In developing countries like South Africa, lecturers must have the right technical skills when teaching by way of online learning platforms since technology has changed how university students learn. Still, it’s important for those who transfer knowledge that they are able to adequately support their students when faced with challenges related to online teaching platforms.
Inasmuch as technology is already at the center of modern civilizations, offering online learning platforms at universities is not enough. Even before the pandemic, some educational institutions already offered some form of online learning. The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic had made digitised education the norm in different parts of the world.
Mpho-Entle Puleng Modisea conducted research in Open Distance Learning (ODL) even if she is not connected or works or receives funding from any entity or organisation. Ms. Mpho-Entle’s expertise in educational technology includes e-learning, e-portfolios, technology adoption, academic professional development and student support. The study on online learning platforms conducted by Mpho-Entle Puleng Modise focused on South Africa because most of the students entering higher education are not adept at navigating their way through the internet. As a result, they struggle to make their way in coping with university learning systems.
Mpho-Entle Modise works as a lecturer at the University of South Africa in the Dept. of Curriculum and Instructional Studies,
According to her, what makes matters worse are the lecturers who hold classes but do not have the skills to properly facilitate online learning sessions and tutorials.
Conclusion of Mpho-Entle’s Study
Based on the study she performed, Ms. Mpho-Entle said her findings suggest that universities should provide their staff with constant professional development and training in e-learning and distance education. Doing so can help lecturers offer better support that can improve the quality of learning experiences encountered by students.
Mpho-Entle Puleng Modise’s study also confirmed that lecturers lacking online facilitation skills can negatively affect learning outcomes.