Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

A Model for Evaluating E-Learning Systems Quality in Higher Education in Developing Countries

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

A Model for Evaluating E-Learning Systems Quality in Higher Education in Developing Countries

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

While developed countries have made significant strides toward integrating e-learning platforms in Higher Education (ECAR,2013; Gaebel et.al, 2014; Allen & Seaman, 2015), developing ones have not yet effectively adopted such technologies (Makokha, 2016; Kashorda & Waema, 2014; Ssekakubo,2011; Tarus,2015; Matipa and Brown,2015; Azawei,2016; Makokha,2016; Mayoka,2012; Kisanga, 2016; Raspopovic, 2014; Mtebe;2014b). Studies recognize serious challenges that inhibit the quality integration of e-learning in HEIs (in developing countries (Tarus,2015; Makokha,2016; Chawinga ,2016; Baloyi ,2014a; Muuro, 2014; Baloyi,2014b; Queiros and de Villiers,2016; Chawinga,2016; Arinto,2016;). As such, while considering the benefits of e-learning as a mode of education to enhance and improve the process of teaching and learning, barriers to adopting this technology should also be considered.

Several studies have come up with models and frameworks for e-learning quality evaluation to bridge the quality gap in e-learning provision (Khan, 2004; Omwenga & Rodriguez, 2006; Zhang & Cheng, 2012; Masoumi & Lindstrom, 2012; QM, 2014; Wright, 2014). However, it needs to be investigated as to whether these models and frameworks are suitable for deployment in the context of developing countries. According to Biggs & Tang (2007), quality in higher education can be enhanced by designing courses that have intended learning outcomes aligned with the teaching and learning activities and the assessments, providing context for effective learning and teaching and reviewing the overall performance of an education system on a regular basis.

The study conducts a comprehensive literature review on e-learning systems based in developing countries and obtains six factors that are used as a basis for reviewing the existing e-learning models and frameworks: the P3 Course Evaluation Model (Khan, 2004), PDPP evaluation model (Zhang & Cheng, 2012), E-learning Quality Framework (Masoumi & Lindstrom, 2012), TMLE framework (Omwenga & Rodriguez, 2006) and e-Learning Maturity Model (Marshall, 2006). Finally, a comprehensive e-learning system quality evaluation model that is suitable for developing countries is obtained.

Problem Statement

According to the ECAR (2013) survey, almost all institutions in the world are involved in some forms e-learning, however a study across HEIs in most developing countries have established that the implementation and growth of e-learning has not been successful due to challenges associated with course development, learner support, assessment, intuitional factors, user characteristics and overall performance(Makokha,2016; Chawinga ,2016; Baloyi ,2014a; Queiros and de Villiers,2016; Arinto,2016; Ssekakubo,2011; Matipa and Brown,2015; Azawei,2016 Kisanga, 2016).

Although some studies have proposed frameworks and models of e-learning system quality evaluation (Khan, 2004; Omwenga & Rodriguez, 2006; Zhang & Cheng, 2012; Masoumi & Lindstrom, 2012; QM, 2014; Wright, 2014), their suitability for deployment in developing countries needs to be confirmed. Accordingly, this study proposes to develop a framework for evaluating elearning system quality through adopting and extending the Biggs Framework of quality education. In the process, the study will review existing quality evaluation models and frameworks and come up with a comprehensive e-learning evaluation model that fits the context of developing countries. The model will be validated through a survey of 200 respondents consisting of students, instructors and technicians in JKUAT university in Kenya.

Research Objectives

The following objectives were formulated for the research:

1. Identify the e-learning system dimensions, constructs and indicators that determine the quality of e-learning in developing countries.

2. Use the e-learning system quality determinants as a basis for reviewing the existing elearning models and frameworks of quality for suitability of use in developing countries. …

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