n Progressio - Exploring the e-learning experiences of academic staff at a South African University - research

Volume 40 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0256-8853



While there is evidence of a burgeoning research output on academic staff’s e-learning acceptance and usage in universities, there is a paucity of studies that seek to understand the South African experience. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of academic staff with the uptake and use of e-learning innovations in teaching and learning in the context of a university in South Africa. Theoretically, the study was underpinned by activity theory. The study was qualitative in nature and an exploratory single case study design was employed. The participants comprised six purposively selected academic staff at a South African university. In the study, we used semi-structured interviews to gather the data required to answer the research questions. We analysed data using an inductive thematic framework following Braun and Clarke’s (2006) approach. The following themes emerged from the analysis: challenges with technology infrastructure and internet accessibility on campus, technical support for students and staff, staff development and training, difficulty in creating e-learning content, and challenges with non-resident students. Based on the findings we recommend an increased interactive and context-dependent e-learning support system for academic staff. In addition, to accelerate the acceptance and effective use of e-learning technologies there is a need for collaborative and peer-oriented activities that develop the knowledge of academic staff.

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