South Africa’s (SA) eLearning market is on a growth trajectory, as is the country’s economy. The traditional mining, agriculture, and manufacturing industries are valuable contributors to economic progress. Newer sectors such as retail, services, banking, information technology, telecommunications, and tourism are also gaining momentum. However, mired in socio-political instabilities and racial discrimination, the native population is still burdened by unemployment, poverty, lack of skills, and quality education. Youngsters of this country have chosen to increasingly rely on eLearning to acquire the necessary qualifications/skills to earn their living and enhance career prospects, instead of investing time and money in conventional education. Online courses offered by The University of South Africa (UNISA), Africa’s largest open distance university, are proving to be a lifesaver for over 400,000 students in the continent. Several private institutions and eLearning companies are also active across the nation. This sudden appeal for eLearning offers a great opportunity for cloud-based eLearning platforms such as ScholarLMS to explore new markets and suitably service the demand in a mutually beneficial manner.
SA’s eLearning Boom – Why and What to Expect?
With its youth population likely to hit 830 million by 2050, Africa is sure to witness a surge in the number of people looking for better education and employment opportunities. While the African Development Bank has plans to generate 25 million jobs by 2025, the educational infrastructure across the country is not equipped to address the learning needs of youngsters. However, access to internet-enabled smartphones has triggered an interest in eLearning as it proves a viable and effective medium to hone new skills and knowledge that can translate into job opportunities. There are mixed reports on the availability of affordable and reliable internet connectivity across South Africa though!
Recent trends reveal that impending accreditation for online learning programs as well as technology adoption in public educational institutions is bound to further fuel the demand. Currently, less than 30% of public schools in SA use some form of technology to deliver classes. While there is all reason to rejoice about SA focusing on eLearning initiatives, striving to offer equal opportunities for education and access to learning, there are quite a few practical problems that need attention:
- Ensuring reliable and affordable internet connectivity
- Extending the reach of online education to remote areas
- Changing the education curriculum to suit present times
- Encouraging educational institutions to go digital, and suitably refine their methods of teaching
- Training educators and students on the relevant tools and technologies
- Minimizing the digital divide (investing in personal gadgets can prove a financial burden for locals)
- Ensuring the same quality of education in both public and private educational institutions.
With these problems approached and resolved systematically, the education system in SA may probably serve as an example for other developing countries to emulate.
How ScholarLMS Can Help You Tackle The Demand For eLearning
ScholarLMS can prove a valuable partner for educational institutions looking to digitize their learning environment and eLearning firms eager to capture even a tiny share of the growing eLearning market of SA
Replete with a set of comprehensive yet user-friendly features, our cloud-based eLearning platform makes it a lot easier for your school, college or company to offer online courses cost-effectively. You will able to create and deliver lessons in an engaging manner as well as systematically track and grade student progress.
Let’s take you through some of the key features of ScholarLMS that are likely to come in handy for you to offer affordable, relevant, interesting, and mobile-friendly online courses.
This feature group adds life to your lessons as it comprises several activities that make learning interactive. Assignments, real-time chat, thread-based discussion forum, and text lessons are but a few ways in which teachers can enhance the learning experience. Do note that the assignments need not necessarily be completed online. The system also supports images and audio-visuals of practical offline assignments! Be arts and crafts projects in school or a sample business presentation, students can record and submit their work for assessment. Your students also get to learn how to record and upload offline assignments!
Our live online classrooms designed for Instructor-Led-Training (ILT) closely mimic conventional classrooms. This virtual classroom has several in-built features including support for:
- A class strength of up to 40 students
- Two-way audio-visual communication
- Common Chat with all participants
- Shared White Board
- Selective mute / unmute
- Response to raised hands
- Quick live polls
Instructors can record these live sessions to create a course repository that students can access anytime.
From the common multiple-choice questionnaires to progressively complex ones, quizzes serve as valuable assessment tools to test a student’s understanding of a lesson/course. ScholarLMS allows you to create different types of quizzes including those with:
- Limited attempts
- Time limits
- Multiple choices
- Different complexity levels
- Pictorial queries
You may also prepare a question bank from which the system can randomly pick out questions to create a fresh quiz whenever instructed. You can automate grading as well.
You can make learning fun and engaging using the Gamification feature in ScholarLMS. It is possible to build a multi-tiered training program and guide your students through the course, suitably rewarding them as they clear each level. Custom settings during the LMS installation process will help you incorporate rewards in the form of badges, levels or certifications to recognize and motivate exceptional performers!
Issue Own Certifications
You can pick out an appealing template from the ScholarLMS Certificate module or design your very own custom certificates to reward participants. You can automate the certification process by specifying the criterion to award the certificate and have it issued to all deserving participants. You could manually issue the certificates as well. The awardees will be able to download and print these certificates.
Creating engaging eLearning content is a breeze with ScholarLMS as the H5P framework supports over 40 different content types at present. Based on your target audience, you’ll be able to design courses with rich, interactive, and responsive content. Responsive courses are mobile-friendly and most ideal for learners based in SA!
One of the powerful features of ScholarLMS, E-Commerce is particularly useful if you are planning to create and sell online courses. You can handle course fee payments, marketing, and sales functions of your venture smoothly and efficiently by using this feature.
ScholarLMS supports most major payment gateways and can support new ones on request. You do not incur additional charges on payment transactions. You can configure the LMS to automatically enroll students in a course once they have paid for it.
You can also manage affiliate marketing, promotional offers (using coupons), and keep track of sales via relevant reports to ensure that your efforts are aptly rewarded.
ScholarLMS is happy to be your trusted and reliable partner in the expanding eLearning landscape of SA, should you choose to team up with us for your eLearning needs.