Application of E-Learning in Teaching, Learning and Research in East African Universities

Application of E-Learning in Teaching, Learning and Research in East African Universities

Michael Walimbwa (Makerere University, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-909-5.ch019
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Abstract

The challenges of an increasingly borderless world, as seen in the advancements in information technology, have brought reform in universities and re-conceptualized what constitutes learning, teaching, and research. E-learning is often implemented as a response to increasing educational demand and an increasingly networked community. E-learning is considered as an interactive means to provide an alternative environment that stimulates practical learning and equips learners with the skills to manage technological change and innovations. This chapter evaluates the initial phase of e-learning, the importance of a rightful attitude, context, and instructional design in digital learning environments in Makerere University, Uganda, University of Nairobi, Kenya and University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The increase in enrollment in these universities brings in many challenges in service provision, negatively affecting instruction, learning, assessment and research services. A crisis-solving approach is presented as stimulating a creative context for the meaningful introduction of e-learning. It is also discussed whether the environment created so far through computer-mediated learning motivates institutions to integrate e-learning further. The sample involved instructors and learners from three universities in three different countries of Eastern Africa. Findings conclude that an e-learning environment must be introduced by creating relevant awareness to change attitude and empower users with an authentic approach without too much technological complexity. Review of curriculum, assessment and training around e-learning environments are also imperative as these interrelated factors form part of the e-learning process.

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