South African teachers' engagement in Teach Online: A case study about short course design




Collaborative cognitive load theory, Course design, In-service teacher development, Online learning, Online teaching, Technological pedagogical and content knowledge


The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of online learning. However, particularly in developing world contexts, its feasibility, as well as context-appropriate design features of online courses, are unclear. This study seeks to contribute to this gap by exploring the engagement of a cohort of 50 South African teachers in an 80-hour short learning programme (SLP). This SLP was aimed at developing pedagogical and technological knowledge, for online teaching, of teachers with moderate to advanced computer literacy. The four categories of student engagement, identified by Handelsman, (2005) as valid predictors of student achievement, were used as a framework to guide data collection and analysis. The research is guided by research questions regarding levels of engagement across the SLP and design elements which affected engagement. Data were collected regarding numbers of participants engaging in the various activities across the duration of the SLP. Additionally, some of the participants agreed to answer an anonymous questionnaire with Likert-scale items regarding engagement levels and open-ended items regarding their experiences with the SLP. Content analysis was performed on each of these data sources. The findings show high rates of attrition, with high engagement levels for those who managed to complete the SLP successfully. Insights regarding design elements experienced as positive and negative are discussed, as well as suggestions for improvement.


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How to Cite

Stott, A. (2022). South African teachers’ engagement in Teach Online: A case study about short course design. Perspectives in Education, 40(1), 268-287.