http://www.sjpub.org/sjsa.html © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Research Article
Published By Science Journal Publication
International Open Access Publisher
Volume 2012, Article ID sjsa-289, 7 Pages, 2012. doi: 10.7237/sjsa/289
Moodle Adoption at the University of Zambia: Opportunities and Challenges Pilate Chewe (Mr.)
Acquisitions Librarian University of Zambia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eness M. Miyanda Chitumbo (Mrs.)
Serials Librarian University of Zambia Email: email@example.com Accepted 23�� September, 2012
Using the Internet to enhance e-learning has become a trend in modern higher education institutes. E-learning systems are increasingly becoming an important part of the strategy for delivering online and flexible elearning. The main advantage of e-learning is the opportunity for students to interact electronically with each other and their teachers during forums, on discussion boards, by e-mail and in chat rooms. Though recognizing that the world at large will continue to use terminology in different and often ambiguous ways, the term e-learning is used to refer to the on-line interactions of a variety of kinds that take place between learners and instructors. This study set out to understand the potentials and challenges of adopting Moodle e-learning software at the University of Zambia (UNZA). Specific objectives were to establish awareness and usage levels of Moodle, potential benefits and challenges and possible adoption strategies. Results indicated that majority of UNZA community were not aware of Moodle's existence and thus did not use it. It was however, established that despite people not knowing of Moodle's existence, a larger population was willing to support its adoption. The study also revealed that UNZA has the capacity to effectively implement Moodle due to the availability of skilled manpower, ICT facilities such as Internet/intranet connectivity and infrastructure. The research further established various strategies that would lead to a successful adoption process such as (1) train lecturers first so that they could in turn train their students (2) conduct campus-wide sensitization campaigns through workshops and (3) implement Moodle in stages.
larger community gave the university an advantage in achieving its objectives. 1.2 Moodle e-Learning Software The word Moodle (http://moodle.org/) is an acronym for modular object- oriented dynamic learning environment, Moodle is an enormously versatile system for course and learning management. Moodle development started as doctoral research by an Australian, Martin Dougiamas. Today, Moodle has attracted a long list of developers devoted to Moodle improvements. Moodle is free source e-learning software provided, maintained, and continually improved through the Open Source software development model. Since its first development in 1999, Moodle has continued to evolve in terms of accessibility and flexibility. This is because its features can easily be customized according to user suitability and need. In higher education, Moodle's reputation stems from the academic community's values of freedom, peer review, and knowledge sharing. Supporters say that Moodle helps educators create an effective collaborative online-learning community using sound pedagogical principles at a low cost. You can easily and quickly install it, it can scale up to accommodate a large user base, and it provides typical LMS features present in most similar commercial products. Moodle updates are common, the development community is very supportive, and its universal use is providing reliable learning solutions. Moodle can provide different collaborative learning activities such as assignments, forums, Wikis, Blogs, quizzes, tracking, etc. Nonetheless, the introduction process of such software in any traditional learning institution is inherent with challenges and problems such as...