Smart learning literature review


2.0 Introduction
2.1Theoritical framework
2.1.0 Technological revolution as a focal aspect of communication in smart learning
2.1.1 The Internet of things (IoT) – a linkage of wireless technological devices
2.1.2 The combined Impact of the Internet of Things, the use of robots, and Artificial Intelligence on Productivity in various learning aspects.
2.1.3 Smart learning history in South Africa
2.1.5 limitations of smart learning
2.1.6 barriers to effective smart learning
2.1.7 Process of adoption of smart technologies in South African tertiary institutions
2.2 Conceptual framework
2.2.0Factors impeding the adoption of smart learning technologies in South Africa
2.2.1Reasons for lack of consistency in smart learning
2.2.2 Strategies to improve South African universities’ transformation into smarter institutions
2.2.3 Student Nature
2.2.4 Academic nature
2.2.7 Choosing the model for smart learning
2.2.8 Becoming a smart tertiary school
2.2.9Reconstruction of smart learning and education
2.2.10 Redesign of learning
2.3 Summary of Chapter

2.0 Introduction

 In this chapter, the appropriate literature is checked, which is reliable and linked to the objectives. Chapter is important because it helps relate this research to previous studies carried out in upper schools in smart learning

It explains what these scientists have done and what potential scientists ought to do.

This systemic analysis aims to use an explicit search technique to exclude and include the reviewed articles and publications. This helps to come to an impartial collection of conclusions that are definitive in nature. The EPPI guidelines were used to classify the related papers and publications.

This included the creation of inclusion and exclusion criteria to help provide the scope of analysis, searching and reviewing articles and publications on research topics, assess the validity and consistency of the articles and publications, and then summarize the study’s findings. Conclusions from synthesized findings were then drawn

2.1Theoritical framework

2.1.0 Technological revolution as a focal aspect of communication in smart learning.

The world is witnessing the start of a technological revolution which is altering the way people function, interact and live.

Previous technological advances are credited with freeing humanity from animal power, allowing mass manufacturing, and making digital capabilities available to a vast number of people. According to Bloem (2014), the first technological revolution started in 1765, during an era known as proto-industrialization.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, significant changes took place. The stage was the time when the process started to become more automated.
As key aspect of smart learning, broadband communication was paved by advances in the pace of innovation and enhanced communication.

The use of telegraph and telephone increased communication’s timelines and effectiveness. It’s worth remembering that the second technological revolution’s success was built on extensive research into the new problems presented by the rising population needs.


The accumulation of resources, on the other hand, was critical in igniting the achievements at this point in time in order to spur learning.
Another technological revolution started during the second half of the 20th century. Transistors and processors provided the opportunity for the creation of diverse electronic devices; therefore, the communication efficiency increased when the computers were introduced (Bryan, 2016).

On the other hand, this level of industrialization was marked by the use of materials to provide miniaturized alternatives. Therefore, the onset of biotechnology can be traced to this era and the development of more telecommunication devices. This also paved the way for a more complex approach to modernization in the field of telecommunication.

digital technology

2.1.1 The Internet of things (IoT) – a linkage of wireless technological devices

Walter Mambodza points out that the Internet of Things (IoT) is seen as a digital technology perspective centered on changes that have taken place that connect automation and operations. The Internet of things is a 15-year development that enhances the goal of preserving virtual and tangible resources.

The mixing of sensors and cloud as well as connected devices is part of the Internet of Things characteristics. Information handling services (IHS), due to the integration of IoT into production and research firms, are projected to rise to 80 billion by 2025.
In addition, the Internet of Things has become important to manufacturers based on technology dimensions that directly impact intelligent business control, asset management, and interconnection in real-time.

Organizations are in a position to easily manage and exchange data and information, reducing time for decision-making, increasing productivity, and reducing distribution of resources and costs.
For instance, the use of IoT in companies reduced the burden of niche selection, segmentation, and positioning.
However, weaknesses like cybersecurity and interoperability have affected modernized businesses’ ability to fully take advantage of the Internet of Things (Kearney, 2017; Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017). Therefore, organizations’ capacity to achieve the most significant advantages and potentials related to the use of IoT is subject to automated and operational technology adoption, adaptation, and management.

