Neutralising the digital divide: is blended learning a viable solution?


  • Makhulu Makumane Senior Lecturer, Department of Languages and Social Education, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
  • Tawanda W. Mataka Lecturer, Department of Languages and Social Education, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
  • Walter Sengai Lecturer, Department of Languages and Social Education, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
  • S. Ngcobo Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, South Africa



digital divide, educational technologies, ideological ware resources, blended learning, access


The digital divide (DD), which refers to the gap resulting from unequal access to digital technology hardware, software and ideological-ware resources, arises from disparities in accessing, material and physical resources that enable internet access. In the contemporary world, this divide extends beyond internet access to include the ability to manipulate educational technologies in the knowledge building process. Therefore, the installation of the internet infrastructure in communities should not be considered as the sole facility to access. In attempting to curb the DD, blended learning is seen to be a possible viable option. It is against this backdrop that this article sought to explore the role of blended learning in neutralising DD. This qualitative case study employed the resources and appropriation theory as a lens to analyse DD as a result of societal inequalities and unequal distribution of resources. The community of Inquiry (COI) framework was also used as a theoretical lens to guide the implementation of social and cognitive knowledge-building in a blended learning context. The reported study employed purposive sampling involving 26 participants who were the recipients of blended learning in one institution of higher learning (HEI) in Lesotho. Data were generated through reflective journals and one-on-one semi-structured interviews, and guided analysis was used to interpret the generated data. The findings established that blended learning has the capacity to neutralise DD, as it affords students the flexibility to design and engage in individualised learning experiences through both offline and online modes of teaching and learning, thereby meeting their access needs. The recommendation proposed in this article, thus, is for HEIs to adopt blended learning to eliminate categorical inequalities and social divisions in education, ideally promoting equilibrated inclusion of individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in the teaching and learning process.


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How to Cite

Makumane, M., Mataka, T. W., Sengai, W., & Ngcobo, S. (2023). Neutralising the digital divide: is blended learning a viable solution?. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 12(7), 511–522.



Teaching, Learning & Higher Education Institutions