Progressio 2021-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Oupa Mashile Open Journal Systems <p><em>Progressio</em> is a peer-reviewed, open access, scholarly journal that provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners in teaching and learning, particularly in higher education, in the areas of open, distance and e-learning; online learning; digital technology; and flexible education to publish their articles. The journal is read by researchers, leaders, managers, policy makers and practitioners in specialist distance education institutions, as well as those using flexible learning and digital educational technologies in conventional contact institutions. Progressio is accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training.</p> <p> </p> Covid-19 Policy Implications for Blended Learning in Higher Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution 2020-12-22T07:42:28+00:00 Johannes C Cronje <p>Universities have aspired to embrace the concepts of Schwab’s <em>Fourth Industrial Revolution </em>with varying degrees of success. The Covid-19 epidemic, however, has created a disruption of unprecedented proportions. Managements of universities were forced to do whatever it took to save the academic year by means of emergency remote teaching. This form of teaching required a relaxation of numerous rules and policies that were designed primarily for contact institutions. Many of these concessions will probably be irrevocable and will require intensive revisions of university policies of teaching and learning. However, since teaching and learning do not exist in a vacuum, there are policy implications for all sections of the university. This autoethnographic desk study follows a theory-building approach by integrating the lived experience of the author with the current literature, to create a framework for the development and revision of policies to accommodate blended learning in higher education in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Although the definition and implementation of blended learning lie at the heart of issues regarding teaching and learning, policy adjustments will have to be made in all aspects of the university.</p> 2021-12-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice The Extent to which Pre-Service Teachers Use Moodle to Enhance Learning 2021-06-11T10:33:48+00:00 Mswazi Gladson Tshabalala Admire Chibisa Mncedisi Christian Maphalala <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The increase in student populations in higher education institutions means face-to-face service delivery is now very expensive. Most institutions are therefore exploring the possibility of online learning on a massive scale, which the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic have now expedited. This study aims to investigate the extent to which pre-service teachers use Moodle to enhance learning. The study used a quantitative approach in which quantitative data were gathered using a five-point Likert-scale questionnaire developed by the researchers, using previous studies. A stratified sample of 400 pre-service teachers selected from a population of 4 000 participated in the study. A total of 332 participants successfully completed and returned the questionnaires, giving a return rate of 83 per cent. The study used the Technology Acceptance Model as its theoretical framework. The results indicated that seven of the 13 hypotheses were statistically significant, leading to the adoption of all six model constructs. The coefficient of determination of the model was a substantial 69.8 per cent, which explained the extent to which pre-service teachers use Moodle to enhance learning. By using moderation, it was established that all three demographic factors of the study did not influence the pre-service teachers’ use of Moodle. The results indicated that the developed model is valid, robust and suitable for use by stakeholders. Pre-service teachers are therefore encouraged to use Moodle to enhance learning. Future research could be done to establish the 30.2 per cent of factors this model did not capture.</span></p> 2022-01-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Integrating e-Learning in Open and Distance Learning: The Case of Botswana Open University 2020-08-06T09:36:10+00:00 Lekopanye Lacic Tladi Paul Nleya <p>The Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL), presently Botswana Open University (BOU), was founded to provide nation-wide learning opportunities for out-of-school young adults using the Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode. The BOU used a number of strategies to enable it to deliver on its mandate; one such strategy being the implementation of e-Learning, following contemporary delivery trends internationally within the ODL field. This paper reports on the findings of a study that sought to investigate the extent to which organisational efforts (means) were able to produce organisational results (ends) and associated societal impact in e-Learning implementation at BOCODOL. The diffusion of an innovation theoretical framework and Organisational Elements Model (OEM) conceptual framework was used to underpin the study. Qualitative data collection methods of inquiry (ethnography, document analysis and written interviews) were used. After providing a relevant literature review, the paper firstly reports on the Botswana e-Learning landscape, as well as the nature of inputs and processes serving as means to e-Learning implementation at BOU. Secondly, it reports on the products, successes and challenges as well as outputs and outcomes during e-Learning implementation at BOU. The methodology and findings of the study directing this paper are discussed, and lastly, the paper acknowledges the impact of organisational results (outputs and outcomes) encountered during e-Learning implementation and their implications to the ODL field.