The experiences of high school English Home Language educators in preparing and delivering e- learning lessons to General Education and Training (GET) learners: a qualitative study.
Gibson, Rozanne Tracey.
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The ever-evolving role of the educator has seen educators being encouraged to adopt a more learner-centred approach within the classroom. In addition to this, numerous policies regarding education have been issued by the Department of Basic Education (DoBE), which have resulted in many educators feeling pressurised. Furthermore, there has been a recent shift towards the integration of electronic learning (e-learning) tools within the classroom which has resulted in educators needing to develop a technological skill set. This research explored the experiences of high school English Home Language educators in preparing and delivering e-learning lessons, with a focus on the Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, to learners within the South African General Education and Training (GET) phase of education. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and the Technology Acceptance Model 2 (TAM 2) were used in order to conceptualise and guide the study. Data was collected, through semi-structured interviews, from a sample of six English Home Language educators. The data was then analysed using thematic analysis. The research findings revealed that all participants saw great value in a blended approach to teaching; however, their perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of e-learning tools depended on both external and internal processes which shaped their experiences regarding the preparation and delivery of e-learning lessons. All educators in the study reported negative and positive experiences with regard to e-learning. Positive experiences included that e-learning allows for information to be saved and modified, improves familiarity with electronic tools and content matter, results in increased learner involvement and allows for increased interactions between the educator and learners. Negative experiences pertained to difficulties in acquiring the necessary technological skill set, the preparation of e-learning lessons as initially time-consuming, a sense that many learners lacked self-control when using technology in educational contexts and frequent connectivity issues. The findings in this research provides insight into English Home Language educators’ experiences of preparing and delivering e-learning lessons within the GET phase along with what determines an educators’ perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness regarding e-learning. The findings could also be used to inform educators about what might be involved in adopting an e-learning approach to their teaching or to realise that their experiences are similar to those of other educators. The findings may even encourage educators or school management teams to develop e-learning strategies in order to deliver effective lessons and improve their learners’ understanding of concepts taught. Finally, this research could potentially assist in guiding school policies and practices with regard to e-learning.