A policy analysis of e-learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Policy analysis is a tool used by policy analysts to understand the complexity of policy. Different analysts use diverse models of policy analysis but they seldom agree on the model that is the most ideal for analysing policy. This study is geared towards a policy analysis of e-learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Using both quantitative and qualitative data, the study showed that the implementation of e-learning at UKZN has various characteristics that cannot be explained exhaustively within the framework of a single model of policy analysis. In the absence of an institutional e-learning policy framework, various actors and subsystems are actively implementing e-learning at UKZN. This negates the stagist model of policy analysis, according to which, policy is made up of logical and sequential stages with one stage – e.g. policy formulation – preceding the other – e.g. implementation. This is clearly not the case at UKZN where e-learning is being implemented in the absence of a formal policy framework. Due to the high ambiguity and low conflict that characterize the implementation of e-learning at UKZN, the study found that e-learning at UKZN could be situated within Matland’s ambiguity/conflict model. The need to contextualise e-learning is a key concern expressed by participants in the study. The study also found that the willingness to implement e-learning is significantly high with 84.6% of those surveyed expressing a willingness to implement e-learning. Similarly, more than half of respondents are of the view that UKZN needs to develop an e-learning policy framework. This approach fits into the incremental model according to which policy formulation is gradual and it is informed by the learning that emerges from implementation.