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Three Elements to E-Learning in South Africa

The fast-growing E-Learning industry in South Africa is firmly rooted in the country’s High Schools. Government expenditure on education has contributed to the growth of this industry. However, South Africa isn’t just about online courses, or even digital learning, but also includes a variety of physical resources, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Digital Divide. This article will discuss these three key elements to e-learning in South Africa.

Digital divide

The digital divide in South Africa is a major concern, especially since 55% of the population lives below the national poverty line, while the majority of rural people lack access to basic education. South Africa’s early adoption of cutting-edge technologies by elites and high-income groups runs parallel to the development patterns of most developed countries. However, most of the population, including those in the public sector and micro and small businesses, follow slower adoption trends.

During the COVID-19 crisis, South Africa’s historically marginalised institutions were faced with different challenges. Their large proportion of black disadvantaged students is from rural, underdeveloped provinces, such as Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. As a result, these institutions were forced to focus on damage control measures. The University of Venda has not received any allowances, while Walter Sisulu University has struggled with registration.

Traditional physical resources

The introduction of e learning south africa poses a number of challenges, both technological and social. The lack of infrastructure and physical resources makes it difficult for students to access online courses, and poor or rural learners will be disadvantaged by the new methods. At the same time, the country’s Department of Higher Education and Training has also made several commitments related to the expansion of open and distance education. They are working to build more satellite premises and devote more resources to distance learning to ensure access to quality education for rural and urban learners.

The bulk of students at UKZN face limitations because of physical facilities and networks. Rural areas have limited access to computers and personal laptops, and rural students are often not able to afford them. The absence of these resources is a particular challenge for e-learning in rural communities. But there are also technological solutions. A recent study by the University of KwaZulu-Natal highlighted the use of online resources to improve student performance in rural areas.

Professional reasoning

Professional reasoning skills are crucial for many aspects of clinical practice. Effective retrieval of patient information is fundamental for effective clinical teaching. The role of communication skills in clinical teaching is a significant contributor to its success. Developing these skills through simulations is an effective alternative to direct patient contact. This article explains how clinical reasoning skills can be developed through simulations. It provides a framework for teaching clinical reasoning in simulation. It also offers examples of clinical cases that involve the application of this skill.

Professional reasoning is a vital part of a midwife’s practice. This skill requires repeated exposure to a variety of clinical reasoning experiences in various learning environments. A good learning environment should support the development of this skill through a scaffolding process. Learning experiences should be designed to foster the development of clinical reasoning skills, while assessments should assess the student’s acquisition of these skills. This article also highlights the importance of aligning these three propositions into e-learning courses.

COVID-19 pandemic

Poor rural communities in South Africa face many challenges in accessing online teaching and learning resources. This causes gross inequities in the educational outcomes of learners from different socio-economic groups, which are reflected in the future plans of higher education institutions. We explore the potential of COVID-19-affected rural communities to expand higher education access through online learning. To achieve this, the authors identified some key recommendations.

This study examined how the COVID-19 pandemic affected higher education in South Africa. The country was already facing severe challenges, including a national lockdown and a restriction on travel. Tightened travel rules and social distancing made face-to-face teaching impossible. While the situation has now settled down, it is still unclear what the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the country’s higher education sector.

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