Covid-19 pandemic: A necessary catalyst for e-learning adoption and application




The Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt, adversely affecting almost every sector including the post school education and training (PSET) sector. The South African PSET sector is no exception. The academic enterprise was abruptly disrupted and led to a serious loss of teaching and learning time as the government passed new regulations discouraging movement and physical meetings of people. The state of disaster regulations and lockdown directives pronounced during March 2020 by the South African government presented an unprecedented way of operating since the formation of many higher education institutions (HEIs). This study assesses the state of e-learning before and after the first six weeks of lockdown regulations in two HEIs, using a theoretical framework of e-learning system readiness assessment and a participatory research approach. The study reveals a state of under-preparedness by HEIs to operate under the lockdown regulations, due to the adopted blended learning policy implementation gap. Based on these findings, the study concludes with an argument that the Covid-19 pandemic presented a great opportunity for HEIs not only to adopt e-learning at the policy level but also to adapt to the new e-learning methods and practices and thus prepare universities for times of uncertainty.






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