2.1.2 The combined Impact of the Internet of Things

The main agenda here is to investigate the various roles of the technological revolution in learning. According to Dorleta Ibarra (2016), the computing concept has progressed from grids to the cloud and has become a prominent feature during the fourth technological revolution era.

Such a move was enhanced by the need for significant computing resources when solving a single problem. The ability to help leverage many machines that provide a similar purpose to the tiered end of the recipient is one of the critical issues associated with cloud computing that has aided in the achievement of the new revolution in technology.

The use of grid computing did not allow for such an advantage. The resources associated with a specific purpose or undertaking may be scheduled using cloud computing, depending on the task’s magnitude and length.
The usage of resources such as servers, networks, software, and storage, for example, is distributed depending on the design of the commands and processes to be performed, supporting grid and non-grid environments.

the use of robots

This is important to increase the ability of information processing and storage. Nano computing, on the other hand, is concerned with processes carried out with nanoscale computers. The use of nanotubes instead of silicon transistors has been linked to high levels of power conservation and efficiency.

Despite the fact that this field hasn’t been extensively studied, scholars have already established Nano computing’s potential in technical advancements.however, researchers must address obstacles such as dimension and integration.

The level of education and technical training, according to Professor Juan Miguel Pique Abadal (2018), is one of the most important areas for development and stability.
A rigorous curriculum is the foundation of a system that attracts and develops talents and skills related to creativity, leadership, and invention.

On the other hand, infrastructure growth is a global trend that determines the degree to which corporate undertakings, social facilities, and government services meet the targeted group. Furthermore, for a country to undergo transformational change, healthcare and security are necessary. Furthermore, good governance and national stability are two other global issues discussed in South Africa’s National Development Plan (NPC, 2012).

In addition, the framework included environmental protection and resilience goals, rural economy participation and acknowledgment, the state’s global role, education and training, and health care for all priorities (NPC, 2012).

The National Development Plan included the social security agenda, safer societies, and improving state capacity in response to the need for safe social coexistence and integration. The experts included recommendations for combating corruption and promoting national building through social cohesion to enhance governance.
Although the National Development Plan elements are part of the crucial global changes required for economic sustainability, the degree to which they are implemented varies by region. The National Development Plan centered on the key areas associated with economic development, based on metrics and goals associated with the fourth industrial revolution. A critical comparison of global patterns, however, reveals major differences.

In other fields other than learning, this combination is also noble. The study will also expound on this so as to illustrate the impacts in general. For example, using IoT in companies has reduced the cost of selecting, segmenting, and positioning niches.

Nevertheless, weaknesses such as cyber protection and interoperability have affected modernized companies’ ability to take full advantage of the Internet of Things (Kearney, 2017; Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017). The ability of organizations to achieve optimum benefits and potential associated with IoT is dependent on the adoption, adaptation,, and management of automated and operational systems.
The Internet of Things’ incorporation into business offered the most significant opportunity for a systematic review of data from customers, staff, operations, and other stakeholders (Baweja et al., 2016). The establishment of a local link of processes through machine intervention was needed for such a step.

AI  became important when manufacturers were able to create efficient command-based – communication between  computer-based interface and third-party terminals such as vendors, consumers, etc.

Artificial Intelligence on Productivity in various learning aspects

A systemic analysis and agenda of study by Yongxin Liao, Fernando Deschamps, Eduardo de Freitas Rocha Loures & Luiz Felipe PierinRamos points out that AI is important quality standards and self-surveillance mechanisms, which minimize risks, reduce costs and save time in production (Kearney, 2017).For example, Artificial Intelligence has been able to establish predictive schedules and operations in industry, manufacturing, and development, as well as to keep the supply chain optimized for optimum profitability, ethical standards, and adherence to quality measures. On the other hand, the level of productivity and creativity in medicine has been increased by pharmaceutical technology.
However, AI’s future is inclined to add value in the future, and producers from the headlines should pursue the required resources in order to create, in the shortest time, a system that will integrate the customers’ proposals related to development, invention, and innovation. The problem of distribution and sustainable technological culture is nevertheless one of the key challenges facing producers in developing countries and competitive markets (Li, Hou, and Wu, 2017).
The use of a technology engine is expected to transform the production process and focus more on the effect on the setting and implementation of market-based value metrics for optimal results, according to Yang Lu (2017).

