oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Andragogy : a theoretical overview on learning theories that impact on benchmarking blended learning at the Central Univerity of Technology, Free State
Blended learning has shown enormous growth worldwide during the last decade. Blended learning initiatives expanded rapidly, as technological improvement and a greater demand from learners arose as a result of the need for life-long learning and changing demands in the world of work. Many higher education institutions use blended learning as an alternative for or additional to conventional face-to-face education. The changing needs of learners, and especially adults, forced institutions to upgrade their traditional courses and increasingly make use of technologically enhanced courses. <br>The research problem encompasses the fact that the growth of blended learning poses many problems to higher education institutions, as the delivery by means of technology is complex. Many higher learning institutions were not prepared adequately to deliver education by using blended learning and did not have the required systems in place. The greatest concern was that staff was not familiar with the technology or its use and that the particular demands of staff arrangements to engage in blended learning programs were not taken into account. It appears that institutions did not plan or have systems and guidelines in place to implement programs at a distance using blended learning technology. Another concern was that most of the programs held traditional approaches and has not been adapted to suit the particular characteristics and needs of distance education by taking the planning, development and review of such programs into consideration. As part of ongoing research at the Central University of Technology, Free State appropriate research had to be undertaken. Consequently the following research question emanated from the research problem: <br>Within the context of higher education in South Africa, what framework underpinned by andragogy, national education policies and blended learning theory, will benchmark and support the implementation of blended learning at the Central University of Technology, Free State.
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