Vol. 37 No. 2 (2022): Innovating Every Day: Moving Beyond COVID-19
Research Articles

Professional development of academics for the implementation of online learning in African open and distance teaching institutions

Mpho-Entle Modise
University of South Africa
Olaf Zawacki-Richter
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

Published 2023-02-08

How to Cite

Modise, M., & Zawacki-Richter , O. (2023). Professional development of academics for the implementation of online learning in African open and distance teaching institutions. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 37(2). https://doi.org/10.55667/ijede.2022.v37.i2.1256


E-learning has been recognized as the vehicle with the highest potential to improve education systems in African countries if implemented well. However, the sought after improvements are yet to be realized owing to the increasing failure of e-learning initiatives. This study investigated how academics were prepared for online teaching and learning at open and distance education (ODE) institutions in South Africa and Nigeria, where two of Africa's largest ODE institutions are located. Twenty participants from both institutions were selected to participate in the study. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were used to collect data, and a thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Consistent with previous research, the findings of this study showed higher education institutions (HEIs) in Africa did not properly plan and manage their e-learning implementation projects. A lack of proper understanding of online learning and appropriate digital skills were the main reasons for reported failures of e-learning initiatives in these contexts. Consequently, this study positioned the professional development of academics as integral to e-learning innovation in higher education. The results of this study may resonate with other types of educational institutions, and the lessons documented may be valuable and helpful to other cases in similar situations. The development of needs-based and timely training interventions is recommended.

Keywords: academic professional development, digital transformation, e-learning readiness, ODeL, online teaching, TPACK

Développement professionnel des universitaires

pour le déploiement de la formation en ligne dans

les établissements africains d'enseignement

ouvert et à distance

Dr. Mpho-Entle Puleng Modise & Professor Olaf Zawacki-Richter

Résumé : La formation en ligne a été reconnue comme le moyen ayant le plus grand potentiel pour améliorer les systèmes éducatifs des pays africains si elle est bien mise en œuvre. Cependant, les progrès escomptés ne sont pas encore réalisés en raison de l'échec croissant des initiatives de formation en ligne. Cette étude a examiné la manière dont les universitaires ont été préparés à l'enseignement et à l'apprentissage en ligne dans les établissements de formation ouverte à distance (FOAD) d'Afrique du Sud et du Nigeria, où se trouvent deux des plus grands établissements de FOAD d'Afrique. Vingt participants des deux institutions ont été sélectionnés pour participer à l'étude. Des entretiens qualitatifs semi-directifs ont été réalisés pour collecter les données, et une analyse thématique a été utilisée pour analyser les données. En cohérence avec les recherches précédentes, les résultats de cette étude ont montré que les établissements d'enseignement supérieur en Afrique n'ont pas adéquatement planifié et géré leurs projets de mise en œuvre de la formation en ligne. Le manque de compréhension de la formation en ligne et des compétences numériques appropriées sont les principales raisons des échecs signalés concernant les projets de formation en ligne mis en place dans ces contextes. Par conséquent, cette étude a positionné le développement professionnel des universitaires comme faisant partie intégrante de l'innovation en matière d'e-learning dans l'enseignement supérieur. Les résultats de cette étude peuvent trouver écho dans d'autres types d'établissements d'enseignement, et les leçons tirées peuvent être intéressantes et utiles pour d'autres instances dans des situations similaires. Le développement d'interventions de formation fondées sur les besoins et moments opportuns est recommandé.

Mots-clés : développement professionnel universitaire, transformation numérique, préparation à la formation en ligne, FOAD, enseignement en ligne, TPACK


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