Developing On-Campus and Distance Learning Systems in Higher Education: On-Campus and Distance Learning Systems

Developing On-Campus and Distance Learning Systems in Higher Education: On-Campus and Distance Learning Systems

Vimbi Petrus Mahlangu (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6255-9.ch006

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to argue that developing on-campus and distance learning systems in higher education will depend largely on developments in mobile technology. Structuration theory will be used in understanding on-campus and distance learning systems in higher education. It can assist institutions to consider questions of why the use of technology must not be taken for granted and what might be the challenges and opportunities of technology. Developments in mobile technology are widening the space of learning in on-campus and distance learning systems in higher education by allowing flexible and instant access to rich digital resources. Mobile learning can also play a significant supplemental role within university education. Challenges facing on-campus and distance learning systems is meeting the ever increasing and diversified demands for higher education. Universities, which adopt on-campus, distance learning systems, and become dual-mode institutions, consider the mode to be one of the strategies through which they can achieve increased enrolments.
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Structuration Theory

It explains how the structure and agency are related in the development of social behaviour. An on-campus and distance higher education settings take the shape they have because of the interplay between social structures and human actions. In an on-campus and distance higher education settings structures ought to be seen as having functional properties, and how students negotiate social structures, their knowledge and the way they act is of importance (Jack, 2017, p. 213). Structuration theory can assist institutions to consider questions of why the use of technology must not be taken-for-granted and what might be the challenges and opportunities of technology. In essence, it is about the influential actions of certain actors and the practices they are able to embed in an on-campus and distance higher education settings, from within or from outside. It helps the analysis of those situations where people might be able to alter their own or others’ internal structures whilst external structures stay ostensibly the same (Jack, 2017, p. 215). The building and development of a flexible and responsive IT infrastructure was the most important issue of IT management in any system (Byrd & Turner, 2000, p. 168). IT infrastructure is a multifaceted concept that seems to include two related but distinct components.

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