Collaboration in the rural schools of the Eden/Karoo District and the use of knowledge management tools

Webber, Zwelibanzi Samson (2008-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Information Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2008.


Rural multi-grade schools are faced with many challenges when it comes to teaching and learning. Educators at these schools are required to teach more than one grade at a time with several learning areas. This research suggests that this problem can partly be resolved by engaging educators in a kind of learning network where they will assist each other when it comes to curriculum development and planning. The researcher understands the conditions and the problems associated with these schools. Hence an online collaboration process was put to the test. It is argued in the literature review that the nature of the curriculum requires that the educators should collaborate at a certain level. This has led the researcher to believe that there is a need to provide an overview of collaborative software available in the market. To this effect a decision was taken to test the suitability of Share Point (SP) as collaboration software as well as the attitude of educators towards collaboration. Emerging from the research is a visible absence and silence on collaboration in schools. Although educators embrace the process of online collaboration there are some problems that need to be taken care of first. Some of these relate to the availability of computers, both at home and at work and the fact that some educators are not computer literate enough to face the challenges of online collaboration. Other shortcomings to the success of the research are also highlighted. The research concluded by recommending the use of SP in schools to alleviate the plight of rural school educators. The use of SP should also be accompanied by an extensive training programme to ensure the optimum utilisation of the system. On the whole the researcher is also of the opinion that online collaboration can work provided that it is monitored very thoroughly.

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