The use of an online learning platform: A step towards e-learning

Keywords: Coronavirus, e-learning, online learning platform, pedagogy


In South Africa for the last few years, the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have experienced unforeseen events that have eventually led to universities’ suspension of academic activities. This has financial implications and leads to the extension of the academic calendar. This article looks at using an online learning platform to respond to unforeseen circumstances and beyond this, a shift to the new mode of university service delivery. The article presents the collective perspective of selected students of the School of Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

This quantitative study used a census approach of collecting data from the defined population. A total of 212 questionnaires were distributed to students, of which 107 were completed and returned.

E-learning is currently a common topic of conversation and will continue to be so in the wake of the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. This study suggests that there is a need to improve students’ experiences of using online learning platforms and doing online assessments to roll out online teaching and learning successfully. The results also suggest that the facilitators need to rethink their teaching pedagogy in the process of shifting to e-learning.


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Author Biographies

Pfano Mashau, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Dr. Pfano Mashau is currently the academic in the Graduate School of Business and Leadership at the University of KwaZulu-Nat. He is teaching at postgraduate levels. His research interests focus on creativity and innovation, business environments, Agglomeration economies, Innovation, Local Economic Development, entrepreneurship and research.



  • Management

Highest received qualification

  • Master of Commerce

Discipline or field in which the highest qualification was received

  • Local Economic Development

Name of university the highest qualification was received

  • University of KwaZulu-Natal

Areas you are a strong advocate

  • Local Economic Development
  • Informal Economy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business innovation

Research interests

  • Agglomeration Economies
  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Triple Helix
  • Innovation 
Jabulani Nyawo, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Discipline of Public Governance, Lecturer


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How to Cite
Mashau, Pfano, and Jabulani Nyawo. 2021. “The Use of an Online Learning Platform: A Step towards E-Learning”. South African Journal of Higher Education 35 (2), 123-43.
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