Commentators have nevertheless postulated the likelihood of unsuccessful adaptability regarding the use of 3D Printing in high volume production in the traditional production. On the other hand, the global economic pattern is seen as an item not built on 3D Printing, in which services are supposed to be closer to the customers for productivity and excellent satisfaction levels. New innovations, however, would define this revolutionary age, which could turn current problems into remarkable achievements across the global divide.

2.1.3 Smart learning history in South Africa

 Innovative learning in South Africa at the University of Pretoria can be traced back to 1998. The tertiary institution began video conferencing for long-distance programs.
This has improved over time, and the university now has more than 24,000 part-time and distance learners off-campus (Xing & Marwala, 2019).

The tutors currently use intelligent learning to disperse resources and accelerate interaction and use mobile apps to connect with their learners. The institution now has over 200,000 students, but smart learning is just 4 percent of its access. Their platform is used mostly for administrative purposes and is not used in full. The number of active learners must now be increased via the intelligent learning framework.
Vula is primarily a forum for the dissemination of notes and announcements by the University of Cape Town. The system just modified a little as the programmers did very little. The tutors did not adopt the method, as it is less promoted and funded (Legotlo, 2014). There are still no technological applications to support the teaching program. These and several others have made the programs learning unattractive. The WebCT framework is used at the University of Stellenbosch.
The institution’s issue is that this program, particularly the tutors, was implemented without the stakeholders being thoroughly consulted. Conversely, the method is used by many students since there is a mandatory clause on its use.
Nevertheless, the method and other ways of smart learning have yet to be thoroughly exploited.

The institution has built an OSS KEWL network at the University of Western Cape (Legotlo, 2014). This system has one weakness, as academics do not understand the benefits and are resistant to change, as they lack interaction between social and technological influences.

2.1.4 Benefits of smart learning

Despite the fact that the use is still poor (Legotlo, 2014 ). There are over 45000 students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on its seven campuses. In contrast to the other referred to tertiary institutions, smart learning has made great strides. The technology was used to replace the conventional delivery of courses. Students may obtain assistance in learning design to make learning easy and enjoyable (Legotlo, 2014).
The University of Kwa Zulu Natal (UKZN) has used the Moodle teaching tool.
The tutors use the website to upload notes and include activities, forums, and exercises.
However, the students face difficulties as the system is difficult to enter and use as intended. Tshwane University of Technology launched the ‘Electronic Campus’ system for the first time in 2011.
The framework was later replaced by a ‘Blackboard’ platform. It allows tutors to upload notes, tasks, and ratings (Legotlo, 2014). However, the scheme is not entirely used to cover all academic fields. Tutors use it often, and less attention is paid to the pupils. Stiftung (2017) has noted that intelligent learning ability has not been completely exploited in the technological sector. The relationship between technology and organizational transitions is limited. The researcher mentions that smart learning concentrates more on the subject and offers students a chance to provide input that they find useful as it is instantly completed. Buchem, Klamma & Wild (2019) states that it is difficult for learners to fully understand theoretical training because of their limited experience and practical knowledge. The theory is well applied to solve certain problems by providing real-world interactions.


In terms of race, history, and identity crisis, the South African community is divided.
Students in higher education institutions must develop their identity. The development of virtual communities is one way to address diversity. When students are introduced to virtual communities, they ready themselves for a diverse society. Forums for discussions and chat rooms deliver, among other benefits, imagination, versatility, engagement, and collaboration. The students have improved personal knowledge and comprehensive access to information and facilitators. Students will have the opportunity to engage with people of various races and economic backgrounds.
The study recommends that organizations have faster Internet because inefficient resources such as low internet coverage have a detrimental impact on online resources. Spector (2014) examined the effect on the success of intelligent learning. He found that the performance increased after smart learning was introduced and over the years, students became involved as they continued to get acquainted with online learning.
Smart learning improves learning and administration, even though the effect is not what you would imagine. It encourages the behaviors of learners in a positive learning environment. Students’ learning experiences and expectations at Stellenbosch University and Alabama University in the U.S. were calculated using the ‘Blackboard’ innovative learning tool. The students noted that the tool’s key advantages are problem-solving and decision-making skills and their communication capabilities. These positive outcomes have been due to widespread participation and experience in cases that have simulated real-world experiences. In comparison to those in the United States, South African students had higher values and experience due to their proximity and no direct on-campus contact with teachers. Optimum use of ICT is advised to boost learning because students can select tertiary institutions based on preferences for delivery
The Smart Learning Environments & Chang International Conference (2019) states that smart learning has brought its challenges.

