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E-learning South Africa: Common challenges and how to resolve them

21 Jun 2022 | Lesson Desk Team3 min read

With the continuous advancement of educational technology, online platforms have become just as popular, if not more, as face-to-face education in South African schools.

The flexibility that online courses and distance education offer are now more attractive since people can fit it into their schedules as it suits them rather than having to work around a fixed schedule.

What is online learning, and why do people struggle with it?

Online learning, also known as e-learning, refers to the basic education provided on an online platform, usually requiring internet access. This type of learning has become extensively popular over the years as it enables users to obtain higher education and reach academic goals by completing distance e-learning courses in all the subjects they are interested in.

Although many find new technologies, such as e-learning solutions, convenient, it is not without its difficulties. To help you, we have compiled a list of the most common challenges and how to resolve them:

Limited access to internet connectivity

Many individuals experience unstable networks due to the increased rate of online activity. Apart from platforms being overloaded with users, many South African citizens are also experiencing load shedding (the reduced supply of electricity to avoid overloading the generating plant), which means they do not have access to WiFi. This causes a problem as not everyone has reliable mobile devices with data bundles that can provide them with access to the internet anytime.

Solution: As long as everyone goes online, little can be done to resolve the network problems. However, this challenge can be resolved by investing in a platform that allows content to be downloaded and completed without internet access.

A lack of computer skills

It is not uncommon for students and instructors alike to be affected by a lack of computer literacy. Due to the lockdown period during the coronavirus pandemic, the dependency on technology unexpectedly increased quite dramatically, and there was little time to prepare for the sudden influx of online platforms.

Solution: The best way to overcome a lack of knowledge you may have of computers is by using an easily accessible and user-friendly system. An effective learning management system is developed to be clear, easy to navigate and provide seamless training without any room for confusion. 

Lack of discipline and self-motivation

Research has shown that many individuals find it difficult to learn online due to a lack of accountability and motivation. This results in many people not completing their online training. 

Solution: One of the best ways to keep learners interested in completing their training is by providing engaging and interactive content and e-learning courses. You can address this challenge by providing customised content that can support learners' skills development. Educators and facilitators can also use digital technologies that allow them to monitor and track the learning progress.

Differing learning styles

It is no secret that a plethora of different methods of learning and providing education exists. However, it is important to understand that not everyone prefers the same approach. Some students might enjoy more traditional methods, such as in-class teacher training and textbooks, while other students might prefer e-learning solutions like online live lessons, recordings, and videos. The list is endless. Although some learners may be able to adapt more easily to a new teaching and learning style, others may struggle and become less confident in their skills, reducing the effectiveness of the training. 

Solution: Understanding your learners' learning styles is key to achieving an optimal learning environment and outcomes. Once you understand your learner training needs, it is easier to browse through learning management systems and select a platform that allows you to adjust tailored content to meet those needs.

Technical problems

Everybody has experienced a computer crash or software malfunction at some point in their life, usually at the most critical time. Unfortunately, this issue may prevent you from being able to log in or complete training. 

Solution: Using a learning management system that can be accessed from various devices to complete assignments and online classes allows you to have multiple points of access to mitigate the difficulties that come with technical issues. 

Poor time management

Students often struggle to balance the many tasks that they are faced with daily, which prevents them from making adequate time for online education and training.

Solution: By offering micro-learning courses, learners can complete the learning material at their own pace without committing to it for hours. This allows them to easily fit training into their busy schedules. 

Utilising poor learning management systems

Facilitators face many obstacles when their learning management system does not permit them to track progress, grade assignments, and manage e-learning courses.

Solution: Seamlessly manage and monitor students with educational technologies and other innovative approaches.

If you are looking for a solution to provide hassle-free, digital learning to your employees, or if you wish to expand your content library, contact our learning and development specialists at learn@lessondesk.com today to request a free demo. You can always turn to our team for support and guidance as you use technology to provide higher education. Alternatively, you can learn more about all that Lesson Desk's digital solutions can offer by visiting our website.