Users' Satisfaction with e-Learning: A Case Study of the University of Botswana

Users' Satisfaction with e-Learning: A Case Study of the University of Botswana

Adeyinka Tella (University of Botswana, Botswana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-942-7.ch011

Abstract

This chapter examines a case study of the user’s satisfaction with e-learning at the University of Botswana. The study drawn on 415 undergraduate students who are users of e-learning from across six faculties and 39 departments of the university. Data was collected through an adapted and validated questionnaire. The result reveals generally that students were satisfied with e-learning system at the University of Botswana. Overall, 87.3% were adequately satisfied, satisfied, and moderately satisfied; while on the other hand, 11.8% were less satisfied and not satisfied. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, system quality, content quality teaching and learning effectiveness dimensions were indicated to have the capacity to determine users’ satisfaction with e-learning. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that the entire user satisfaction dimension positively and significantly correlate with and adequately predict and determine satisfaction with e-learning. Challenges indicated facing use of e-learning system are log on problems, loss/forgotten password, network/ server failure, access, and long download time for large adobe and PPT files. Upon these findings recommendations such as increase in the number of access and bandwidth of the system to allow it to work faster than before were suggested.
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Background To The University Of Botswana (Ub)

The University of Botswana was established in 1982. This was after the break up of the multinational and multi-campus University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, which had been established in 1964 to serve the three Southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The University main campus is situated in Gaborone, the capital city. During 2006/2007, the University had a total enrolment of 16,238 students of which 12,934 were fulltime. Approximately 51% of the students are females. Of the total enrolment, 15,248 are pursuing undergraduate programmes (University of Botswana, 2007). The University has six faculties, namely: Business, Education, Engineering and Technology, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. The six faculties comprise thirty nine (39) departments. The University has a School of Graduate Studies and several specialised centres and research units. The University has staff strength of 2,640 of which 994 are academic staff. The academic programmes are offered at certificate and postgraduate levels (University of Botswana, 2008).

E-learning at the University of Botswana

The implementation of e-learning at the University of Botswana was motivated to fulfill the University’s responsibility to among other things (UBel, 2002:16): prepare students for effective participation in the wider information society, use ICT to increase the success rates of students, provide the opportunity for the University to enhance flexible learning anytime, anywhere and at student’s own pace, enable access to relevant national and international resources, handle large classes The University of Botswana has policy-guided e-learning program emphasises a blended approach to e-learning in which various modes, methods and media are integrated and organised for appropriate learning.

The University of Botswana embarked on a programme of e-learning in 2001 when it mandated EduTech unit within the Centre for Academic Development to technologically transform the education process at the University (Uys, 2003). EduTech carries out the training of faculty in the effective and appropriate use of educational technologies at the University of Botswana. The Unit also provides resources such as state-of-the-art computer laboratories known as smart rooms. These laboratories are fully equipped with wireless Local Area Networks (LANs), videoconferencing facility, digital projectors, scanners, and Web Course Tools (WebCT) e-learning platform. Smart Classrooms constructed for technology-based, open, active, and collaborative learning. This classroom is laid out with clusters of computers situated in such a way as to provide eye contact.

During 2006, 145 lecturers of the 827 faculty were using e-learning in the delivery of their courses and during 2007/08 academic session 258 lecturers of the 994 academic staff were using e-learning in the delivery of their courses. The number of students enrolling in e-learning course is also growing. During the 1st semester of 2006-2007, more than 1,300 students were added to online courses (University of Botswana, 2006). According to (UB WebCT Report, 2007:9), ‘’it is difficult to tell the exact number of students online because most students are enrolled in more than one course. A rough estimation of about 8000 + are enrolled on WebCT’’.

At the University of Botswana, issues about the cultural and social aspects of e-learning were included in the implementation of all on-line courses, programme and content. The e-learning platform at the university was design to embrace social interaction which is an important aspect of online pedagogy in catering for diverse learners need bearing in mind that diversity in learning approaches, style, and cultural patterns are universal.

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