Digital influences on academic attainment

A case of one secondary school in a rural education district




Computer skills, Digital, Academic Attainment, E-learning, Approaches


This paper aims to investigate whether e-learning has any significant influence on academic attainment. From this time, little is noted by literature about training teachers towards attaining the necessary skills needed for digital e-learning applications. The investigation for this paper was conducted through a qualitative research methodology. Authors decided to use this method with a concern of understanding the behavior of humans as per teacher perspectives, leading to obtaining a better understanding of underlying motives. For this qualitative investigation, three conveniently selected secondary school teachers from a rural school in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa were interviewed. Engaging with the participants through administration of the interview schedule assisted authors in obtaining reach data due to contained questions that had a specific element of being open-ended. A fundamental finding revealed that teachers across all subjects have since embarked on focusing on (i) learner-centered practical approaches to allow determined e-learning engagements, thus having an impact on (ii) learner turnout. On noting this perspective from the teacher participants, it is recommended that as citizens held up in the technological revolution, there seems to be a need for teaching-learning approaches to be altered. This study, therefore, concludes that as a means to enable enhanced learner attainment, rural versus urban digital variations be addressed.


Download data is not yet available.


Adukaite, A., Van Zyl, I., Er, & Cantoni, L. (2017). Teacher perceptions on the use of digital gamified learning in tourism education: The case of South African secondary schools. Computers and Education, 1(11), 172-190.

Al-Samarraie, H., & Saeed, N. (2018). A systematic review of cloud computing tools for collaborative learning: Opportunities and challenges to the blended-learning environment. Computers & Education, 124, 77–91.

Beames, S. & Brown, M. (2016). Adventurous learning – A pedagogy for changing world. New York: Routledge.

Blank, G., Graham, M., & Calvino, C. (2018). Local Geographies of Digital Inequality. Social. Science Computer, 36, 82-102.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2021). Thematic analysis: Analysing qualitative data in psychology. Sage Publications Ltd.

Bruer, T. (2015). Research based for improved classroom learning. Evidence Speaks Report, 1(9), 1-5.

Clemmensen, T., Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. (2016). Making HCI theory work: An analysis of the use of activity theory in HCI research. Behaviour and Information Technology, 35(8), 608–627.

Cliff, A., Walji, S., Jancic Mogliacci, R., Morris, N., & Ivancheva, M. (2022). Unbundling and higher education curriculum: A Cultural-Historical Activity Theory view of process. Teaching in Higher Education, 27(2), 217-232.

Crawford, J. (2021). During and beyond a pandemic: Publishing learning and teaching research through COVID-19. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 18(3).

Creswell, J. W. (2015). Research design: Qualitative approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Du Plessis, P., & Mestry, M. (2019). Teachers for rural schools – a challenge for South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 39: 112-121

Dube, B. (2020). Rural online learning in the context of COVID 19 in South Africa: Evoking an inclusive education approach. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 10(2), 135-157.

Duckworth, A. L., & Yeager, D. S. (2015). Measurement Matters: Assessing Personal Qualities Other Than Cognitive Ability for Educational Purposes. Educ. Res, 44(4), 237–251. DOI: 10.3102/0013189X15584327

Duma N.M., Mlambo S., Mbambo-Mkwanazi S., & Morgan W. (2021). Digital Inequalities in rural Schools in South Africa. Open Science Journal, 6(3), 1-15.

Duncan, D., & Barczyk, C., (2016). Facebook’s effect on learning in higher education: An empirical investigation. Information Systems Education, 14(3), 14–28.

Engeström, Y., & Pyörälä, E. (2021). Using activity theory to transform medical work and learning. Medical Teacher, 43(1), 7-13.

Fauzi, I., & Khusuma, I. H. S. (2020). Teachers’ elementary school in online learning of COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Jurnal Iqra': Kajian Ilmu Pendidikan, 5(1), 58-70.

Flick, U. (2014). The Sage handbook of qualitative data analysis. Boston: Sage.

Freedmam, D. A. (2014). Sampling. [Accessed October 11, 2021].

Fung, F., Cheng, Y. T, & Gaowei, C. (2018). Student engagement and mathematics achievement: Unraveling main and interactive effects. Psychology in the Schools, 55(4),

Galleta, A. M. (2013). Mastering the Semi- Structured Interview and Beyond. New York: NYU Press.

Giannikas, C. (2020). Facebook in tertiary education: The impact of social media in e-Learning. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 17(1).

Hew, K., Lan, M., Tang, Y., Jia, C., & Lo, C. (2019). Where is the “theory” within the field of educational technology research? British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(3), 956–971.

Hoadley, C. (2018). A short history of the learning sciences. Singapore: Routledge.

Irina, A., Novikova, 1., Polina, A., Bychkova, 1., & Alexey L. N., (2022). Attitudes towards Digital Educational Technologies among Russian University Students before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustainability, 14, 1-18

Khan, Z. N. (2020). The impact of the lack of ICT Resources on teaching and learning in selected South African Schools.]. Accessed [Accessed October 20, 2021].

Khoo, B. K. S. (2019). Mobile applications in higher education: Implications for teaching and learning. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 15(1), 95-108.

Lippman, P. (2015). Designing collaborative space for schools. The education digest, 31(1), 39-44.

Lozano, A. G., & Solé-Pla, J. (2017). Smart work: The transformation of the labour market due to the fourth industrial revolution. International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research, 10(3), 47-66.

Madimabe, M. P. & Omodan, B. I. (2021). Investigating the Effects of E-Learning as A Method of Curriculum Dissemination for Rural TVET College Students. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 6(3), 82-92.

Mckenney, S., & Reeves, T. L. (2018). Conducting educational design research. New York: Routledge.

Nasajpour, M., Pouriyeh, S., Parizi, R. M., Dorodchi, M., Valero, M., & Arabnia, H. R. (2020). Internet of Things for current COVID-19 and future pandemics: An exploratory study. Journal of healthcare informatics research, 4(4), 325-364.

Omodan, B. I., & Ige, O. A. (2021). University Students' Perceptions of Curriculum Content Delivery During COVID-19 New Normal in South Africa. Qualitative Research in Education, 10(2), 204-227.

Omodan, B. I. (2020). Managing the Psycho-Social Vacuum of COVID-19 among Rural Learners through Ubuntu. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 10(6), 266-278.

Pereira, L. & Sithole, B. M. (2020). Learner-centred pedagogy in Accounting. African Educational Research Journal, 8(1), 20-30, DOI: 10.30918/AERJ.81.20.002

Piaget, J., 1954. Construction of reality in the child, Basic books: New York.

Pillay, I. (2021). The impact of inequality and COVID-19 on education and career planning for South African children of rural and low-socioeconomic backgrounds. African Journal of Career Development, 3 (1).

Rundel, C., & Salemink, K. (2021). Bridging Digital Inequalities in Rural Schools in Germany: A Geographical Lottery? Education sciences, 11, 5-18.

Schwab, K. (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond. [Accessed March 23, 2022].

Voogt, J., & McKinney, S. (2017). TPACK in Teacher Education: Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 26(1), 69-83.

Work, L. K., (2022). Elements of a Literature Review. [Accessed April 08, 2022].

Zimmerman, K. A., (2015). History of computers: A brief Timeline. [Assessed January 01, 2021].




How to Cite

Makena, B., & Omodan, B. . (2022). Digital influences on academic attainment: A case of one secondary school in a rural education district. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 11(4), 342–347.



Teaching, Learning & Higher Education Institutions