DHASA2017 – Abstract

Technological literacy of lecturers at University of Namibia and Zambian Open University

Mpolomoka, Daniel L.1; Mosha, Martha2
Zambian Open University1,
University of Namibia2

This paper is informed by findings of a study aimed at establishing the technological literacy of lecturers at University of Namibia (UNAM) and Zambian Open University (ZAOU). Today, there is increasing support for technology education and technology integration in the curricula of institutions of higher learning in Namibia and Zambia alike. This is due to the benefits of blended learning, which include easy course management, communication with students, easy assessment submission and grading, easy maintenance of the grade book, and continuous learning within and outside the traditional classroom. This kind of education propels the design and implementation of education learning management systems like Moodle, which apparently both universities run. It blends with digital humanities in that it seeks new and integrative modes of knowledge, allows for engagement teaching and learning, supports the creation of ePortfolios. In due course, this enables research collaboration and lead to publications. Students are often blamed for struggling to migrate to the Moodle platform, with many systematic technology integration bridging lessons offered. One wonders whether it is the students or lecturers who delay the migration to the Moodle platform. Previous research work dealing with students’ acceptance of Moodle at the UNAM proves that the students are more than keen to be taught in a blended way as they recognise the benefits and find Moodle to be highly intuitive. The sole objective of this study was to examine technological literacy capacities of lecturers at University of Namibia and Zambian Open University. A descriptive survey research design was used in the study as it helped provide holistic insights into participants’ views and actions. Deans, lecturers, assistant lecturers, tutors, and computer support staff were sampled purposively. Data was collected using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Descriptive data analysis method was used to analyse data. Preliminary findings indicate that both UNAM and ZAOU have bridging technology lessons for lecturers to help them use computers, projectors, social media network platforms (WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook), e-mail, outlook, and the Moodle platform with its associated plug-ins. The response from lecturers at ZAOU is uncommitted, lacking engagement and force. Preliminary findings also reveal that both UNAM and ZAOU have well-planned, web-based resources for lecturers and support staff to use with students; and have coherent approaches to sustain this initiative across the institutions’ faculties. The study recommends that institutions of higher learning should build a strategic approach to enhance lecturers technological literacy tied to their appraisal and renewal of contracts.