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Uptake, Barriers, and Determinants of e-Learning Among University Students in Selected Low Income Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Amidst the COVID-19 Disruption: An Online Survey.

  • Nyemike Simeon, Awunor1, 2
  • Abdulmujeeb Babatunde, Aremu1, 3
  • Lukman Abiodun, Nafiu4
  • Omogbadegun Olu, Richard3
  • Ido Emem, Awunor5
  • 1 Department of Community Medicine, Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda. , (Uganda)
  • 2 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria. , (Niger)
  • 3 Department of Anatomy, Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda. , (Uganda)
  • 4 Department of Statistics, Kabale University, Kabale, Uganda. , (Uganda)
  • 5 Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, International University of East Africa, Kampala, Uganda. , (Uganda)
Published Article
Advances in Medical Education and Practice
Dove Medical Press
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DOI: 10.2147/AMEP.S357677
PMID: 35707204


The Coronavirus pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the widespread closure of schools in the affected countries with a phased reopening over time. The objective of this study was to determine the uptake, barriers, and determinants of e-learning among university students in Uganda and Nigeria following the COVID-19 disruption in 2020. A total of 240 respondents comprising University students participated in this survey. It was a cross-sectional descriptive study using a self-administered structured online questionnaire using Google documents. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS v.21 with statistical significance set at p<0.05. The modal age group was 21-25 years at 128 (53.3%) participants, uptake of e-learning was 159 (66.3%). The majority of respondents used a smartphone (98.8%) for the internet, with WhatsApp platform (63.7%) as the most frequently used for e-learning. Barriers to e-learning, as self-reported by respondents, were the cost of internet services (82.1%), internet inaccessibility (68.8%), lack of institutional support (47.1%), and lack of training (40.8%). Determinants of e-learning were age (p<0.001) and sex (p=0.026). Two thirds of the university students had ever been taught online before the lockdown. Barriers to e-learning were mainly the cost of internet services and internet inaccessibility. Age and sex of respondents were determinants of e-learning use among University students. It is recommended that students be trained and facilitated by the Universities to adopt e-learning effectively. Governments in sub-Saharan Africa and the relevant sectors in the economy should improve the ICT infrastructure, internet accessibility, and facilitate reduction in the cost of services. © 2022 Nyemike Simeon et al.

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