Use of e-learning at higher educational institutions in Bangladesh: Opportunities and challenges
Although e-learning has already been accepted globally as an effective medium of delivery of quality education and ensure optimum student participation, Bangladeshi higher educational institutions are still at a very early stage of adopting such technologies. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to critically examine the suitability of implementing effective e-learning through learning management system (LMS) at the tertiary educational institutions in Bangladesh, and how both students and teachers experience and respond to this new learning platform. Following mixed-methods techniques, data for this study were collected from students and respective course teachers of a private university in Bangladesh by administering questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The findings of this paper reveal that e-learning has been well accepted by most of the students as they are found routinely spending time on the LMS on a regular basis for watching lecture videos, viewing course information, reading postings of the fellow students in the forum. However, there are constraints as well, since the learning materials are poorly designed that do not allow much interaction between students and lecturers. There are also some technical problems such as poor internet connection which restrict access to e-learning platforms. To harness the optimum benefit of e-learning, this paper recommends a concerted effort by all stakeholders, such as students, lecturers, administrators and policy makers so that each of their priorities and expectations are reflected in the designing and implementing e-learning platforms.
This paper is based on the qualitative evaluation of Education 3.0 platform. Primary data were collected from the students using a well-structured survey questionnaire, and the findings of the survey have subsequently been cross-referred and supplemented by non-participatory observations with semi-structured interviews which allowed a better in-depth understanding of the issue at hand.
The findings of the study suggest that a majority of the students are found to be highly enthusiastic about the online courses. They are eager to participate and interact in the online platforms, which are somehow limited in the traditional classroom settings. However, there are several institutional, administrative and technical limitations of implementing e-learning in Bangladesh. It is recommended that better orientation of the users, quality content distribution though user-friendly systems and enhanced asynchronous interaction between the lecturers and students are the key pre-requisites to harness the optimum benefit from e-learning technologies in Bangladesh.
The data have been analyzed and discussed using qualitative framework which allows an in-depth understanding of the opportunities and challenges of the use of e-learning technologies at the higher educational institutions in Bangladesh.
Learning management system (LMS), E-learning, Collaborative learning, Education 3.0, Higher education in Bangladesh, Global Access Asia (GAA)
Md Fouad Hossain Sarker, Rafi Al Mahmud, M. Saiful Islam, Md Kabirul Islam