| || || Education, Higher -- Guyana -- Computer-assisted instruction|
| || || Exploring the potential of implementing e-learning practices at the University of Guyana|
Author: Livingstone, Kerwin Anthony
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Education, Higher -- Guyana -- Computer-assisted instruction, Internet in higher education -- Guyana
Call No.: Pac LB 2395 .7 .L58 2014
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The University of Guyana (UG), up to the present time, continues to embrace a traditional learning and teaching approach, where all educational practices, to a great degree, are outdated. Face to face (F2F) contact is the only mode of instructional delivery. Further to this, the conventional Distance Education (DE), via the print-based correspondence mode, is still the current trend. Such a method only favours but a handful of students. As has been revealed by research, such an approach, even if it might engage students, is still teacher-directed and rejects an emancipative, studentcentred approach to learning. E-Learning, however, is being universally accepted as the instructional delivery mode which fosters student engagement and emancipation. Considering the afore-mentioned, the present study focuses on Exploring the potential of implementing E-Learning practices at the University of Guyana. To this end, the theoretical and conceptual foundation of this study hinge on literature from the theories of (1) Constructivism [Social Constructivism], (2) Transactional Distance [Independence and Autonomy; Interaction and Communication] and, (3) Connectivism, and literature from other important areas in Education which are (4) Changing Scene in Higher Education, (5) Accessibility and Equality in Education, (6) Information and Communication Technologies, (9) E-Learning, (8) Distance Education, (9) Web 2.0 Technologies, (10) Quality Learning and Teaching, (11) Education for All, and (12) Educational Leadership. The conceptual framework is grounded on the aforementioned. In the application of the conceptual framework, this research explores the use of integrating technology into the educational practices of the University, as a means of addressing the afore-mentioned theories and areas in 21st century learning and teaching. The methodological approach is drawn from the mixed method research literature. In relation to the aim, objectives and research questions of this work, three surveys about E-Learning were constructed, through a purposive sampling technique, aimed at UG Students, Teaching Faculty and Administration. Subsequent to their design, they were 2 executed with a view to highlighting, through respondents’ answers, the practicality of espousing Technology-Based Education for the Higher Education (HE) institution. The data was analysed empirically, and by means of data triangulation. The findings illuminate that the UG students and staff (both academic and administrative) are, by and large, ready for E-Learning. More precisely, these results, in conjunction with the research questions, reveal that students are generally ready for ELearning. In addition to these findings, other critical ones emanating from the analysed data are the following: (1) Even though some students are more pleased than others about the quality of education, the greater part of them confirm that it can be further enhanced; moreover, they are in accord that technology is the means to improve the learning-teaching quality. (2) Teaching Faculty and Administrators share the view that there is room for further development, and that E-Learning would be embraced and implemented at the UG, once the key issues are tackled. Taking into consideration the above, the University has a valid opportunity to do everything in its power to diversify its pedagogical practices so that the students’ learning experiences would be significant. The UG Students, Teaching Faculty and Administration are generally prepared for this new educational initiative, and recommendations have been made for this instructional delivery mode to be adopted and incorporated into the learning-teaching process.