The Use of Technology to Overcome Transitional Challenges of First Year Students from Face-to-Face to Online

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: The Use of Technology to Overcome Transitional Challenges of First Year Students from Face-to-Face to Online
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Munienge Mbodila, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa


Universities around the world and South Africa, in particular, have been involuntarily forced to transit from face-to-face to online learning and teaching as a result of the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Online learning and teaching are classified as the use of digital technology to deliver tuition in synchronous mode, meaning allowing live interaction between the teacher and the learners or asynchronous mode which is basically delaying the time of delivery between teacher and learners. However, numerous challenges hinder First-Year Students in transiting to the online platform to realise the full potential of e-learning, especially those from disadvantaged schools background considered as under-prepared, educationally underprivileged and had little or no access and skills to technology usage prior to their enrolment at the university. This paper, introduced a module called First Experience Computer Literacy (FeCOL) to facilitate students transition from face-to-face to online platforms at the university. The main objective of this study was to provide students with basic training skills needed in terms of technology-related use to enable them to engage and participate effectively in the online platform. Data were collected among a group of first-year students in the department of information technology systems in one rural institution in South Africa. The results show that the majority of learners have not used computers or had experience with technologies for teaching and learning in their previous schools. However, learners showed interest in basic IT training in terms of hardware functionality and software application for their learning.

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