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Developing and implementing an outcomes-based computer literacy programme in distance learning mode for South African students

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dc.contributor.author Oosthuizen, Marita
dc.contributor.other Welkom: Central University of Technology, Free State,
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-07T09:51:12Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-07T09:51:12Z
dc.date.issued 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/1151
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract computers" is the buzzword of our time. Never before has technology spread ( so rapidly. Never has an invention enabled so many people to do so many things that are strategically important to life in the information society. So strategic that being able to use a computer has become a basic skill, even a literacy in is own right (Hofstetter 1998:xii; Long and Long 1999:xvii; Shelly 1999:1.1). The term "digital divide" is increasingly being used in articles, discussions and conferences. The digital divide is defined as "the technology gulf that separates the computer-literate rich from the world's poor masses". (ltano 2001 :6) South African president Thabo Mbeki has announced that the reduction of this digital divide is a top priority, and states that technological literacy should be a key feature for South Africa's future in an increasingly globalising world (Ita no 2001 :6 ). Trying to build a technological infrastructure, however, does not have any meaning without people knowledgeable enough to utilise the technology. Providing the training to build a computer literate society is thus of utmost importance. Although the ideal situation would be for children to start using computers at a very young age, the reality in South Africa is that many adults have never been exposed to using computers, neither did they have the opportunity to undergo computer literacy training. These adults are no longer part of the formal schooling system and may not be able to attend full-time classes at a college or university. Furth~rmore, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has introduced a new approach to education and training, called life-long education. This new approach strives to provide opportunities for individuals to learn regardless of age, circumstances or previous level of education (lsaacman 1996:3). One way of achieving the goal of life-long education is for educational institutions to present programmes in distance learning mode. Distance learning (cf 1.6.3) presents an ideal alternative to people who, for some reason, cannot attend contact tuition on a daily basis. Many computer literacy programmes were, and are still taught at various training colleges and tertiary institutions in South Africa, but because of the practical nature of the training, most of these programmes are taught on a full-time basis through contact tuition. With the growing number of distance learning students, the need to design an effective computer literacy programme in distance learning mode, is becoming a matter of urgency. An important aspect of this study is not only to develop a distance learning computer literacy programme, but an outcomes-based computer literacy programme that can be presented in distance learning mode. The South African government has recently decided to bring about a paradigm shift in the education system (Department of Education 1997a:3). In 1998 a new outcomes-based curriculum was implemented in Grade 1 and the principles underlined by outcomes-based education are meant to filter through to the highest level of education. The change to an outcomes-based education system is seen to be an acknowledgement that the processes of teaching and learning must be functional, relevant and accountable (Malan 1997:8). The term outcome generally refers to the result/product/output of some or other process. Roy Killen, an Australian expert on outcomes-based education (Killen 2001 :2) defines outcomes in education as "that what the student can do and understand - the contextually demonstrated end-products of the learning process. Outcomes can thus be seen as the result of the learning process: knowledge, skills, attitudes and values within a particular context so that knowledge is applied, skills developed into competencies and attitudes and values harmonise with those of the workplace". Bearing this definition in mind, it is clear that teaching a computer literacy programme can no longer only be a matter of disseminating knowledge about computers, but that there is no alternative than to bring students to the computer and teach them how to productively use the computer as a tool (Spear 1999:2). With the introduction of outcomes-based education in 1998, the South African government has constituted the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The aim of SAQA is to accredit all programmes that are presented by South African educational institutions. One of the challenges in this study would thus be to develop the proposed programme in such a way that it will ultimately be approved by SAQA to form part of future distance learning programmes at Higher Institutions. en_US
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Welkom: Central University of Technology, Free State,
dc.subject Competency-based education en_US
dc.title Developing and implementing an outcomes-based computer literacy programme in distance learning mode for South African students en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State,

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