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"Strategies for Teaching Online Courses within the Sub-Saharan African Context:An Instructor's Recommendation" icon

Strategies for Teaching Online Courses within the Sub-Saharan African Context:An Instructor's Recommendation

To understand better the challenges of implementing online learning in developing countries, the authors studied two consecutive iterations of an online course at a private university in Ghana during the in 2007- 2008 academic year. Study participants were undergraduate pre-service teachers, and the course - Pedagogical Aspects of ICT - which hitherto had been delivered as a classroom-based lecture, was redesigned and delivered online by the instructors who also served as the researchers. This served the dual purpose of introducing the students to collaborative online learning, and providing the setting for this empirical study. Working within Africa's peculiar context of limited and unreliable technology infrastructure, and with students who preferred the traditional instructor-led approach to student-centered self-directed learning, several issues and challenges came to light. The lessons learnt, instructional strategies adopted, as well as the perspectives that the students shared in their formative and summative evaluations of the course, form the basis of a set of recommendations outlined in this paper. These recommendations therefore mainly relate to strategies that may be relevant to instructors who wish to foster young students' engagement and participation in learner-centered collaborative online learning activities within the context of limited technology infrastructure as pertains in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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