TRANSFORMING DIGITAL LEARNING AND TEACHING IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN ZIMBABWE: THE CASE OF ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY, BULAWAYO REGIONAL CAMPUS

Author's Name: DR SYLOD CHIMHENGA
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Education
Section Research Paper

Keyword:

Digital-learning, technology, online questionnaire, ICT, adaptive technology


Abstract

This study investigated the digital-learning problems and solutions that are experienced by learners in transforming Zimbabwe Open University into a digital- learning institution. Fifty learners in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Education doing Masters Degrees in Counseling and Special Education participated in the study. The survey design which was mainly qualitative in nature was used. An online questionnaire was used to collect in-depth information on perceptions and experiences of respondents on transforming Zimbabwe Open University into a digital learning institution. The participants indicated problems with: accessibility of websites and course/learning material; accessibility of digital audio and video; inflexible time limits in accessing computers and lack of needed adaptive technologies. Students also mentioned technical difficulties using digital-learning and connecting to websites, problems downloading and opening files for their assignments, web pages that would not load, video clips taking too long to download, poor use of digital-learning by lecturers and professors. They also indicated their own lack of knowledge working with digital-learning technological tools as a major problem in transforming Zimbabwe Open University into a digital- learning institution. The study concluded that Zimbabwe Open University is in the positive direction in transforming itself into a digital learning institution. Recommendations were made in improving the accessibility of technological tools for digital learning and this included improving the availability of resources to the institution by the government.

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