</p> 2021-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice A Gap Analysis of the Quality of Student Support Services in an Open Distance Learning Institution 2020-03-09T14:51:33+00:00 Tsige GebreMeskel Aberra Johan J. Booyse <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This paper focuses on an investigation of the quality of student support services. The latter are important aspects in the development of a whole-person experience in any educational system. In the open distance learning (ODL) mode of education, student support services are even more important as they are the anchors of student success. Based on this, the main purpose of this paper is to observe the possible gaps between students’ expectations (the ideal standard) and their experiences (the perceptions formed) of student support services as provided by the University of South Africa (UNISA). The respondents of this paper were doctoral students of UNISA who live and work in Ethiopia. A multi-dimensional and “standardised” instrument was used as a tool to collect quantitative data. The theoretical framework adopted in analysing the results was the gaps model. Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) and dependent t-tests were the statistical tools employed. The findings show that there were gaps between the students’ expectations and experiences along the four dimensions of the instrument, namely Supervision Support, Infrastructure, Administrative Support and Academic Facilitation. It was therefore recommended that UNISA should focus on improving the relevant services it gives to its international students. </span></p> 2021-04-26T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Information Technology (IT) Users in Tertiary Education Institutions in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: Case of Security Awareness 2020-03-09T14:42:31+00:00 Bongani Ngwenya Theuns Pelser <p>Information Technology (IT) expansion exposes organisations in developing countries to IT security risks. Zimbabwe’s tertiary education institutions (TEIs) are not spared. Every year, cyber-attacks increase and become more sophisticated, resulting in losses of personal and financial data for individuals, organisations and governments. As the world is interconnected, small and big organisations share the same internet platform. Therefore, IT security risks that affect one, affect all. When IT users are unaware of the risks and uninformed of ways to protect their IT systems, they remain vulnerable. Like other organisations in Zimbabwe, TEIs are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The study that directed this article employed a quantitative methodological approach in the collection of the data and its analysis. A sample of 261 respondents was selected from the population of IT users in TEIs in Bulawayo. The results indicated that IT security awareness of IT users in TEIs in Bulawayo is low. This is evidenced by the low IT drivers’ contribution towards building IT users’ security awareness, and inadequate implementation and utilisation of IT security awareness tools. The prevailing phenomenon exposes TEIs in Bulawayo to a high risk of cyber-attacks. The results indicated a positive and significant correlation between IT security drivers’ contribution and IT security awareness tools utilisation in TEIs in Bulawayo. The implication is that an increase in IT security drivers’ contribution and IT security awareness tools utilisation will lead to increased IT security awareness. The study recommends that IT drivers double their contribution towards building IT security awareness through adequate implementation and utilisation of IT security awareness tools. This will safeguard the information that tertiary education institutions generate.</p> 2021-12-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Disciplinary Differences in the Uptake of a Learning Management System: A Case of a South African Historically Disadvantaged Institution 2020-08-20T13:37:25+00:00 Phumla Hlengiwe Shamase <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The provision of a Learning Management System (LMS) for use in distributed, blended or open distance e-learning as a management tool has become a basic standard <a name="_Hlk39311465"></a>requirement in higher learning institutions globally. Many students and lecturers use an LMS in support of innovative and engaged teaching and learning, both inside and outside the classroom—whether blended or open leaning. However, many academics choose not to make use of the institutional LMS. This is the specific issue that this study addresses, with a particular focus on the role played by disciplinary differences in the uptake of an LMS. The research question guiding the study is thus: To what extent do disciplinary differences affect the uptake of an LMS? The research study drew on Legitimation Code Theory, a sociological theory that explains the knowledge principles underpinning