Readiness to adopt e-learning: pioneering a course in school librarianship education

31 Jan 2013

E-learning has come of age in South African higher education but scepticism, caution and an inadequate reward system for innovative teaching methods have resulted in a slow uptake by academics. Within this milieu the author pioneered a course in the ACE School Librarianship programme. The study describes the e-learning experiences of the course participants gleaned from questionnaire responses to questions related to experiences of ICTs, the Internet and online learning, ability to navigate the e-learning environment, utilization of elements of the learning management system and implementation of course ideas in their respective schools and personal lives. The study also provides an opportunity for the author to reflect on her pioneering experiences with e-learning and how she would approach it differently next time. The main lessons learned were that 1) the e-learning environment is not necessarily intuitive and participants need opportunities to digest novel features such as the discussion forum; 2) several of the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning that appear in the research literature are identified in this study; and 3) setting up an e-learning course is best achieved incrementally.