THE USE OF PARTICIPATORY TECHNOLOGIES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY OF TWO INSTITUTIONS
Mwiinga, Thabiso, Mayaba
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Participatory technologies offer great opportunities for teaching and learning.As a result, learning institutions are increasingly using various interactive technologies such as learning management systems (LMS). This study was conducted to investigate the use of participatory technologies in education at the University of Sheffield and the University of Zambia (UNZA). The study employed mixed methods and case study design to help address the objectives. Data collection involved use ofquestionnaires,an interview guide and analysis of official documents. Participants included five lecturers from the University of Sheffield, School of Information (iSchool) and another five from UNZA department of Library studies. The participants were selected using purposive and convenience sampling procedures.Findings show that educators are using technologies in teaching and learning and perceive technologies as essential in enhancing interactive learning. Popularly used educational technologies are LMS (e.g. Blackboard and Moodle), Blogs, Video-sharing (e.g. YouTube), social networking sites (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), and Wikis. Results also revealed that lecturers use participatory technologies for purposes including transfer of course information, clarifying and applying course concepts; collaboration and exchange of ideas, and assessment and grading purposes. Regarding challenges faced in using participatory technologies, the study revealed unequal access to high speed technologies (e.g. smart phones and tablets) by students, inadequate ICT facilities, time constraints, lack of training for lecturers and lack of institutional support. In conclusion, the study established that various educational technologies are being used for educational purposes. However, effective use is hampered by various challenges. To make the most of participatory technologies in higher education, we recommend adoptionof interactive pedagogies, invest in adequate ICT facilities and provide consistent training and support to lecturers.
Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities (AFTRA), international journal of teaching and learning in Africa