practices, in this case, the practice of the uptake (or non-uptake) of an institutional LMS. The study made use of quantitative data collection and data analysis methods, drawing on the institutional LMS activity data. The study found that there was a significant relationship between the disciplines and LMS uptake. However, the study also found a number of unexpected exceptions, where the nature of the discipline did not seem to impact uptake or non-uptake. The contribution that the study makes is to show the significant role that the academics’ home discipline plays in LMS uptake. </span></p> 2022-01-12T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Blending Behaviourism and Constructivism: A Case Study in Support of a New Definition of Blended Learning 2021-02-18T14:26:02+00:00 Johannes C. Cronjé <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Definitions of blended learning that refer to a combination of face-to-face and computer-mediated instruction focus on the transmission of information rather than learning. It has been argued that a definition of blended learning should provide for a blend of learning theories methods and technologies. When blending learning theories, behaviourism and constructivism should not be viewed as mutually exclusive opposites. This article presents a case of a distance learning workshop with asynchronous and synchronous learning and technologies ranging from WhatsApp to YouTube. The workshop contained a blend of direct instruction (behaviourism), construction (constructivism), an integration of the two, and an immersive experience of serendipitous learning. Various modalities of learning occurred during the same learning event. Sometimes the two modalities occurred simultaneously, suggesting that behaviourist and constructivist learning can be blended.</span></p> 2022-01-18T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Student-Generated Videos as a Learning Tool in Veterinary Education 2020-05-08T20:42:44+00:00 Mari van Wyk Linda van Ryneveld <p>In spite of reported benefits of mobile devices, educational institutions criticise the use of mobile devices for learning because they are considered a distraction in class. Furthermore, researchers claim that the apparent mechanistic use of videos in classes does not contribute to deeper learning. To explore the affordances of videos and the possibility of deeper learning, a group of veterinary science students volunteered to explore the use of videos while attending theoretical and practical lectures. In this qualitative study, the participants tried out a variety of devices to take short videos of procedures and were actively involved with the learning content as they organised and reflected on the self-made videos. In spite of the critique against the use of mobile devices and the apparent shallow learning contribution of videos, participants self-reported that watching the videos again and the processes that took place after the videos were made contributed hugely to their learning experience. Participants demonstrated that mobile devices can be used constructively, and through a process of reflection deepen their learning experience. How the participants use the videos for learning can give lecturers new ideas on how they can use videos in their classes.</p> 2021-05-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Fit for Purpose: Using a Distance Education Approach to Support Underperforming Schools in South Africa 2019-05-16T20:06:29+00:00 Veronica Irene McKay <p>This article explores the South African Department of Basic Education’s national school workbook intervention aimed at addressing poor learner performance in the context of teacher under-preparedness and curriculum reform. It shows how the workbooks use a distance education approach to provide pedagogical and content support for teachers, albeit in the context of classroom teaching, to compensate for teachers’ challenges. This article uses a mixed methods research approach to explore how teachers, learners and parents used the workbooks and shows that while the distance educational design scaffolded teaching, additional support is necessary to enable the intervention to be more impactful.</p> 2018-12-18T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2018 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Perceptions of Namibian College of Open Learning learners' self-regulated skills 2019-05-16T20:05:41+00:00 Bernadette Geduld Selma Iiyambo <p>This paper presents a case study of tutor and learner perceptions of Grade 10 Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) learners’ self-regulated learning (SRL) skills to achieve academic success. Zimmerman and Moylan’s (2009) model of SRL, grounded in social cognitive theory, formed the theoretical framework of the study. A qualitative research design, guided by a phenomenological case study in an interpretivist paradigm, was used to explore the perceptions of tutors and learners regarding the Grade 10 NAMCOL learners’ SRL skills to cope with the challenges of open distance learning (ODL). Three NAMCOL centres, six tutors and 15 learners were conveniently and purposively selected. