e-Learning Platform Examined by Rwandan PhD Nursing Graduate
Dr Alexis Harerimana of Rwanda has graduated with a PhD in Nursing for his study titled: “An Analysis of the Utilisation of an e-Learning Platform at a Selected Nursing School in Rwanda: A Participatory Action Research Study”.
Supervised by Professor Ntombi Mtshali, Harerimana’s study aimed to collaboratively analyse the use of an e-learning platform in selected nursing school campuses at the University of Rwanda (UR) and develop a middle-range theory on the implementation of e-learning in selected nursing school campuses at UR.
‘The study helped develop a middle range theory of e-learning utilisation in nursing education,’ said Harerimana. ‘This e-learning middle range theory in nursing education has been designed to illustrate how the theory developed from grounded theory inquiry.’
He says the study helps conceptualise e-learning as a mechanism to advance a political agenda as a student-centred approach, as blended learning and as a tool to open access to education for working nurses and midwives.
‘The context of e-learning in nursing education is subjected to both internal and external influences in which education, health and technology originate. The catalyst agents and effective hybrid teaching and learning are pivotal to the success of e-learning in nursing education. The use of the developed middle range theory of e-learning in nursing education is expected to bring about the following improvements: increased quality nursing and midwifery education, fast-track production of a nursing and midwifery workforce, an increased nursing and midwifery workforce, improved quality care and services, collaborative partnership, and lifelong learning.’
Harerimana’s project was conducted on nursing students, nurse educators, ICT managers and campus managers from three campuses of selected nursing schools in Rwanda.
‘I acknowledge the School of Nursing and Public Health (SONPH), the College of Health Sciences (CHS) and UKZN who granted me a scholarship to do the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing. My sincere thanks go to my supervisor Professor Ntombifikile Gloria Mtshali for all the support, guidance and encouragement, and for making time to supervise this thesis; to the Rwandan Ministry of Education who granted a research clearance and permission to conduct the study in Rwanda, and to the University of Rwanda’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and selected campuses for their permission and support during this study. My thanks also to participants and the members of the research team who contributed enormously to this study through interactive/mutual collaboration,’ he said.
Harerimana’s future plans include working in academia where he will promote quality nursing education in technology mediated learning environments such as ‘e-learning’, and to train nurses and midwives to be locally and globally competitive.
In 2009, he was offered a scholarship by the Government of Rwanda to pursue his studies at UKZN where he graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Education in 2013, and later a Master’s degree in the field.