The growing success of the annual eLearning Africa conference is a testament to the widespread energy and innovation fuelling the education and ICT sectors on the Continent. However, enthusiasm and interest alone are not enough to drive policy change or encourage investors. 2013 marks the second year of the ground-breaking eLearning Africa Survey gathering opinions and data on the African learning landscape of today.
Success is increasingly measured by goals and targets. As a relatively young industry, the eLearning sector has often been accused of providing few measurable results. As Shafika Isaacs, the editor of the eLearning Africa 2012 Report and Programme Director for eLearning Africa, points out, “there remains a significant knowledge gap in consolidating the African experience of ICT for Development from an African perspective”.
In these early days of the relationship between learning and technology it can be hard to pinpoint positive outcomes, so it is imperative that the eLearning sector is able to generate reliable data to support its work or risk being ignored or mistrusted.
The eLearning Africa Survey was launched in 2012 and informed the eLearning Africa 2012 Report, the first publication of its kind. As well as featuring opinion pieces from leading voices contributing to the debates surrounding eLearning, ICT and entrepreneurship in Africa, the Report provided detailed analysis of data taken from 447 survey responses.
The Report was able to identify key trends and developments within the industry, as well as the most pressing issues faced by education professionals in Africa.
When asked about the key constraints to eLearning at a national level, low bandwidth was the most serious issue, followed closely by lack of finance, inadequate human resources and limited electricity infrastructure. Participants overwhelmingly pointed to government as the most important change agent in accelerating ICT enhanced training and learning.
In 2013 the Survey will build upon the results of the previous year, enabling the 2013 Report to analyse the integration of learning technologies in Africa, explore the development of locally-produced digital content and examine the challenges and opportunities that are shaping Africa’s eLearning sector.
The eLearning Africa 2013 Survey seeks responses from all stakeholders working in and around ICT-enhanced training and education. The Survey is open until 20th February 2013 and can be completed online at http://survey.icwe.info, or a PDF copy requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prompt responses are advised as all those who submit their completed Survey before the deadline will be entered into a prize draw to win a tablet!