LECTURERS’ PERCEPTIONS AND USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (BLACK BOARD) AT ARURAL UNIVERSITY IN THE EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
Abstract - Lecturers’ perceptions of online teaching in Higher Education Institutions played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of the Institutions were forced to move from face-to-face teaching to fully online teaching in a very short time. In this particular study, the perceptions and use of Blackboard (as Learning Management System (LMS) at a rural university in the Eastern Cape was assessed just before the onset of COVID-19.A sample of 141 male and female lecturers, with a mean age of 46.78±10.48 from six faculties at the university were requested to complete a questionnaire online. A factor analysis (using principal component analysis and varimax rotation) of 46 items on lecturers’ perceptions of Blackboard, yielded six factors, namely their perceptions of the usefulness, performance expectancy, self-efficacy, technical support, effort and institutional support using Blackboard. Reliability of the factors were determined with Cronbach’s alpha as an assessment of internal consistency, while group differences were determined with independent samples t-tests and anova. The results indicated that although the lecturers agreed that Blackboard is a very useful LMS, they were reluctant to use Blackboard in their pedagogic practices when they were teaching face-to-face. There was a high discrepancy between their perceptions of using Blackboard and their actual use of Blackboard. The perceived Blackboard to be very useful, but that technical- and institutional support was low, which in turn, had a strong influence on their low self-efficacy (confidence) to use Blackboard. These perceptions were challenged tremendously during lockdown, when institutions were forced to move to online teaching. Increased training and support for lecturers on using Blackboard will address these perceptions appropriately and lead to in improvement in the confidence of lecturers using Blackboard in online teaching.
Keywords - Blackboard; Higher Education; Lecturers’ Perceptions; UTAUT; Online Teaching And Learning; Learning Management Systems; COVID-19