Improving e-learning through usage of learning management system: a case of a masters in vocational pedagogy at Kyambogo University
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This was a collaborative engagement aimed at “Improving E-Learning through usage of Learning Management System (LMS) at Kyambogo University, Uganda”. The study was conducted in the Art and Design Department, Faculty of Vocational Studies. It was specifically conducted with the following stakeholders: administrators, mentors, facilitators and Cohort Six students of the Master’s in Vocational Pedagogy (MVP) program. This was a case study of this program (MVP); due to the fact that the stakeholders were directly beneficiary of LMS. To achieve the aim of the research the following specific objectives were employed: examine factors that affect LMS usage, explore possible strategies that can be used to improve its usage, implement the identified strategies to improve its usage and, lastly, evaluate the impact of the intervention strategies used to improve LMS usage at MVP. The study employed the Participatory Action Research (PAR) design which was handy in involving the views of all stakeholders in assessing and understanding the status quo, and improving the use of the LMS, in the program. PAR intends to include people’s views in the research process as well as the intervention actions meant to improve the situation. The specific methods used included: work processes analysis, future workshop, focus group discussion, interviews and observation. These are basically qualitative methods that tended to enlist responsiveness from stakeholders; which in turn made them more committed to action as part of the research. The analysis of the process of LMS usage in the program revealed the negative attitude by MVP administration to follow-up LMS usage, digital illiteracy and negative attitude by section of stakeholders towards LMS usage, as some of the significant gaps that needed to be addressed, to improve the use of the system. To address these gaps the following interventions were made: introduction of hands-on computing lessons and weekly exercises on LMS usage to stakeholders. As a result of the lessons and exercises the stakeholders gained knowledge, skills as well as appreciation of the LMS. The stakeholders’ attitude toward the system became more positive, the administration took keen interest in following up the LMS usage. Several hands-on trainings were organized and this led to improved digital literacy and better usage of the system. In conclusion, after implementation of intervention strategies the LMS usage improved considerably. Recommendations are that more hands-on trainings need to continue every semester, administration should always monitor LMS usage by stakeholders and internet bandwidth be increased so that the web browsers loads faster.