An E-learning Theory for Interaction and Collaboration
Kibuku, Rachael N
MetadataShow full item record
The use of modern technologies in various sectors has gained popularity in contemporary days to improve effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery. The education sector, too, has witnessed innovative use of technology to deliver education, a practice commonly known as e-learning. The term e-learning is a compound term comprised of two parts: the ‘electronic’ part referred to as the ‘e’ and the ‘learning’ part. This research focused on the theoretical perspective of e-learning, having observed that most of the previous research in e-learning mainly applied itself to descriptive studies of e-learning systems, their design, implementation, success stories, and challenges. A closer look at the existing literature does not reveal any e-learning theory specifically developed to guide the e-learning practice. Instead, e-learning has relied on the 19th and 20th Century Classical Learning Theories (CLTs), namely: behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, and social constructivism. Though these theories are applied to e-learning with notable success, they fall short in certain aspects of elearning. Their main shortcoming stems from the fact that they were stipulated long before elearning existed with all its modern technologies. Thus the technology concept is missing in them. Constructivism and social constructivism are the two theories that underpin interaction and collaboration among e-learners and between e-learners and e-tutors. Connectivism is a more contemporary theory that aims at explaining the use of contemporary digital technologies to achieve social connectedness for interaction and collaboration between the parties. However, taken together, these theories fail to explain certain aspects of interaction and collaboration in elearning adequately. e-Learning practitioners have appealed to Information System (IS) theories to explain the ‘e’ part of e-learning. Notably, the IS theories were not stipulated for e-learning but as general models for technology acceptance. Other researchers had previously observed this theoretical gap in e-learning, and some of them justified the need for an e-learning theory. Others laid the foundation upon which future researchers would build such a theory. Therefore, this research sought to develop a theory for interaction and collaboration that strikes a balance between CLTs and the IS theories. The research used Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT), a suitable methodology for developing a theory when the existing theories do not adequately explain a phenomenon and whose output is a theory to clarify the phenomenon. The research involved two Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) in Kenya that the researcher sampled purposively. It involved the researcher interacting with e-learners, e-tutors, and e-learning managers that were sampled theoretically. The research used in-depth interviews and participant observation to iteratively collect data from the research participants. The research obtained qualitative data that was analyzed qualitatively using Atlas.ti. Data collection followed theoretical sampling, where the researcher pursued participants who maximized the possibility of getting rich data with the necessary variability. The research used thematic analysis to identify emergent themes and dimensions from the data, which were further categorized and sorted into eight key concepts based on the discovered similarities, differences, and relationships. The key concepts included e-Learner, e-Tutor, e-Learning Technologies, e- Content, Learner-Learner Interaction, Learner-Tutor Interaction, Learning, and e-Learning Context. Finally, the key concepts were integrated to form the overarching theme or the core concept/category, namely ‘the interactive and collaborative e-learning theory.’ The contribution of this research is a theory that explains interaction and collaboration in elearning. This research appreciates the contributions of the extant theories that have guided elearning in the past and is in no way proposing that those contributions are not valid or no longer needed. On the contrary, these theories have been tested repeatedly and have proven to work as best practices. Thus, certain aspects have been borrowed and integrated with the new findings in the developed theory. This research believes that it has significantly contributed to e-learning practitioners, providers, researchers, policymakers, e-learners, e-tutors, and academia. The research recommends further investigation in the teaching of STEM subjects that involve practicals via e-learning, which has proved to be a daunting task to both universities in the wake of resource constraints and limited e-tutors’ ICT and pedagogical competencies. The research also recommended quantitative testing of the theory in e-learning settings and more IHLs, with different social and technical environments, to expand its generalizability.
University of Nairobi
SubjectLearning, ICT, e-Learning, Theory, Pedagogy, e-Learning Pedagogical Model, Interactive and Collaborative Learning
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
The following license files are associated with this item:
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
E-learning development in kenya an empirical analysis of critical factors that affects learners' satisfaction in e-learning in institution of higher learning in kenya Ndigirigi, Alexander N (University of NairobiSchool of Computing and Informatics, 2012)The trend of using e-Iearning as learning and lor tool is rapidly expanding in education sector both in developing and developed countries. In Kenya e-Iearning has been adopted in both private and public institutions of ...
University Students’ Perception on the Usefulness of Learning Management System Features in Promoting Self-Regulated Learning in Online Learning Araka, Eric; Maina, Elizaphan; Gitonga, Rhoda; Oboko, Robert; Kihoro, John (University of Nairobi, 2021)Online learning has increasingly been adopted by most institutions of higher learning to facilitate teaching and learning as a continuum to the traditional face-to-face approach. Most of these institutions ...