2.1.5 limitations of smart learning

Tutors have found that most students now dodge classes. The forms and paradigms of learning need to be reworked to address some of these challenges. Other problems include device crashes, bugs, and time shortages, including workloads. They remember, however, that all advantages must also have some weaknesses.

2.1.6 barriers to effective smart learning

Learning experiences must also remain essential and connected to the business.
Educators need to use smart learning to transform attitudes and increase encouragement and learning excitement by integrating intelligent learning functionality into organizations to enhance their learning process.
Tertiary education is expected to experience several changes in the next few decades in the same way. The essence, scale, governance mechanisms and relationships with society and the economy are expected to change. Evoh (2010) describes tertiary education as the main driver of South Africa’s economic growth and drives noticeable improvements inside and through universities. Bates (2005) states that tertiary education will remain organized with job requirements.
With higher fees and reduced government funding, many South African students are still judging higher education as a bad investment option because of the few chances of being employed after graduation. But most people contend that education is better than analphabetism.

The issue that will continue to arise is whether tertiary education is effective at preparing people for working life and citizenship today.
More specifically, doubts remain whether education is of good value (Doherty, 2003).
Tertiary education will face the important task of technological change, tough competition, and resource retention constraints. As a result, online and on-campus learning and education will continue to increase.

2.1.7 Process of adoption of smart technologies in South African tertiary institutions

Smart learning was first implemented in South African universities in 1996. At the time, employees primarily used technology to help them increase their productivity and develop their skills. The majority of the time, the staff used technology to assist with instruction. The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) was then used to eliminate distinctions between countries with and without access to information.

There was an acknowledgment that technology provided the country with significant potential while also introducing global competitiveness. Universities such as the University of Cape Town were successful in obtaining funding that allowed them to implement technology in their classrooms (Dlamini, Mwapwele & Marais, 2019).

From 2001 to 2005, the South African government embraced and promoted information and communication technology (ICT) to make knowledge more accessible. As the government rolled out basic needs such as connectivity, wiring, and similar developments, there was a greater emphasis on learners’ access to technology. E-learning strategies have also increased at South African tertiary institutions.

At the same time, several policies on the use of ICT in learning and teaching were developed, with a focus on learning institution management systems. Computers were primarily used to support teaching and research rather than to aid in academics.

At the time, the emphasis was on establishing infrastructure for learning and content management systems. According to a 2002 study, 1023 students at the University of Cape Town used ‘walk-in’ computers primarily for downloading materials offline.

By 2004, the use of ICT in South African tertiary institutions had largely adopted ICT for information retrieval and assignment writing. The adoption of technology was driven by the efficiency and management agenda and the South African government education policy, which recommended the use of ICT for institutions to be on par with the rest of the world.

Adoption of the technology

There was no framework in place at the time to guide the use of technology in higher education institutions (Dlamini, Mwapwele & Marais, 2019). From 2006 to 2010, there was a surge in interest in developing and evaluating staff development activities centered on the use of ICT in learning and teaching.
At the time, the learning centers served as advocates and advisors in the integration of ICT into the curriculum, with some working with lecturers and others working with students to help them integrate ICT more into their practice (Ohei & Brink, 2019).

During this time, it became clear that there was a disparity in access to technology. Particularly among students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who spoke English as a second language.  This pattern is exacerbated by students not confident in their computer ability skills and have less social structures when using their ICT infrastructure.
There was question about whether universities should provide online learning when many students lack access to working online.

