oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Exploring the use of WebCT6 to provide Online HIV/AIDS related voluntary counselling and care at the Durban University of Technology
This paper explores the viability of offering an entry level HIV/AIDS related online counselling service in terms of design, utility and technological resources at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It examines the possibility of adapting learning management software viz. Blackboard/WebCT6 to facilitate online counselling that assures confidentiality and anonymity to staff and students at DUT. As a feasibility study, the findings have added credibility to the idea that providing a private discussion space with a qualified online counsellor, could contribute towards transformation and behaviour change with regard to sexual behaviour patterns amongst the staff and students at DUT. The need for privacy and convenience in requesting assistance on HIV/AIDS related concerns that are difficult to share in public for fear of rejection and stigma has been reiterated. An online counselling service that would address this need seems worth the investment in human and technological resources particularly when confronted by the enormity of the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on higher education institutions.
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