Mak starts evaluating e-learning in universities

An e-learning hub at Uganda Christian University (UCU). PHOTO/FILE/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The project is among those funded by the government under Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) at Makerere.

Makerere University has embarked on research to evaluate E-learning system in higher institutions of learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of the project dubbed Comprehensive Evaluation of Blended Learning (CEBL) in Kampala yesterday , the principal researcher, Mr  Arthur Mugisha, said several institutions of higher learning have adopted distance learning but they have not yet evaluated the system and its requirements for the students to benefit .

“The research will focus on the uptake of blended learning in higher institutions of learning through asking  students if they are satisfied with the content  and if there are challenges in the process of accessing information,” he said.

Mr Mugisha added that although the institutions adopted the blended learning system, most of the immediate beneficiaries were not consulted.

“Blended learning uptake is not a long thing because we started with distance learning and when Covid-19 came, we went virtual and it’s now the right time to evaluate where are we now and what’s the progress to have a better offer,” he said.

How it will work
Mr Mugisha said it would be a multi-year project starting with the outcomes of the objectives, adding that when they have finished evaluations, they can proceeded with more research.

“The major players in this research are the students and we are going to visit each college to speak to them and also look at those who design these programmes online so that we see their views and lectures who are facilitating E- learning,” he said.

He said Makerere will be spearheading the project but the results will be fed to other higher institutions.
The project is among those funded by the government under Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) at Makerere.

The fund aims at increasing the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda, especially the un-funded priorities.

Mary Okwakol, the executive director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE),  who officially launched the CEBL, said the blended learning system has helped higher institutions to continue with their studies despite the pandemic.

“We are very sure that this research will help all the stakeholders in education sector to know what is missing in regard of promoting distance learning the institutions have adopted,” she said.
She also warned universities to register partners in research so that they can be able to protect the outputs of their research.