Developing a pedagogical framework for blended distance learning at the National University of Lesotho

Mokenela, P.J., 2019. Developing a pedagogical framework for blended distance learning at the National University of Lesotho. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Amid the global enthusiasm for adoption and implementation of blended learning, innovations in higher learning institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries are reported as less successful and unsustainable. The identified challenges include, among others, the limited Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, inadequate policies, adoption of blended learning models not suited to educational contexts, and innovations that are not aligned to the institutional goals. This action research (AR) adapted Graham, Woodfield and Harrison’s (2013) framework for institutional adoption and implementation of blended learning to design and develop a contextually-relevant adoption strategy for Open and Distance Learning programmes of the National University of Lesotho (NUL). Using the qualitative and quantitative research instruments in this parallel convergent mixed methods research design, participants were selected from the key ICT and education stakeholders in Lesotho to explore the existing national and institutional ICT strategy, structure, support and technology experiences of the tutors and learners. The samples respondents were selected at the national level (5), at the secondary schools (3), the members of the NUL Management Team (3), the NUL senior administrators (3), the NUL IT specialists (2), 30 tutors and 209 learners across the three AR research cycles of this study. Given the identified challenges of inadequate ICT strategy, structure, support as well as technology experiences of the tutors and learners, this study concluded that a contextually-relevant blended distance learning model for NUL should comprise face-to-face, print-based and online instruction. The key contributions to the new knowledge derived from this research include an adapted blended learning adoption framework (Graham, Woodfield, and Harrison, 2013) which adds the tutors and learners to the markers of progress in the transition from the traditional pedagogy to a technology-based pedagogy and a methodological approach which incorporates Piggot-Irvine's (2002) spin-off cycles into Elliott's (1991) action research model for a deeper understanding of the researched educational context. The study recommends the ICT and education policy development or review at the national and the institutional levels in Lesotho and other developing countries as well as a further exploration of the frameworks proposed in this study.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Mokenela, P.J.
Date: December 2019
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Apr 2020 13:56
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2020 13:56

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