GEORGE WILSON KASULE, WILSON MUGIZI, JOSEPH RWOTHUMIO
The COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the lockdown of educational institutions hastened the adoption of online classes. However, especially in public universities in Uganda, online teaching and learning was received with mixed feelings by students and some lecturers. Nevertheless, it is incontestable that the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in many different ways of doing things, such as compulsory online teaching and learning. This study seeks to obtain insights into the digital teaching competences of lecturers and their self-efficacy in online classes. Specifically, the study examined the relationship between lecturers’ course design, technical, course communication and time management competences with their self-efficacy in online classes in terms of instructional methods, student management and student engagement. This correlational study involved a sample of 327 academic staff from four public universities. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire and analysed quantitatively. Data analysis involved structural equation modelling using partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). The results revealed that course design, course communication and time management competences had a positive and significant influence on lecturers’ self-efficacy in online classes. However, digital technical competence had a positive but insignificant influence on lecturers’ self-efficacy in online classes. The conclusions of the study are to the effect that the capacity to design online courses is imperative for lecturers’ self-efficacy in online classes, course communication competence is essential for lecturers’ self-efficacy in online classes, and time management competence is vital for lecturers’ self-efficacy in online classes. However, digital technical competence is not very imperative for lecturers’ selfefficacy in online classes. The study recommends that university managers should develop lecturers’ capacity to design online courses, develop their online course communication competence, and sensitise lecturers about the importance of time management in teaching online classes. Nonetheless, university managers should not over emphasise digital technical competence of lecturers.
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