Postgraduate students' experiences with learning management systems at a selected nursing education institution in KwaZulu-Natal Province

Mtshali, N.G., Harerimana, A., Mdunge, V.N., and Mthembu, S.Z. (2022) Postgraduate students' experiences with learning management systems at a selected nursing education institution in KwaZulu-Natal Province. African Journal of Health Professions Education, 14 (2). pp. 89-97.

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Abstract

Background. Learning management systems (LMS) are indispensable teaching and learning tools in nursing education, and in recent years, LMS have become a cornerstone to support online learning, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The South African (SA) e-education policy requires every teacher and learner in the education and training sector to be information and communication technology (ICT)-capable, and able to use ICTs confidently and creatively to help develop the skills and knowledge they need as lifelong learners to achieve their personal goals and be full participants in their global communities.

Objective. To investigate postgraduate students’ experiences with learning management systems at a selected nursing education institution in KwaZulu-Natal Province, SA.

Method. An exploratory, descriptive research design was used, and the whole population of 16 postgraduate nursing education students who were exposed to Moodle as a learning management system participated in the study. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews, followed by focus group discussions, with thematic analysis used to analyse data.

Results. This was the first time that most participants had been exposed to an online learning course, and the experience made them feel empowered as it provided enabled reflection and deep learning. Participants indicated that the range of interactions and level of engagement determined the eventual level of knowledge constructed. The online facilitator played a central role in guiding and supporting students, and ensuring that they achieved the learning outcomes. The online learning benefits included increased socialisation, convenience and flexibility, asynchronicity and accessibility of learning material. The challenges were the lack of real-time response, financial cost and technical issues.

Conclusion. An intense ICT orientation for students is recommended to ensure that they are informed of the requirements before starting the online course. The online facilitators must be more visible in the online space, participate more often in discussions and stimulate constructive dialogue.

Item ID: 75582
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2078-5127
Keywords: Learning management systems; LMS; Moodle; Online learning; teaching and learning, postgraduate students; nursing education; nursing students
Copyright Information: This open-access article is distributed under Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC 4.0
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2022 23:13
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 30%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy @ 40%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160304 Teaching and instruction technologies @ 40%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1602 Schools and learning environments > 160299 Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified @ 30%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160199 Learner and learning not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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