Elearning

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Implementation of e-Learning in Ghanaian Tertiary Institutions (A Case Study of KNUST) John Serbe Marfo University Information Technology Services Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana serbemarfo@knust.edu.gh Robert Kabutey Okine University Information Technology Services Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana rkabutey@knust.edu.gh

Abstract This study explores the implementation of e-learning in Ghanaian tertiary institutions with KNUST as a case study. The objectives of the study examined the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning to KNUST, the various types of e-learning systems considered by KNUST, the ‘Moodle’ E-learning system adopted by KNUST, the strategies involved in the e-learning system, the challenges faced by KNUST in the implementation of its elearning system along with possible solutions and finally a recommendation on critical issues to be considered for the effective implementation of the e-learning system. A descriptive study with a cross-sectional design was done. For tertiary institutions in Ghana, recommendations were made for them to adopt e-learning to augment and highly impact teaching and learning given the ever-increasing enrolment figures. It was also recommended that they chose an e-learning system which blends open source system and course management system such as Moodle due to cost, features, specifications, support and mode of course management 1. Introduction

E-learning (or online education as it is still commonly termed) has been variously defined, but can be simply described as a learning process in which learners can communicate with their instructors and their peers, and access learning materials, over the internet or other computer networks (Curran, 2004). It therefore provides a means through which the powerful and pervasive computing and communications technologies can be applied to tertiary education – and to some of the key challenges now facing universities. According to a report by Ambient Insight, The global market for e-learning reached US$27.1 billion in 2009 and its demand is growing by a fiveyear compound annual growth rate of 12.8% with revenues expected to reach $49.6 billion by 2014. E-Learning has become the protagonist for change in the education sector with the rising numbers in student enrolments and the masses of potential students that are turned away each year for lack of classrooms, accommodation and lecturers. Today lecturers are facing different challenges than their predecessors in teaching tomorrow’s professional. In the past few decades, advances in academia have increased demands on academic faculty, resulting in less time for teaching than has previously been the case. Traditional instructor centred teaching is yielding to a learner centred model that puts learners in control of their own learning. A recent shift toward competency-based curricula emphasizes the learning outcome, not the process, of education. E-learning refers to the use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad array of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance (Mushin, 2008). E-learning can be used by lecturers to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of

educational interventions in the face of the social, scientific, and pedagogical challenges. It has gained popularity in the past decade; however, its use is highly variable among universities. E-Learning has the potential to transform Ghanaian universities. E-learning is increasingly gaining universal acceptance as a viable means of enabling large numbers of students to access education. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana realising the enormous potential of e-learning as against the university’s ever increasing student population has chosen to adopt e-learning as platform to transform KNUST into a modern citadel of academic knowledge in all spheres of science, humanities, business and more. While technology has...
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