The Case for Plain Language in South African Online Education

South Africa’s online education sector is a burgeoning industry with exciting prospects. However, it is also one that faces many challenges. Since much of the country lacks access to digital resources and quality education, most of these challenges relate to accessibility. One barrier to access involves the language that is used in educational materials – […]

Empowering the South African Workforce: The Critical Role of Skills-Based Learning in Private Higher Education

In recent years, South Africa has experienced a notable shift toward private higher education. This shift is unfolding against a complex backdrop of historical inequalities, economic tribulations and capacity constraints within public universities. A key driver of this transition is the emphasis on skills-based learning (SBL) in private higher education institutions (PHEIs).  With South Africa […]

What Drives Effective Teaching? An In-Depth Exploration of Educational Paradigms

In our previous article, we introduced seven educational paradigms that can serve as cornerstones for shaping your unique educational philosophy. In this follow-up, we delve deeper into these paradigms, exploring their origins, evolution and current applications in education. We also examine the intersections and connections between these paradigms, so as to provide you with a […]

Elevate Your Teaching: Discover the Power of Educational Paradigms

At EDGE, we are driven by our passion for creating unparalleled learning experiences for both students and educators. We believe that empowering educators – the architects of the future – is a lifelong endeavour. As part of our commitment to this mission, we have been on a deep exploration of our educational philosophy, and we […]

Custom Content Solutions

Here’s a prediction: As we progress deeper into the 21st century, the traditional dance between academic publisher and educational institution will be disrupted. In a shift accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, institutions are beginning to take greater cognisance of the value of academic content, and affordances of digitisation are empowering educational institutions to take greater […]

Engaging with purpose: Game-based learning

Recent trends reveal that games are becoming increasingly important to younger generations (Saxena and Mishra, 2021: 2–3). Evidence also suggests that students have a positive attitude toward using commercial games to practice higher-order ‘graduate skills’, such as problem-solving, communication and resourcefulness (Barr, 2018: 283). This general positive regard for technology provides educators with an opportunity […]

Addressing individual learning needs through effective eLearning design

‘What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn if provided with appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.’ – Benjamin Bloom (1976: 7) Traditionally, learning has taken place in face-to-face contexts, where educators have relied on lectures and print materials as a means of disseminating information. While this unidirectional, industrialised […]

Social learning: Buzzword or best practice?

‘Social learning’ has become a buzzword among eLearning professionals, and it continues to gain traction in the wake of Covid-19, where digital learning solutions are becoming even more prolific. This is hardly surprising – for years, eLearning experts have advocated for the inclusion of social learning tools and technologies in online education.  However, decisions surrounding […]

Local relevance: A key factor in learner engagement and motivation

In recent years, the topic of ‘local relevance’ has gained increasing attention in the field of education (Albrecht and Karabenick, 2017). But what exactly is ‘local relevance’ in education, and what value does it contribute to the learning experience? Local relevance in education To answer this question, let’s begin by considering hypothetical examples of a […]

Promoting self-directed learning through EDGE Digital CourseBooks™

The 21st century has altered the way in which information is obtained and used – there is now an entire interconnected database of information available online. However, this knowledge base is underutilised, as traditional teaching methods often neglect to encourage learners to embrace information outside the pages of their traditional print textbooks (De Beer, 2019: […]

eLearning for the visually impaired student: Barriers to online learning

Visual impairment (VI) is the most common form of disability in South Africa (Naidoo et al., 2015). This impairment is defined as an eye condition characterised by reduced visual capacity, which cannot be improved with glasses, contact lenses, surgery or medical treatments (Naipal and Rampersad, 2018).According to the South African National Council for the Blind […]

Using pedagogical agents to increase engagement in eLearning

Many eLearning practitioners would agree that a successful digital learning experience relies on student engagement. However, facilitating engagement online can be challenging – particularly when it comes to sustaining students’ attention over time, in the absence of traditional face-to-face interaction. Fortunately, recommendations arising from numerous research studies have highlighted ways to address this issue. One […]

Digital citizenship education: Equipping effective ‘digizens’ in the online classroom

Perhaps more than any year in history, 2020 has showcased the power of digitisation. In recent months, countless individuals and organisations have turned to digital technologies for efficient problem-solving. One of the most obviously (and deeply) affected areas has been that of education. Throughout the year, educators and learners have found themselves catapulted into ‘emergency […]

Three assumptions that may hamper online learner engagement

The use of online learning materials has many cited benefits in diverse pedagogical contexts (Appana, 2008). However, when designing online courses and materials, educators tend to hold certain presuppositions about learners’ attitudes and capabilities. This article considers three common assumptions and suggests methods for addressing the associated pitfalls.   Assumption #1 – I have the […]

The future of learning will be community- and inquiry-based

For thousands of years, humans have learned by making personal meaning and by confirming that meaning with those around them – there weren’t always dedicated classrooms, teachers or classmates as there are today. We learned within our community. We learned by watching, listening, thinking, trying and, most of all, by having conversations with those around […]

Five learning theories to consider in eLearning design

Understanding the principles of knowledge acquisition can help educators to create more effective learning experiences. This article explores five learning theories that are worth considering when designing eLearning courses, and discusses why practitioners may find them valuable for enhancing learning. 1. Community of Practice Theory (Lave and Wenger) The Community of Practice (CoP) Theory was […]

