E-learning initiatives are expanding in the African countries and more and more universities and colleges are showing interest in this, welcoming the technological advancements to be a part of higher education courses. The influx of nontraditional ways of learning has brought about leverages in terms of access to course resources, time, geographical location, commuting, accommodation and much more.
Institutions have different approaches to adopt the e-learning methods and to deliver the services. Some institutions provide the e-learning services through central IT and others manage it for different departments. There are institutions that have a mixed approach in providing e-learning services to some courses they offer.
Below are two Kenyan universities that have instilled digital resources as a part of their curriculum:
Kenyatta University’s Digital School
As they call it, The Anywhere School, is an initiative to bring about change in the teaching-learning methods through the use of modern technology. The program focuses in providing higher education opportunities to those who are into full-time/part-time employment or have family obligations, due to which they are unable to pursue full-time on-campus programs. This initiative has brought about a revolution in the field of higher education in Kenya by providing ways to
CUEA’s Online and Distance e-Learning (ODeL)
Catholic University of Eastern Africa has also introduced Online and Distance e-Learning program to support the cause of access to higher education to all. This program aims at providing full-time degrees to students while they study anywhere and anytime.
Here are some benefits of the e-learning modules and mobile devices in higher education in Kenya:
Access to higher education is a great challenge in Kenya and other African countries. Introduction of programs like the Digital School and ODeL will make higher education accessible to even those who live in remote areas and find it difficult to pursue a full-time on-campus course. The students will be equipped with digital resources that will make the learning materials available to them even from remote places.
Use of mobile devices and digital learning will also reduce the need to commute long distance to pursue higher education courses. Because of geographical constraints, many students do not get the opportunity to enroll into higher education.
Costs of accommodation
Over and above the education costs, students spend a huge sum towards accommodation costs. As higher educational institutions are not accessible to many remote areas, it becomes a necessity for students to spend extra on accommodation. With the introduction of online distance learning programs, students have the option to get full-time degrees and diplomas by studying online, making the learning materials available on mobile devices.
Students also benefit from other factors like scheduling and access to course materials. Mobile devices like tablets, laptops and smartphones allow students to study at their convenience of time. They also have access to the course materials on their devices, which facilitates access to it anytime and anywhere.
mElimu, a company with the vision to digitize higher education in Kenya, has successfully helped a few universities to infuse e-learning methods into their course offerings.