Faculty perception of Moodle software as a teaching tool at the University of Zambia

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Chewe, Pailet
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Zambia ICT Journal
In the existing educational milieu in the world today, there is an increasing application of electronic learning software in the delivery of tertiary education. However, one critical issue in the successful deployment of electronic learning platforms in teaching and learning is dependent on lecturers’ ability and commitment to accept and use the systems. This paper describes the results of a questionnaire survey among academics at the University of Zambia in the aftermath of the implementation of Moodle software. The survey aimed to gather perceptions of lecturers toward the use of Moodle online environment, from which future practice could be informed. In this regard, the researcher used a survey design method with a sample of 42 respondents conveniently selected for this study. The survey was carried out in the third term of the 2017 academic calendar. Quantitative data was analysed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20). The main findings were that there were low adoption levels of Moodle as a supplementary mode of lesson delivery and that a limited number of respondents agreed that Moodle had helped them improve their teaching, indicative that academics were still in a period of transition from shallow systems compliance to deep pedagogical change. Overall, the experience showed that the move to Moodle needs careful planning and communication and must be part of a wider strategy to integrate e-learning solutions throughout course design and institutional culture. Nevertheless, respondents indicated their willingness to participate in programmes to equip them with the requisite skills that would make them proficient in using Moodle. The main obstacles to the integration of Moodle were limited knowledge of Moodle functionalities on the part of the faculty and slow internet speed. These findings may be used to develop e-learning support structures critical to effective implementation of Moodle as an integral part of the teaching and learning process. With continuous promotion and training of Moodle usage among the lecturers and students and increased training of faculty members coupled with improved broadband connectivity, Moodle holds the prospect for diversifying e-learning experiences that can support faculty members’ professional learning outcomes.
M oodle , e - learning , virtual learning environment , higher education , University of Zambia