According to a World Bank report from 2007, this is not a South African problem. According to the report, people who are economically disadvantaged are also likely to be technologically disadvantaged. During this time, more students began to have access to smartphones, and social media increased. The use of student-owned tools such as social media, instant messaging, and the like has increased dramatically.
Students can now participate in lectures via social media platforms such as Facebook. Mxit, a chat service became popular at the same time as a platform for facilitating social interaction among University of South Africa students (Dhanpat, Geldenhuys & De, 2019). From 2011 to 2016, there was an increase in digital literacy and social media and professional development.

2.2 Conceptual framework

2.2.0Factors impeding the adoption of smart learning technologies in South Africa

Several factors influence the adoption of smart technologies in South Africa. Physical, cultural, socioeconomic, and pedagogical factors are among them. Poor technology infrastructure, overcrowded compute labs, low bandwidth, high costs of internet connectivity, software costs, insufficient and inappropriate software, and equipment maintenance, and other factors impede the use of these technologies (Padayachee, 2017).In addition, non-competitive telecommunications policies and regulations hampered connectivity and sustainability. Geographic and demographic factors such as population density and dispersion also play a role. These factors can be expounded further as below:

  • Lack of requisite skills of operating a computer

South African students in high school have the option of pursuing ICT studies (Mudombi, Patt & Fabricius, 2017). This means that the majority of students enter tertiary institutions without the necessary computer skills.

  • Anti-competitive telecommunications policies There are also numerous anti-competitive telecommunications policies in place that impede connectivity and the long-term viability of smart learning in these institutions. School leaders should be change agents, but the majority of them are resistant to embracing smart learning.
  • Incompetent tertiary institutions officials. Many senior and influential tertiary institution officials in positions of responsibility requiring decision-making received their education and early work experiences prior to the advent and widespread implementation of information technology (Madida, Rugbeer & Naidoo, 2019). They also did so in environments where the capabilities of available IT were extremely limited in comparison to what we have today. It is not surprising, then, that these officials have a poor understanding of ICT resources and management issues and struggle to provide the necessary managerial direction and support.
  • Underdeveloped technology Research shows that most tertiary institutions lack ‘technology’ leadership to oversee the institutionalization of ICT integration and policy. In order to create and integrate locally produced or adapted digital open educational resources, the lack of context-appropriate course content for tutors and learners must be addressed (Oliver, 2018).
  • Illiterate ICT experts For innovative learning to be a success, tutors must be ICT literate and confident. The training options available have been limited and of varying quality. Teachers do not have enough time to learn about new emerging technologies.
  • High cost of training ICT experts.. The cost of preparing teachers for ICT skills is prohibitively expensive. As a result, each university is forced to do what it knows best without a central coordinating document.
  • Lack of an ICT policy.

The importance of having an ICT policy in a country cannot be overstated because it helps to streamline ICT implementation across institutions, whether private or public.

  • High bandwidth costs. The issue of bandwidth has hampered the adoption of smart technology in universities. Bandwidth costs are extremely high, and unreliable telecommunications services continue to be a problem. Service providers are also untrustworthy, and it is not uncommon for most tertiary institutions to be charged for bandwidth that they have not used (Siebrits & van, 2019).
  • Political instability. Political unrest is a major threat to staff retention and institutional stability. Corruption and xenophobic attacks have plagued South Africa. Future plans and policies are hampered by such insecurity (Powell, 2013). Decision-makers are also sometimes hesitant to alter the curriculum or pedagogical approaches.
  • Lack of incentives. Because most promotions are based on research results rather than innovations, tutors lack incentives and rewards. The unwillingness to carry out initiatives involving smart learning implementation in learning and teaching is rooted in a lack of incentives.
  • Poor network connectivity. The African continent also lacks a broadband ICT network, and there are issues with the acquisition of ICT facilities such as computers, as well as the implementation of viable networking LAN and WAN activities.
  • Inadequate funds. Most South African universities are grossly underfunded, and as a result, they are unable to maintain the infrastructure required for viable ICT facilities in today’s ICT-driven world (Powell, 2013)..
  • Brain drain

Developing and retaining ICT human resources remains a major challenge for most South African universities, with low salaries and poor working conditions being the primary concerns. This has frequently resulted in the majority of them experiencing a brain drain. However, there is some cause for optimism because the situation has improved in recent years.

