Student teachers’ experiences of the emergency transition to online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown at a South African university

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v39.i3.4

Keywords:

COVID-19; online learning; Technology Acceptance Model (TAM); South African University

Abstract

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about an abrupt transition from face-to-face to online learning, which caught higher education institutions off guard. Universities had to scramble for solutions to ensure that learning was not disrupted and there was adequate technological infrastructure to conduct classes online; that academics were capacitated to conduct virtual teaching and that students had access to the necessary technology and internet connectivity. To understand this move, this study explored student teachers’ experiences of the emergency transition to online learning during the COVID-19 lockdown at a South African university. The study was underpinned by the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and adopted a qualitative research design, generating data from ten fourth-year student teachers using a Zoom focus group discussion and analysing the data using an inductive thematic framework. The discussion focused on the students’ views on digital equity and access to technology; the teaching and learning modalities they were exposed to; their proficiency with the technology and training received; assessment as well as views on the learning management system (LMS, which is Moodle in this case). The study found that among the issues that universities had to deal with were the digital divide; constrained pedagogical approaches; inadequate proficiency in the use of the learning management system; the fact that the quality and integrity of assessment were somewhat compromised as well as students’ unfavourable living conditions which make learning from home difficult.

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Author Biography

Nontobeko Prudence Khumalo, University of Zululand, South Africa

Nontobeko Prudence Khumalo is currently a lecturer at University of Zululand (UNIZULU) in the Department of Arts and Languages teaching both the undergraduate (B. Ed) and postgraduate students (PGCE). She has occupied different positions ranging from coordinating the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education funded Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) both from the Provincial and the University side. She has recently, received positive feedback from External examiners regarding her Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instructional studies which she was doing through UNISA. She has co-authored two peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter. She has also presented at several local conferences. She serves in many committees, including, Programme Design, Teaching and Learning as well as Community Engagement.  Her research interests are teacher education, assessment in education, academic literacy, curriculum studies, and online learning.

Published

2021-09-16

How to Cite

Maphalala, M. C., Khumalo, N. P., & Khumalo, N. P. (2021). Student teachers’ experiences of the emergency transition to online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown at a South African university. Perspectives in Education, 39(3), 30-43. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v39.i3.4

Issue

Section

Research articles

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