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Implementing Blended Learning at a Developing University: Obstacles in the Way

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Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 12, Number 1, ISSN 1479-4403


Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are striving to provide effective learning experiences to address the needs of the digitally-oriented generation of learners. Blended learning has emerged as a solution to address these needs and has been adopted by various HEIs. However, not all academic staff members adopt blended learning when it is introduced by their institutions. Although this teaching and learning approach offers various advantages to academic staff, negative perceptions held by academic staff may affect its adoption. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the perceptions academic staff have about blended learning and to identify challenges facing academic staff that affected the adoption of blended learning in a Faculty of Education at a developing university in South Africa. The study employed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) developed by Davis (1993) and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) by Rogers (1983: 246-250) in a qualitative exploratory research design. The investigation made use of focus group interviews with lecturers and individual interviews with heads of academic departments, as well as the dean of the Faculty. Data gathered pointed to various perceptions and practical problems hindering academic staff from adopting blended learning. Amongst these were perceptions pertaining to e-learning or blended learning policy, faculty support by management, computer skills of students and lecturers, as well as inadequate access for students to computers. This research is unique in that it applies known knowledge in the new context of a small South African university, which is a developing community. Lessons learned from this study will make a contribution to knowledge in the field of higher education, and will help developing universities to benefit from the research.


Tshabalala, M., Ndeya-Ndereya, C. & van der Merwe, T. (2014). Implementing Blended Learning at a Developing University: Obstacles in the Way. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 12(1), 101-110. Retrieved June 19, 2019 from .

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