  • Lack of goals. The rapid incorporation and dissemination of information and communication technology in South African universities raises significant management issues for top management and technical staff. The established computer centers frequently lack clear aims, objectives, and control, and the majority of these centers have been alienated by the mother universities, forcing them to operate independently of the universities that they are supposed to serve. This is largely due to a misalignment of goals.
  • Cultural influence.It has been demonstrated that, even though governments in developing countries have invested in the necessary infrastructure, the issue of culture continues to play a role in the low adoption of smart learning.

 2.2.1Reasons for lack of consistency in smart learning

The main factors that contribute to unequal access to smart learning are culture, employment status, income, geographical location, education, and race. According to Reijswoud (2009), the success of smart learning in countries such as South Africa is largely dependent on adaptation to local conditions and the introduction of appropriate technologies. As a result, the impact of ICT on education in poor countries is dependent on variables such as the appropriate design of software and hardware, instructor training and attitude, and the recognition that different students have different needs.
The government must play a larger role in ensuring that smart learning is smooth and successful. The government is in charge of licensing internet service providers, issuing mobile phone licenses, and controlling ownership, whether domestic or foreign. Tariffs for competition must be strengthened. The government should implement policies so that it does not appear as if it is attempting to censor and should stop efforts that promote widespread internet access and smart learning.

2.2.2 Strategies to improve South African universities’ transformation into smarter institutions

Education in South Africa with historical injustices back to apartheid is complicated (Achtenhagen, Henoch, B., & Luong, Q. (January 01, 2015). Currently, the country and the whole world are facing the effects of coronary virus disease, which has led to e-learning.

Access to digital books, simulated science laboratories, and related innovative learning resources is equitable through digital platforms. The need for e-learning has been further strengthened by this pandemic.

Teachers with different digital skills will need to be equipped and data affordable for online learning. Teachers must be equipped with digital capabilities in their training program by the government.

Western Cape University has implemented a program to train teachers and high school students in its computing student sector. This is intended to give the students an interest in intelligent learning so that when they reach college, they will not find it difficult.
Smart learning in the United Arab Emirates is a school ICT program.


In five years, the program has been implemented to cover all schools. He introduced ‘intelligent classes’ supported by intelligent panels and tablets and 4G high-speed networks. In order to achieve the project, the initiative aims to provide teachers with laptops and specialist training.

Similarly, the government in South Africa should launch such measures to make clever learning a reality. The budgetary allocation for such a program should begin at first. The government should start it at the elementary level to ensure that the project is a success until the tertiary level.
The amounts paid to providers of internet services should be lowered to enable more manageable and affordable access to the Internet for many students and homes. In Kenya, the administration has partnered with a local bank, where students can purchase laptops.

Most students have had their laptops in the initiative, which ensues to make intelligent learning a reality. In South Africa,, such attempts would ensure that a laptop’s ownership becomes more surreal and that intelligent learning is made.

2.2.3 Student Nature

The tertiary school will certainly be influenced by the nature of the students who strive to acquire knowledge. This is shown in the way that tertiary education is offered in flexible formats, particularly for adults working and the desire to have professional programs in such areas as business management, technology, and information (Nguyen et al.., 2014). This will lead to changes in the existing institutions in the tertiary institutions.

The increase in student enrolment attracted international students with students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and part-time students. Many students have different expectations about the facilities and services required to support learning compared with traditional school leavers. Students want educational experiences that are familiar with personal and professional goals, and this is the trend.

The students want something that gives them an increased chance of being employed. The fact that unemployed young people worldwide, some graduates of the college, are on the rise means that more people want to go to marketable courses in the workplace (Pavlin, 2019).

Youth unemployment was concerned even among college graduates because of the question of getting jobs right away as most of them look forward to being employed rather than creating jobs. The government has failed to create a favorable environment for self-employment. There is now a preference for real-world courses. The current population of graduates has also developed an appetite for digital media, particularly the Internet.

Students are looking for more time in mobile learning that goes beyond the traditional form of information provision. Technological development has an impact on teaching and learning since many universities are unprepared for the changes that result. A gap between expectation and experience seems to exist.

