Challenges faced by students with visual impairment in accessing electronic learning systems at Makerere university
Ocaya, Trust, Mathias
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This study sought to understand the challenges that visually Impaired students in Makerere faces in accessing E-learning systems. The specific objectives of the study were; to find out the e-learning activities that students with visual impairment participate in, the demands that the e-learning activities place upon students with visual impairment, to describe the challenges faced by students with visual impairment in fulfilling the e-learning activities and to find out the coping strategies adopted by students with visual impairment to deal with challenges they encounter in fulfilling e-learning activities in Makerere university. The study adopted a qualitative approach to social research and a descriptive case study design was adopted to get clear understanding of the challenges that students with visual impairments in Makerere face in accessing e-learning systems. The study adopted a non-probability sampling technique in which primary participants for the study (male and female students with visual impairment) and secondary participants were purposively chosen. Primary participants we chosen until a saturation point was reached. A total of 8 primary participants were chosen to participate in the study. I used unstructured interview guides to obtain in-depth information from students with visual impairment. Data was audio recorded, transcribed, read through to get familiar with it and later developed themes and sub-themes related to study objectives. The study findings revealed that students with visual impairment in Makerere participate in online activities like online zoom lectures, online group discussions, submitting assignments via email and making blog posts on MUELE. These activities pose a number of demands on people with visual impairments including the need for electronic gadgets like computers and smart phone, computer literacy skills and stable internet connection. However, they reported being challenged by poor network, high costs of e-learning activities and lack of necessary electronic gadgets. To respond to this, they adopted coping strategies which include; developing good relations with fellow students, support from family members and getting audio recordings. Efforts must therefore be made to make e-learning systems accommodating to students with visual impairment.