Examining enablers and constraints of e-learning/teaching: Lecturers and students’ perspectives at the University of Namibia
Keywords:COVID-19 pandemic, online learning and teaching, remote learning, foreign languages
This study, conducted at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, explores the perspectives of students and lecturers on the experience of learning/teaching foreign languages during the COVID 19 pandemic. The study sought to establish and delimit the enablers and constraints of Foreign Language online teaching/learning, to improve the quality of UNAM service. A quantitative method using online questionnaires was proposed to collect data from all foreign language lecturers of the Department of Languages and Literature Studies at UNAM and their students enrolled in the first and third years in the Applied and Business Language stream. The main results revealed that both lecturers and students had no prejudices about Foreign Language e-learning/teaching but students had mixed feelings about their overall experience. Although the student reported some key advantages in e-learning (independence, flexibility and possibility to freely consult learning material), their lack of equipment and difficult access to platforms and electronic documents presented significant constraints in their digital learning experience. For most of them, their motivation and self-organizational skills were hardly tested and not always successful. In addition, lecturers were not sufficiently trained or experienced to adapt their usual pedagogical practice to virtual teaching while some of them were unequally equipped with ICT skills.