Matching Moodle affordances with different knowledge types

The field of eLearning undeniably offers a wide range of affordances – i.e. options that are made available to eLearning practitioners. When used effectively, these resources provide great value in ensuring that learning objectives are achieved successfully. One approach to optimising the online learning experience is to ensure that specific knowledge types are aligned with […]

The rise of digital textbooks: Four features to look out for

When it comes to textbooks, the topic of ‘print versus digital’ is an ongoing debate. Although each person has their preference, there’s no denying that printed materials are somewhat limited in terms of versatility. Digital textbooks, on the other hand, provide both students and educators with more variety in terms of teaching and learning tools, […]

Complexity and the modern curriculum

The curriculum operates in a space where knowledge is recontextualised and organised for various pedagogical purposes. It also exists as a compelling site of personal, social, cultural, political and symbolic reflection. The process of selection necessarily entailed in the design of curricula (on our behalf) almost inevitably results in opposing ideologies competing with each other, […]

Education in isolation: Five tips for moving your courses online

Educators across the globe are currently facing extraordinary circumstances in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, self-isolation and lockdowns have become the ‘new normal’. Consequently, many educators have needed to move their content online – and quickly. For those who normally teach in a brick-and-mortar setting, this may be especially challenging. However, with […]

Five benefits of using eLearning for onboarding

Onboarding or induction programmes are standard practice for ensuring that new hires can perform their jobs effectively. Even when a new hire has years of experience within a field, they still need to engage in an induction process to learn the particularities of their new role, as well as those of the company. Traditionally, this […]

Constructivist learning theory and eLearning

Despite the growing popularity of eLearning, there are still many who question whether it can truly facilitate the actual learning process. To ensure that eLearning resources promote active learning, educators are turning to well-established theoretical frameworks to evaluate their relevance to the online learning environment. Constructivist learning theory is key among these. Specifically, it offers […]

The science behind great eLearning videos

When it comes to eLearning courses, video is undeniably one of the most popular mediums of instruction. It is a valuable tool for creating a diverse range of content, compiling micro lessons, and illustrating knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Recent advances in technology, software and applications have provided video designers with endless avenues […]

Emotional design in eLearning

When it comes to pedagogical theory, the relationship between emotion and learning is often neglected – or, at the very least, underestimated. However, with an increasing shift toward using eLearning resources in education, it may be useful to revisit this relationship and, in particular, to consider the role of emotions in the eLearning context. For […]

Five UX design principles to consider in eLearning

User experience design, or UX design, is a key concept for businesses wishing to ensure that their products are accessible and usable. The field of UX design aims to achieve positive user experiences by implementing certain guiding principles. These include an interest in user research, design and product use. However, it can be challenging to […]

Multimedia, learning and multimedia learning

Multimedia and learning ‘People can learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone.’ This statement by Mayer [a] (2014) is the multimedia learning hypothesis, which encapsulates the importance of using multimedia in learning. Mayer defines multimedia as information that is presented in both words and pictures. These words include printed and spoken […]

How to write for attention

In today’s fast-paced world, people prefer to consume bite-sized portions of information. As such, short-message platforms such as Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter have grown in popularity (, 2018), displaying this propensity toward quick and easy communication. In fact, Facebook recommends that in order to create engaging videos for mobile platforms, one should limit them […]

How to use ‘content chunking’ to prevent cognitive overload in online learning

Scrolling through endless reams of on-screen text will turn even the strongest mind to mush. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘cognitive overload’, which results in loss of engagement, lower levels of comprehension, and decreased motivation. However, all of this can be avoided by making use of ‘content chunking’. What is cognitive overload? […]

Using change management to successfully transition to elearning

Resistance to change is a well-known phenomenon. Often, making the change from traditional learning to e-learning can be met with such resistance – from both instructors and students. However, by following a few simple but powerful strategies, it is possible to make this transition more effectively, and to experience the benefits of e-learning more rapidly. […]

Five ways to design elearning materials for millennials

The millennial* generation is shaping the world around us – breaking the moulds that have traditionally determined how one works, socialises and learns. But what exactly is a millennial? How do they compare to previous generations? And how should you be designing your e-learning course to suit the needs of a millennial learner? Characteristics of […]

Gamification: The what, the why and the how

The term ‘gamification’ has gained increasing popularity over recent years, and seems to be popping up everywhere. It appears to be the latest trend in corporate training and e-learning courses, with Fortune 500 companies such as Nike applying its novel approach to learning design. But what does gamification entail, and how is this model applied? […]

The role of motivation in online corporate training

Participant motivation is the keystone of any online course. Without it, even the best training efforts will be for naught. If participants are not motivated to learn then they will not engage with the content or persevere with their studies. To put it simply: if you cannot find a way to motivate employees, they won’t […]

Digitisation: Meeting the eLearning needs of the new generation

Digital, digital, digital. Everything we do these days tends to take place on a digital or online platform. This has led to an increasing number of publishers digitising textbooks, to meet the needs of the modern learner. But are we digitising content in the right way? Both the production and sales of electronic textbooks are […]

Predictions for education and elearning in 2018

The year 2017 has been a great success for the e-learning industry. Looking back, we have seen advances in trends like gamification, blended learning, the rise of Experience API (xAPI), and numerous other developments. Being on the verge of 2018, one can only guess what the next year will have in store for the e-learning […]

Five tips to enhance learner engagement in online courses

Developing an online course requires an enormous amount of resources – both in terms of time and money. As such, it can be frustrating to review the course analytics, and see that half the learners haven’t even attempted to work through the material. When it comes to online courses, low engagement is a concern for […]



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