The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa

Reflections is about looking back and moving forward

In my many reflections, I have found myself looking back. In the looking back, am always very inquisitive. Asking the sort of questions that am unlikely to get answers, and even where I get the answers, am not sure of what to do with the answers. But, with time, I have learnt the most important part of reflections is moving foward. From the point where one possed to do the reflections, moving into the future.

Reflections in daily living always come when something have gone wrong. Rarely do we, as human beings, stop and reflect if everything moves smoothly or we expect it to. And therefore, as usual, my reflections is of two eLearning projects that I have worked on this year that to me have failed. I will report on one that has bothered me todate. It was on eLearning facilitation.

The eLearning course was for participants in Africa – working mainly in NGOs. It was only offered online. The reasons I documented for its failure are (with the actual feedback I got from some of the participants):

Lack of sufficient IT Skills

  • “I have been trying to open and watch the video on xxx in Module 2. I have been trying for along time it cannot open”
  • “Thanks again this is my yahoo mail xxxxxxx@rocketmail.com but i’m still learning how the chart part stands so you can continue to help me understand how it works then”.(rocketmail.com is not yahoo or ymail.com)
  • “I am sorry that I have not progressed very well in the course. I had changed the password as advised. I found that I could not login with the new password. Yesterday I spent a lot of time trying to rectify this problem. I have finally been given another password by the administrator. I tried to login with the new given password I still cannot login.”

Lack of Internet Connectivity

  • “Thank you James for the follow up I have had problems with our internet for the past week”
  • “Indeed one rested well, however I am having challenges in getting thru, you can skype [me] on xxxxxx”

Lack of time to commit to the course

  • “Thank you James for the follow up I have had problems with our internet for the past week but before that week I was doing training for the rest of the days otherwise am back to the office”.
  • “Thanks for the message and the new option for the next chat. It is of great dismay to reveal that I will not be available for both chat sessions as per your proposal. I will be facilitating in a cooperative meeting in one of the rural communities here in [my country]”.
  • “Dear James  …I am well, but busy with outreach courses that I teach. I will come to the office and finish all my pending assignments”.
  • One of the participants’ email addresses always had an “out of office” auto-responder.

My reflection questions were, what if all the participants in the course had the skills and access to resources required, would it have had an impact? What if they did not have the time but had all the resources and skills? What is a best match of skills and other requirements for an online learner?

Introduction to FLOSS for Business

This week I attended the Advanced African FOSS Business Models in Maputo, Mozambique as a Facilitator. The workshop was taking place at the Eduardo Mondlane Univesity (UEM). Here is my presentation Free and Open Source Software for Business: An Introduction View more presentations from James Kariuki. Feel free to comment, add, use modify the presentation

Taking Time to Teach and Learn

Today I stumbled upon one of my fanatical blog followers who lamented that there is no new post for a while. True. This space has had no activity for sometimes but soon vibrancy will resonate (politically speaking). I have been facilitating a big class on Information Systems Implementation that has occupied most of my time. […]

Commandments of religious blogging

I thought that church leaders issuance of “ten commandments of religious blogging” was a bit hilarious. But I guess they were timely given the nature of content that is being spawned on the Internet. Hope this is another stub at co-creation woes. What would be the “ten commandments of educational blogging?”

Co-creation: Selecting Wheat from Tares

I am not sure if the people who are alarmed or sending warning on the future of the internet can be labeled as pessimists, or they are just timorous of the potential of the web. The BBC online today reports of one Sir Tim Berners-Lee worries about the spread and propagation of misinformation on the […]

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