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data. The findings reveal discrepancies between tutors’ and learners’ perceptions of Grade 10 NAMCOL learners’ SRL skills to cope with ODL and to achieve academic success. The findings underline the importance of academic support for ODL learners as well as the development of tutors’ knowledge and use of SRL teaching strategies to foster SRL learning, self- directed learning and academic success. Recommendations are offered to the Namibian Ministry of Education to improve the infrastructure of ODL centres and to NAMCOL to adapt their curriculum design and tutor training. Further studies should be conducted to explore academic and institutional support for NAMCOL learners.</p> 2019-02-05T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Access and Skill in Using ICT in an Open and Distance Learning Context—Students’ ICT Sophistication 2019-10-09T14:24:57+00:00 Hanlie Liebenberg Dion Hendrik Van Zyl <p>A long-standing focus of research in higher education has been on monitoring the degree of student access to information and communications technology (ICT). Recent debates have moved towards a more nuanced understanding of students’ technological experiences and behaviour. As the world changes, so does higher education and expectations regarding the role of technology within this environment. Universities, which continuously strive to improve teaching and learning, need to accommodate students’ increased use of technology and enhance their proficiency and fluency in accessing and using ICT as these skills are required to succeed in education and in life after graduation. This paper proposes that access to ICT constitutes only one dimension of a more complex and elaborate construct, namely that of ICT sophistication, which concerns students’ level of ICT use, and their experience of and engagement and fluency in ICT. As a basis to evaluate the ICT sophistication of students at the University of South Africa, the researchers drew on the findings of the said university’s surveys conducted in 2011 and 2014. This evaluation also served as a method for segmenting the student body to inform interventions. The results obtained supported findings in the literature that “access” could not be fully understood by drawing a one-dimensional distinction between access and non-access.</p> 2019-10-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Connectivism as a Learning Theory and Its Relation to Open Distance Education 2019-12-20T09:12:11+00:00 Gavin Peter Hendricks <p>This paper focuses on connectivism as a learning theory and its relation to open distance education. Connectivism is presently challenging existing learning theories and is unlike behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, which place learning at the centre of the cognitive development of the learner. Connectivism stresses that learning is located in different networks and the social construction of knowledge makes the learner key in the knowledge creation process. Connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. This is a learning environment where students simply plug into the network and create their own learning. Unlike traditional learning methods and theories like cognitivism (where learning is an active, constructive process), behaviourism (a theory of learning based on the idea that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning) or constructivism (the theory that humans construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences), with connectivism, learning is defined by connections to a network of knowledge that can include any form of interaction. Siemens’ theory of connectivism is based on Web 2.0 technologies. This raises key questions as to whether it can be seen as a learning theory in the context of open distance learning (a delivery mode and teaching and learning approach that focuses on increased access to education and training where barriers caused by time, place and pace of learning are eliminated). Web 2.0 learning in the last decade has impacted on the way we teach in traditional classroom settings and how knowledge is disseminated in an online learning environment. Siemens’ theory of connnectivism is a paradigmatic shift from traditional learning theories to new ways of learning through networks, databases, and Web learning on different virtual learning platforms. This raises questions about the radical discontinuity of traditional knowledge systems as the learner becomes part of the social creation and social construction of knowledge in a virtual learning environment.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2019-12-20T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Preparing Pre-Service Teachers for Inquiry-Based Practical Work in Multiple-Deprived Classrooms: A Decoloniality Approach 2019-10-04T09:29:46+00:00 Maria Tsakeni <p>Amidst debates on decoloniality in higher education and instructional strategies earmarked for the 21st century in science classrooms, this paper argues for the preparation of teachers who have the epistemic capability to be functional in all school contexts. The study adopts a decoloniality approach and Sen’s Capability Approach to explore the link between pre-service science teacher preparation and the practice of inquiry-based practical work (IBPW) in multiple-deprived classrooms. Inquiry-based learning is an impetus of current reforms and curriculum projects in science education. Practical work is also central to science teaching and learning. The integration of inquiry-based learning and practical work results in IBPW instructional strategies. The implementation of the strategies is filtered through school