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Building Academic Staff Capacity to Support Online Learning in Developing Countries


Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks Volume 17, Number 2, ISSN 1939-5256


Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Africa face the challenge of responding to the expanding demand for tertiary education while maintaining or enhancing the quality of their course offerings. This demand has led to some HEIs introducing the use of interactive web technologies to support their distance teaching and learning practices. However, academic staff at these institutions may struggle to provide sufficient support to online learners in part due to inadequate staff capacity in terms of familiarity with and use of online communication tools and virtual learning environments. This paper reports the design and development of an openly licensed capacity-building intervention and the piloting thereof with academic staff at three southern Africa educational institutions. The aim of the capacity-building intervention is to initiate skill development and introduce foundational concepts in support of engaging online learners. The design and development of the course material is discussed, and the experiences of the pilot delivery are examined.


Mallinson, B. & Krull, G. (2013). Building Academic Staff Capacity to Support Online Learning in Developing Countries. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(2), 63-72. Retrieved November 14, 2019 from .

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    Brenda Mallinson, South Africa Institute for Distance Education; Greig Krull, South African Institute for Distance Education

    Open Praxis Vol. 7, No. 3 (Jul 30, 2015) pp. 263–271

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