Advantages and disadvantages of eLearning in primary and secondary schools in the context of developing countries
Temitope, Obafemi Samson
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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are ubiquitous nowadays, and there are many situations where they are overall perceived either as advantageous or as disadvantageous; but there are other situations where it is unknown whether they are overall advantageous or disadvantageous. For example, ICTs are perceived as advantageous for communication, but texting during driving is perceived as worse than drinking while driving. Concerning for example eLearning which is the use of ICTs in education, the fact that it has not yet eliminated the problem of poor academic performance raises the question as to whether ICTs are advantageous or not in education especially when one considers their high cost. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the perceptions of educators on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning. This aim will be subdivided into three types of research objectives: (a) to select from existing literature suitable theories that can be applied to the examination of educators’ perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning; (b) to design a model of the factors affecting educators’ perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning; (c) to empirically test the above announced model; (d) to propose recommendations on how to optimize the impact of eLearning. Objectives a, b, and d were accomplished through the review of existing appropriate literature on teaching and learning, and on eLearning; but objective c was met through a survey of 65 educators of Camperdown town schools in the Pinetown district of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The outcomes of these four objectives are as follows: (a) Constructivism, Progressivism, and Self-regulated learning can be used as suitable theories applicable to the examination of educators perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning; (b) It makes sense to hypothesize that educators perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning are affected by their demographics and by their adherence to learning theories; (c) Empirical test conducted by this study confirm that educators perceptions on the advantages and disadvantages of eLearning are affected by their adherence to constructivism and to progressivism; (d) It can be concluded that the impact of the use of ICTs on teaching and learning will be optimized through the deployment of constructivist and progressivist educators as champions of eLearning projects in schools.