Prospects of Blended Learning for the Post-COVID-19 Higher Education: The Instructors’ Perspectives at a University in South Africa

Kazeem Ajasa BadaruORCID iD  & Emmanuel Adu ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.11 October 2022 Post COVID-19 Special Issue  Article 10 pp.126-139
DOI: |   Published online 31st October 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


The study explored the prospects of the blended learning approach for post-COVID-19 higher education from the perspectives of instructors at a university in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The study was qualitative and adopted the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) design. Using the purposive sampling method, a sample of twenty-eight academics was drawn from one university. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed. The findings revealed that blended learning has prospects for higher education in the post-COVID-19 context; such as accommodating vulnerable students without access to the internet and devices, increasing use of technologies for teaching and learning, facilitation of teaching and learning at any time and place, and solving problems of classroom overcrowding, increasing opportunities for higher education enrolment, breaking communication barriers between university instructors and students, and solving problems of truancy and absence of students and lecturers during the face-to-face lecture hours. In light of these findings, this study concluded that the prospects of blended learning should be harnessed for higher education in the post-COVID-19 context. The present study also considered some recommendations for making the blended learning approach effective in attaining higher education goals. These included increasing investment in the use of technologies for teaching and learning; and ensuring that there is continuous training of instructors in the use of emerging technologies for educational purposes while government at all levels continues to support HEIs for the implementation of the BL delivery system.

Keywords: Blended learning, Online learning, Face-to-face learning, Higher education, University instructors, COVID-19 lockdown

Alammary, Ali, Judy Sheard, and Angela Carbone. “Blended Learning in Higher Education: Three Different Design Approaches.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 30, no. 4 (September 9, 2014).

Anthony Jnr., Bokolo. “Institutional Factors for Faculty Members’ Implementation of Blended Learning in Higher Education.” Education + Training 63, no. 5 (June 1, 2021): 701–19.

Azizan, Siti Norbaya, Angela Siew Hoong Lee, Glenda Crosling, and Graeme Atherton. “Academic Staff’s Perspective on Blended Learning Practices in Higher Education Post COVID-19: A Case Study of a Singaporean University.” Asia Pacific Journal of Educators and Education 36, no. 2 (January 20, 2022): 205–31.

Badaru, Kazeem Ajasa. “Political Education as a Determinant of University Students’ Political Participation in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.” University of Fort Hare; Faculty of Education, 2019.

Badaru, Kazeem Ajasa, and Emmanuel Adu. “Preservice Teachers’ Perception of the Usability of Telephone Conferencing as a Mode of Instructional Delivery in Social Studies.” UNESWA Journal of Education 1, no. 2 (2018): 168–80.

Badaru, Kazeem Ajasa, Kemi Olajumoke Adu, Emmanuel Olusola Adu, and Ntombozuko Duku. “Teaching in a Pandemic: An Exploratory Study into University Instructors’ Perceptions of Work-from-Home Opportunities and Challenges during the COVID-19 Lockdown in South Africa.” International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 21, no. 7 (July 30, 2022): 286–304.

Boitshwarelo, Bopelo. “Exploring Blended Learning for Science Teacher Professional Development in an African Context.” The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 10, no. 4 (September 23, 2009).

Buran, Anna, and Arina Evseeva. “Prospects of Blended Learning Implementation at Technical University.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 206 (October 2015): 177–82.

Crawford, Renee, and Louise Jenkins. “Blended Learning and Team Teaching: Adapting Pedagogy in Response to the Changing Digital Tertiary Environment.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 33, no. 2 (December 1, 2016).

Creswell, John W. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches – John W. Creswell – Google Books. 3rd ed. CA: Sage, 2012.

Cuesta Medina, Liliana. “Blended Learning: Deficits and Prospects in Higher Education.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 34, no. 1 (March 28, 2018).

Garrison, Randy D., and Norman D. Vaughan. Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass, 2007.

Gqokonqana, Onke, Odunayo Magret Olarewaju, and Melanie Bernice Cloete. “Blended Learning Challenges During COVID-19: A Case of Cost Accounting 2 Students at a Selected South African Higher Education Institution.” Research in Social Sciences and Technology 7, no. 2 (June 26, 2022): 87–107.

Graham, Charles R., Wendy Woodfield, and J. Buckley Harrison. “A Framework for Institutional Adoption and Implementation of Blended Learning in Higher Education.” The Internet and Higher Education 18 (July 2013): 4–14.

