The Facilitation and Support of a Blended e-Learning Course for Science Educators in a Rural Setting, South Africa
Keywords:blended- learning, self-directed learning, professional development, facilitation and online support
This paper presents the findings of both qualitative and quantitative case study research of the implementation of a blended eLearning course for Science educators in the Eastern Cape, Mthatha. The Centre for Innovative Educational and Communication Technologies (CIECT) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) designed and developed a course, namely: â€œDesigning an Instructional Eventâ€, registered with the South African Quality Authority (SAQA) at a National Qualification Framework (NQF), Level 6. This course was offered in collaboration with the Education Faculty, for the Bachelor of Education (Honours) (BEd Hons) Programme; specifically Science Education. The researchers highlight the importance of the provision of extensive facilitation and support by the CIECT team, in order to motivate the educators (full-time working professionals) to become self-directed learners. In this case, the educators were expected to complete activities; and design an online environment to enhance their Science instruction. Considerable challenges were faced by the facilitators and educators due to limited infrastructure; and a lack of commitment by some participants to commit to the completion of tasks.
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