contextual settings such as material resources and teacher professional identities, which are some of the unmet needs in multiple-deprived classrooms. What is subject to debate in this paper is how teacher training programmes prepare pre-service science teachers to effectively implement IBPW under the adverse conditions of multiple-deprived classrooms. Using one university in the Free State province of South Africa as a case study, data were generated by means of two focus group interviews, each with five final-year pre-service teachers, and semi-structured interviews with two lecturers. Theorising on a decoloniality approach for pre-service teacher preparation in IBPW implementation, the study highlights some epistemic and pedagogical issues that create multiple-deprived classrooms and perpetuate non-inclusivity and injustices.</p> 2019-10-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Decolonisation and South African TVET: A Different Missing Middle 2019-10-04T09:35:31+00:00 Alexa Nicole Anthonie <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This paper explores the South African Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in relation to calls for decolonisation that have emanated from higher education institutions (universities) and basic education institutions (schools). Both the public and the academic community have echoed these institutions’ calls for transformation through protests and articles in academic journals and the popular media. Apart from two articles in the popular media the silence on decolonisation and TVET has been deafening. A key phrase during the #FeesMustFall protests was “the missing middle,” referring to those students who were too rich for NSFAS bursaries but too poor to afford university fees. I argue that the TVET sector is a different missing middle in that it is missing from debates about decolonising education in South Africa. Through a document analysis of TVET related legislation, I argue that it is too “high” for basic education and too “low” for higher education. By drawing on Jan Blommaert’s notion of “voice” and Gayatri Spivak’s notion of “the subaltern,” the paper considers why there has been such silence on decolonising the TVET sector. </span></p> 2019-10-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice “You Can’t Solve a Problem Until You Ask the Right Question”: Positioning Afrocentric Learning Communities in the Post #FeesMustFall Context 2019-10-31T11:26:54+00:00 Curwyn Mapaling Ronelle Plaatjes <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Higher education in South Africa is in an era that demands a new lens and theoretical clarity to inform how we grow the collective identity of 21st century African students with a framework that is grounded in the following two questions, “Who am I/are we in this context and how can I/we contribute to the knowledge base in higher education?” Through this paper, we would like to position the conversation by addressing theoretical aspects of a humanising pedagogy, Afrocentricity and Ubuntu, within South African higher education learning communities. We argue in this positional paper that a Relational Centred Framework for Afrocentric Learning Communities will add to the complexity of the search for our African identity, also referred to as African ways of being, in higher education, especially for South African students in the post #FeesMustFall context. </span></p> 2019-10-31T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice Decolonising the Rural-Urban Dichotomy in South Africa: An Asset-Based Approach 2019-12-04T14:01:54+00:00 Bunmi Isaiah Omodan Cias T. Tsotetsi Bekithemba Dube <p>The rural-urban migration syndrome has eaten deep into the fabric of rural development in South Africa, thereby denying rural dwellers equitable access to social and economic amenities and social empowerment. This study, therefore, seeks to emancipate rural communities through an asset-based community development approach by forming university-community synergies for the purpose of decolonising these rural communities. The study attempted to provide a solution to the question of inequalities between rural and urban communities with a focus on how university engagement can be used to enhance community development in QwaQwa/Harismith Township and its environments. The study adopted a participatory action research design and the free attitude interview technique was used to collect data. The research participants consisted of one research assistant and 10 ordinary community members, members of NGOs and community leaders in QwaQwa/Harrismith Township in the Free State province of South Africa. Data collected were analysed through Laws, Harpes and Marcus’s seven-step model. The study revealed that rural dwellers face challenges of inequitable educational facilities and resources, and a lack of security in terms of their lives, properties, and means of travelling. Likewise, the study also showed a lack of access to health facilities in their communities. It was therefore concluded that community engagement through the asset-based approach and decoloniality would enable the university to empower rural dwellers with the freedom to attain their well-being by ensuring an environment that is sufficient and adequate for social investment.</p> 2019-12-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Progressio: South African Journal for Open and Distance Learning Practice