|dc.description.abstract||The University of Zambia introduced blended learning in various programmes under the Graduate School of Business in 2015. These programmes were scheduled to run for 18 months with students choosing to be either on Blended Learning or 100% Online Learning. The programme has however had challenges from inception which has seen the first four intakes going beyond the advertised 18 months. The main objective of the study was to identify challenges faced by the Graduate School of Business in administering (implementing) the e-learning blended program at the University of Zambia and come up with a suggested model solution. Additionally,the specific objectives were to identify the challenges experienced by students and the Graduate School of Business in the e-learning blended program as well as propose a model that would help mitigate these challenges.
The study adopted an exploratory inductive research design. Simple random sampling was used to come up with the 100 students from both the May 2016 and November 2016 intakes while purposive sampling was used to pick the 7 GSB support staff as well as the 15 Lecturers bringing the total sample to 122. For data collection, questionnaires containing open ended and closed ended questions were used. Data was then analysed using frequency table percentages and pie charts while content/thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data. The study came up with the solution of having a consistent block release model together with the hexagonal model to efficiently deliver the programmes.
Results indicated that UNZA GSB has a proper functional e-learning platform powered by Astria Learning and over 90% of the respondents had a fair understanding on how to use it. In addition to the above, it was discovered that challenges were only being encountered when loading content by students within the same time. The main impediment however, is that 80% of the lecturers are not directly employed under GSB. The school also lacks dedicated customer service personnel hence the absence of a documented service level agreement in complaint and query resolution.
There is need for regular review meetings and continuous refresher training on Astria Learning and this should be conducted by the Graduate School of Business. The School should also ensure yearly customer service workshops for all members of staff with a consistent block release model together with the hexagonal model running side by side.
Keywords: E-learning blended program, Astria Learning, Service Level Agreement, University of Zambia’s Graduate School of Business.||en