Johnson, Jesse, Mike Abia, and Rejoice Quest. “A Comparison of Blended and Traditional Approaches to Computing and Informatics Instruction in Namibia Outcomes and Consequences for a Developing Nation.” In 7th Annual International Conference on Computer Science Education: Innovation & Technology (CSEIT 2016). Global Science & Technology Forum (GSTF), 2016.

Krasnova, Tatiana. “A Paradigm Shift: Blended Learning Integration in Russian Higher Education.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 166 (January 2015): 399–403.

Martínez-Caro, Eva, and Francisco Campuzano-Bolarín. “Factors Affecting Students’ Satisfaction in Engineering Disciplines: Traditional vs. Blended Approaches.” European Journal of Engineering Education 36, no. 5 (October 2011): 473–83.

Mastellos, Nikolaos, Tammy Tran, Kanika Dharmayat, Elizabeth Cecil, Hsin-Yi Lee, Cybele C. Peng Wong, Winnie Mkandawire, et al. “Training Community Healthcare Workers on the Use of Information and Communication Technologies: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Traditional versus Blended Learning in Malawi, Africa.” BMC Medical Education 18, no. 1 (December 2, 2018): 61.

Matheos, Kathleen, and Martha Cleveland-Innes. “Blended Learning: Enabling Higher Education Reform.” Revista Eletrônica de Educação 12, no. 1 (February 7, 2018): 238–44.

Means, Barbara, Yukie Toyama, Robert Murphy, Marianne Bakia, and Karla Jones. “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies.” US Department of Education, May 2009.

Muhuro, P., and S. M. Kangethe. “Prospects and Pitfalls Associated with Implementing Blended Learning in Rural-Based Higher Education Institutions in Southern Africa.” Perspectives in Education 39, no. 1 (March 12, 2021): 427–41.

Namyssova, Gulnara, Gulmira Tussupbekova, Janet Helmer, Kathy Malone, Mir Afzal, and Dilrabo Jonbekova. “Challenges and Benefits of Blended Learning in Higher Education.” International Journal of Technology in Education 2, no. 1 (October 16, 2019): 22–31.

Nieuwenhuis, Jan. “Introducing Qualitative Research.” In First Steps in Research, edited by K. Maree, 3rd ed., 56–76. Cape Town: Van Schaik, 2020.

Norberg, Anders, Charles D. Dziuban, and Patsy D. Moskal. “A Time‐based Blended Learning Model.” On the Horizon 19, no. 3 (August 16, 2011): 207–16.

Ntim, Stephen, Michael Opoku-Manu, and Anthony Addai-Amoah Kwarteng. “Post COVID-19 and the Potential of Blended Learning in Higher Institutions: Exploring Students and Lecturers Perspectives on Learning Outcomes in Blended Learning.” European Journal of Education and Pedagogy 2, no. 6 (November 16, 2021): 49–59.

Okaz, Abeer Ali. “Integrating Blended Learning in Higher Education.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 186 (May 2015): 600–603.

Pima, John Marco, Michael Odetayo, Rahat Iqbal, and Eliamani Sedoyeka. “A Thematic Review of Blended Learning in Higher Education.” International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning 10, no. 1 (January 1, 2018): 1–11.

Ruokonen, Inkeri, and Heikki Ruismäki. “E-Learning in Music: A Case Study of Learning Group Composing in a Blended Learning Environment.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 217 (February 2016): 109–15.

Smith, Karen, and John Hill. “Defining the Nature of Blended Learning through Its Depiction in Current Research.” Higher Education Research & Development 38, no. 2 (February 23, 2019): 383–97.

Dr. Kazeem Ajasa Badaru is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in (political) Education from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa; a Master of Science Degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Education Degree in Teacher Education, Political Science and History from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His research focuses on Educational research and political studies.

Prof. Emmanuel Adu (B.Ed, M.Ed and Ph.D.- University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria), is a Professor at the University of Fort Hare. His research focuses on Teacher Education, Economics Education, Curriculum Studies, and Educational Management.

Badaru K.A. & Adu E. “Prospects of Blended Learning for the Post-COVID-19 Higher Education: The Instructors’ Perspectives at a University in South Africa,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.11 (2022):126-139.

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (