2014 e learning innovations conference sesabo mfaume presentation july2014


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2014 e learning innovations conference sesabo mfaume presentation july2014

  1. 1. Opportunities and Challenges of instituting Distance Learning and E- Learning: Evidence and Experiences of Mzumbe University, Tanzania Theme: 21st Century eLearning Transforming Education, Employment, and Economies By Jennifer Sesabo and Rashid Mfaume Mzumbe University, Tanzania
  2. 2. Theme of the Conference, 2014 2014 eLearning Innovations Conference dedicated to • Our presentation fits well with the theme and dedication of this year’s conference “ICT innovators, leaders, and educators seeking to enrich learning experiences using diverse technologies” • We are focusing our presentation on challenges and opportunities of instituting DE and e-learning for different programmes and campuses within Mzumbe University • The major question we try to address is ‘how can we institute e-learning and DE while maintaining quality of the programme, process as well as outputs (graduates) • Our presentation is based on our experiences and ground based evidence for over 5 years of implementation attempts
  3. 3. Presentation Outline - About Mzumbe University – in glance - Changing context of higher education in Tanzania - Quality Assurance in Distance Learning and E-Learning (perceptual and institutional-QAF) • - Distance education and e-learning: Facilitating and enabling issues - Challenges and Opportunities (experience and evidence) - Conclusion – Are we there?
  4. 4. mm-dd-yy | 4 Mzumbe University at Glance - Location • The University Main Campus is located 22 Kms South-West of Morogoro Municipal centre, about 4 Kms off the Tanzania-Zambia Highway • It is about 220 Kms away from Dar es Salaam, and within an hour's drive to the Mikumi National Park • Situated at the foothills of the Uluguru Mountain ranges (on the Eastern and Southern sides) • The University has two other campuses and 2 teaching centres
  5. 5. mm-dd-yy | 5 • Mzumbe University – Dar es Salaam Campus • In line with the Mission of the University, the main purpose of the campus college is basically to offer high quality training, research and consultancy. • The location of the campus is strategic, since Dar es Salaam is the home of many Tanzanians who would like to pursue Masters Degrees that the campus offers. • Currently the campus offers postgraduate programmes only
  6. 6. mm-dd-yy | 6 Mzumbe University – Mbeya Campus College • Mzumbe University Mbeya campus college College provides academic activities including teaching • The campus offers mainly undergraduate degree, diploma and certificate programmes • • The Mbeya Campus is located in the Mbeya city in the Forest Area. It is a walking distance from the Tanzania/Zambia Highway. • The campus is currently under heavy expansion of its staff, programme and infrastructure facilities
  7. 7. Changing context of higher education in Tanzania • Over recent years key changes have taken place in higher education institutions that have led to significant transformations in their policies and practices • Policy change and some pragmatic strategies saw increase in secondary school completion rate that place huge demand for higher education • This growing demand for education has placed institutions in a new scenario where they needed to respond creatively and within the constraints of limited funding and inadequate infrastructures • DL and e-Learning has been seen as one strategy of coping or solving the challenge
  8. 8. Triggers of DL and E-Learning • The growing interest in distance learning and e-learning seems to be triggered by a variety of sources: - Massification in students’ enrolment in universities, - Limited space and teaching in conventional campus based classroom settings - Limited number of qualified teaching staff, - Keeping pace with new technology and trend as well as - Adopting flexible learning modalities to students
  9. 9. • Over recent, the quality of education offered through distance and e- learning portfolio has generated skepticism and intense debates about quality teaching and learning process • There are also long standing perceptual issues and trust on DL and even e-learning • Many would think that DL and use of e-learning result into production of low quality graduates Conceptual Issues
  10. 10. Distance Learning and e-Learning • Education Technology or computer based learning, or e-learning can enhance teaching and learning practices • It is flexible, economical and more importantly it breaks the hard walls of class rooms thus creating and appetizing learners • In addition, it can empower teachers and learners, transforming teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher dominated to student centred (Higgins, 2003; Trucano, 2005).
  11. 11. Teaching and learning at Mzumbe University • Ever since its establishment - traditionally teaching mode • Mzumbe University courses are taught in plenary sessions combined with seminars each week (5 contact hrs for undergraduate and 4 contact hrs for PG) • Students are required to physically attend both lecture (plenary) as well as seminar sessions (ref: MU student assessment and criteria by Laws, 2012) • All submissions of student works (assignments, tests, term papers) have to be done in hard printed form
  12. 12. Changing landscape in teaching and learning at Mzumbe University • Education is also undergoing radical transformation as a result of the digital revolution and the rapid development of ICT and digital media • The multiplication and diversification of sources of information, the continued production and circulation of knowledge, combined with the development of new ICT • Digital media, are spurring the emergence of new forms of learning in the context of the knowledge society • Mzumbe University has responded to the challenge and continued to institutionalize in her Corporate Strategic Plan (2012-2017)
  13. 13. E-Learning Adoption and Use at Mzumbe University • Has slowly adopted the use of e-learning/blended learning way back in 2009 (save for use of computers in processing work) • The adoption and use among lecturers and students has been slow • It has gained momentum and impetus from 2012 when it has clearly institutionalized in university SP
  14. 14. KEY RESULT AREAA: To Enhance and Maintain Excellence in Teaching and Learning Strategic objective: A1.3 Strengthen digital environment for teaching and learning Targets a) Digital communication within the Mzumbe University community fully adopted and operational by 2017. b) Standard students to computer and students to access points ratios supporting access to digital knowledge environment is achieved by 2017 c) Requisite computer network infrastructure (Ethernet, wireless) for intranet, internet and virtual private networks rehabilitated and installed by June 2017. d) Digital collaboration environment, platforms and supporting application software are established and operational by 2017 e) Teaching and learning related documents for all courses of Mzumbe University are available on virtual and online learning by 2013 f) Requisite smart technologies for effective learning and teaching for both students and teachers acquired and deployed by 2017. g) Mzumbe University network infrastructure connected to national backbone (fiber optic cable) by June 2016 (Extract of MU SP (2012 – 2017) pg. 29
  15. 15. Adoption and uses has started • More use of blended learning by students for independent study • Increased owning of mobile phones, social media portfolio etc • How do we assure quality in these self directed studies? • What is the extent of readiness among lecturers and students?
  16. 16. • Perception and Readiness of Students on the Use E- Learning (high) • Number of barriers are mentioned by Lecturers and students • Low competence is ranked high by both students and lecturers (86% and 79%) Barrier Staff % Students % Insufficient computing facilities (labs, etc.) 56% 45% Lack of assistance when facing technical problems 49% 45% Difficulty of gaining internet connectivity 73% (78%) Low competence in using e-learning portfolio 86% (79%) Practices and experiences 34% (18%) Not interested in using technology 24% 16%
  17. 17.  Top leadership commitment and support through policies, institutionalization in university Plans and monitoring – Thanks it exist  Technology (computers, tablet, mobile gargets, technical support – modest available??  Readiness to adopt and use among target groups – Needs to inculcate changes  Economy of connectivity and affordability (relatively high) – ?????  Monitoring and institutionalization of quality assurance framework – quality of curriculum content, LMS, and delivery – continue assuring quality