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Have your say! A requirements analysis for lecturers, students and any other stakeholders to determine the expectations and requirements of an e-learning system together with their training needs will be conducted in 2014 during scheduled workshops. So book a workshop for your department now!

Background to e-learning at Unizulu PDF Print E-mail
Written by Neil Evans, PhD study   
Friday, 29 January 2010 14:27

The University of Zululand has had a number of e-learning projects since 2000 ranging from basic departmental websites, which hosted “virtual classrooms” to the actual deployment of various LMSs including WebCT now (Blackboard) in 2000, MyCMT, which was developed in-house by Muller in the Department of Accounting and Auditing in 2002 and Moodle, which has been piloted since 2007. This comprehensive Open Source application has now been chosen to be the official LMS on campus with one instance installed for each faculty.

In 2006 Wageningen University and Research Center launched a Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (NUFFIC) funded project which became known as the Wageningen University - Zululand University (WUZULU) project with the aim of “Enhancing the quality and relevance of education and research in the social and natural sciences at the University of Zululand” (Definite Schedule WUR-visit, 2006).

One of the themes that the project aimed at promoting was the role of ICT and e-learning. An earlier call for the formation of an e-learning group to developed a proposal for a structured e-learning initiative at the University of Zululand largely came to nothing mainly due to lack of funding for staff. In 2008 an e-learning task team was established with the aim of reviving the project. After a revised proposal was subsequently accepted by the WUZULU project the task team drew up a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.

The e-learning task team reported back to university management in the form of a Road Show, in October 2008. Both the Registrar and the Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs agreed that e-learning should be more integrated within curricula of faculties and encouraged the task team to plan the way forward. This led to the first draft of the task team’s e-learning implementation strategy and plan, which recommended a phased approach. The first phase included a requirements analysis for lecturers, students and any other stakeholders to determine the expectations and requirements of an e-learning system together with their training needs and the second phase involved creating organizational change to facilitate, support and role out e-learning on campus.

Given recent developments towards reviving the impetus of e-learning at the University of Zululand there are many topics of e-learning that require investigation, including curriculum development, quality assurance, support structures, buy in by management and funding. This study will however focus on user acceptance of e-learning resources by lecturers and students because they are the secondary and primary users, hence new ways to predict the success or failure of proposed developments before they are implemented should prove helpful in the planning for the eventual role out and support of structured e-learning at the University of Zululand.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 January 2010 14:29