In light of the free higher education pronouncement by the president, universities will have to innovate quickly to address the vast numbers that will seek to respond to the opportunity.
This is especially poignant in the South African context where acquiring an education is seen as the only real path to securing gainful employment.
This is according to Myles Thies, newly-appointed director of digital learning services at Eiffel Corp, who says universities and lecturers that have treated digital learning as a secondary, supportive measure for face-to-face learning, will need to act rapidly to include the growing number of students who seek education and career advancement.
“South African universities and private educators have to address the way they create, offer and deliver their qualifications and courses. They now understand the needs of students better, the context in which they learn, as well as looking more closely at the digital quality of their course content and the way it used in the teaching process.”
Students are becoming more vocal about what they want and need and expect courses and programmes to have digital integration and multiple access options including mobile as a standard.
In the process of completing a Masters in Digital Learning at Edinburgh University, Thies has been interrogating the discipline of digitally enabled learning, it’s rapid evolution and the impact on the way we learn in today’s connected world.
“From good learning design, the influence of media, algorithms and AI to the ethical questions related to analytics and monitoring of learning, the opportunities of eLearning are rich, diverse and exciting,” says Thies.
“At Eiffel Corp we are now servicing just about every need that the modern digitally enabled institution of learning is looking to achieve. We have dedicated functions for content development, project management and course delivery as well as accredited, digital teaching skills training programmes for educators. We also offer academic & technical consulting services, all delivered by highly experienced and capable individuals who have worked in public higher education and private sector throughout southern Africa.”