E-learning is an electronically supported teaching and learning device which enables students of all ages and levels to learn from anywhere, at anytime. Distance education has been a means to satisfy the needs of adult workers who desire to further their education while keeping their jobs. Thus e-learning is a veritable tool for enhancing distance education. As good as e-leaning is at promoting distance education in developed countries, it is a new phenomenon in developing countries, especially Nigeria, and in particular, the Niger Delta region. The main purpose of this study therefore, was to examine the effectiveness of access to e-learning in reducing the distance in distance education by its structure and approaches in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study also focused on the level of usage of, and involvement in e-learning, as well as the challenges facing access to e-learning for reducing distance in learning. The study used document analysis, questionnaire, and structured interviews to generate data from a randomly selected sample of 500 e-learners from 3 distance education centers, 4 higher institutions, 2 secondary schools and 7 institutional representatives who provide distance education programmes. The findings indicated that 90% of the respondents strongly agreed that access to e-learning is an effective way of reducing distance in distance education through reducing travel, providing opportunities to meet other professionals, and allowing access to libraries in other countries. However, lack of e-facilities, staff training, electricity, and social interaction in learning were challenges facing access to e-learning in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Based on these and other findings, it was recommended that all stakeholders in the promotion of technology for learning should intensify efforts for the provision of e-facilities in schools, steady power supply and teacher development programmes to enhance access to e-learning systems in the Niger Delta.
|Keywords:||e-learning, distance education, e-facilities, technology in learning, access to e-learning|
Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Management, University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria
Associate Professor, Associate Dean, Department of Curriculum and Educational Technology, Faculty of Education, University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, Rivers, Nigeria
Senior Lecturer, Educational Foundation, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku, Nigeria