University of Stellenbosch. This evaluation is done taking the broader global and changing local higher education landscape and, more specifically, the interplay of three of the main global drivers into account. The three drivers discussed are: knowledge as a driver of growth in a networked society, the information and communication technology revolution and new competitors in the higher education marketplace The first part of the study is therefore a literature review of the changing global higher education landscape, with a specific focus on how these changes are contextualised within the unique South African post-1994 higher education landscape. After considering the global and South African higher education landscape, the study then provides a critical overview of the status of the integration of ICTs into teaching and learning activities world wide, the possible benefits of the integration of ICTs into teaching and learning activities and the implications of these changes for the lecturers, students and the higher education institutional and technological environment. These overviews of both the global changing higher education landscape and the integration of ICTs into teaching and learning activities serve as the backdrop for the case study and retrospective assessment of e-Learning initiatives at the University of Stellenbosch. The study contains a description of the e-Campus initiative, the e-Learning project and other e-Learning initiatives. In the retrospective assessment, the main focus of the study, I make use of quantative and qualitative methods to analyse the results of two Web surveys administered to students andlecturers who use WebCT. These results are integrated with other data sources to assess the progress made at the University of Stellenbosch. This retrospective assessment of the e-Learning activities at the University of Stellenbosch, set against the backdrop of the global changing higher education landscape, enables me to make general recommendations for: - Dealing with changes in the higher education context on an institutional level as a result of the three forces discussed, - Integrating ICTs at the institutional level in all business process at a higher education institution, - Integrating ICTs in teaching and learning activities, paying attention to the enabling institutional and technological environment, as well as to good teaching and learning practice, and - Improving the implementation of the e-Campus initiative and, more specifically, the e- Learning project and other e-Learning initiatives at the University of Stellenbosch.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is ‘n gestruktureerde evaluering van die integrasie van IKTs (Informasie- en Kommunikasietegnologieë) in leer- en onderrigaktiwiteite by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Alhoewel daar wel anekdotiese bewyse is dat die e-Leer inisiatiewe by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch suksesvol is, spreek hierdie studie die vrae binne ‘n gestruktureerde benadering aan met inagname van die globale en plaaslike hoër onderwys konteks om: - Die e-Leer projek (as deel van die e-Kampusinisiatief) en ander e-Leer inisiatiewe te verbeter, - Kennis te genereer om ons begrip van hoe e-Leer inisiatiewe werk en hoe mense hulle houdings en gedrag as gevolg van suksesvolle intervensies verander, te verbeter, - Die institusionele eienskappe om sukses te behaal met die integrasie, te evalueer, - Die tegnologiese omgewing, en meer spesifiek die gebruik van WebCT as leer bestuurstelsel te evalueer, en - Die totale vordering met e-Leer inisiatiewe by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch te evalueer. Hierdie evaluering word gedoen met inbegrip van die breër globale en plaaslike veranderende konteks, met spesiale inagname van die wisselwerking tussen drie van die hoof globale drywers. Die drie drywers wat bespreek word is: kennis as drywer van groei in ‘n netwerksamelewing, die revolusie in informasie en kommunikasie tegnologieë, en nuwe kompetisie in die hoër onderwys landskap. Die eerste deel van die studie is dus ‘n literatuuroorsig van die veranderende globale hoër onderwys landskap, met ‘n spesifieke fokus op hoe hierdie veranderinge binne die unieke Suid-Afrikaanse hoër onderwys landskap ná 1994 gekontekstualiseer word. Na ʼn oorweging van die globale en Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, voorsien die studie ‘n kritiese oorsig van die status van die integrasie van IKTs in leer- en onderrigaktiwiteite wêreldwyd, die moontlike voordele van die integrasie van IKTs in leer- en onderrigaktiwiteite en die implikasies van hierdie veranderinge vir dosente en studente, sowel as vir die institusionele en tegnologiese omgewings van hoër onderwys. Hierdie oorsigte van beide die veranderende globale hoër onderwys landskap en die integrasie van IKTs in leer- en onderrigaktiwiteite verskaf die agtergrond vir die gevallestudie en retrospektiewe evaluering van die e-Leer aktiwiteite by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Die studie bevat ‘n beskrywing van die e-Kampus inisiatief, die e-Leerprojek en ander e-Leer inisiatiewe. In die retrospektiewe evaluering, wat die hooffokus van die studie uitmaak, maak ek gebruik van kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe metodes om die resultate van twee vraelyste teontleed wat aan studente en dosente wat WebCT gebruik, versprei is. Hierdie resultate is geïntegreer met ander databronne om die vordering wat reeds aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch gemaak is, te evalueer. Hierdie retrospektiewe evaluering van die e-Leer aktiwiteite by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch teen die agtergrond van die veranderende globale hoër onderwys landskap, stel my in staat om algemene aanbevelings te maak om: - Op institusionele vlak veranderinge te hanteer wat ‘n resultaat is van die drie kragte wat bespreek is, - IKTs op institusionele vlak in alle besigheidsprosesse van die instelling te integreer, - IKTs in leer- en onderrigaktiwiteite te integreer, terwyl aandag geskenk word aan die institusionele en tegnologiese omgewing wat dít moontlik maak, asook aan goeie leer- en onderrigpraktyk, en - Die implementering van die e-Kampus inisiatief, en meer spesifiek die e-Leer projek en ander e-Leer inisiatiewe by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch, te verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16073
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