2.2.4 Academic nature

The majority of South African academics are elderly (South African Higher Education Council) (2009). The problem is that this segment may not be consistent with the smart learning parameters (Letoglo, 2014). There is, therefore, a need for the expansion of tertiary education to refresh, rebuild and maintain this workforce. There is a need for a university staff that understands current trends, which is currently not the case.

Most young people in South Africa want to leave higher education because of job security, compensation levels, and lack of research funding. It has been observed that most scholars below the age of 30 want to leave university in the next seven years (Letoglo, 2014).40% want to lean on research in matters related to academic work and teach, with 6% wanting to teach (South Africa’s Council on Higher Education) (2009).25% of academics see teaching as a priority. Still, the majority would not go that direction instead.

Similarly, only 38% of scholars believe that improving education in universities through intelligent learning is a priority. Another 40% said they have been training in intelligent learning since they began learning. Most of them did this once, but after that, they have never done the same.72% feel that training is not compulsory. The study report calls for compulsory regular training in tertiary institutions (Council on Higher Education (South Africa)) (2009).

More compulsory participation in training should be provided for all academics and particularly for the latest trends like intelligent learning so that they can respond to the idea positively. This attitude towards professional development comes at a time of significant change, characterized by the increased participation in mainstream teaching and learning practices of international students who more often need pedagogical support together with the incorporation of new technologies.

There is also discussion that academics have ample time to teach with surveys that show that 37% believe they do and 36% do not.
Sixty-one percent of academics note that because of student deficiencies, they spend most of their academic time teaching basics.
However, many university students believe that one of the parameters for the promotion of teaching expertise should be the Council on Higher Education (South Africa) (2009).

2.2.5 Skills needed to help smart learning

The world is changing from an industrial to a knowledge society, which requires developing young people’s ability to work with knowledge creatively and innovatively. Consequently, tertiary institutions face a significant challenge in preparing their students to meet society’s skills.

The critical skills required for present and future employees are lacking in knowledge. The labor market is changing rapidly, and what students in these institutions learn cannot prepare them adequately for it. In fact, the skills that are learned in schools are now shorter. This means that the tutors in the tertiary institutions have new responsibilities.

Tertiary institutions need to strengthen their abilities, such as problem identification, problem solving, and the ability to communicate in complex situations (Zaharias, 2011). You must develop creativity and initiative. The technological landscape is changing rapidly and constitutes an essential part of the institutional infrastructure. In recent years the presence of technologies has expanded continuously, but the costs and challenges associated with hardware, software, technological support, upgrades, and training are high.

Despite the costs, web tools change more best practices for learning. The Internet is no longer seen as a mechanism for content repository and information recovery but rather as a web that allows social mediation and user content generation. However, despite the rapid technology acquisition and increasing focus on mixed learning, most universities have not embraced web tools (Bearman, Dawson, Ajjawi, Tai & Boud, 2020).

Most tertiary institutions have not fully implemented web technology. It remains the view that technology serves to provide information rather than to support and promote commitment. Most institutional tutors overlook the web tools (Bearman, Dawson, Ajjawi, Tai & Boud, 2020).
Two major questions should be answered when tertiary institutes consider including technology in their teaching: first, how best to learn online, and, secondly, what the tutor’s role is and whether he can be substituted by technology.

Intelligent learning can be done by distance learning (Ryan, 2003). When used correctly and with the appropriate technology mix, this method can be useful and face-to-face instruction in the classroom. This type of intelligent learning involves the use, as a key technology, of email  and online discussion boards. Distance education leads to lower costs and increased registration.


A high level of digital literacy is needed that should be self-efficient and motivated to engage productively in learning activities. Some of the parameters to be examined include pedagogical soundness, media mix, and technologies.
The quality of technological infrastructure, the support of academics and the management and high coordination among stakeholders are also essential. Online learning comes as a distance learning form involving learning technology and teaching is conducted via the Internet. Students and trainers need not be provided at the same time (Bearman, Dawson, Ajjawi, Tai & Boud, 2020).
Smart learning also includes online learning combined with face-to-face education, but without changing the basic concept of the classroom (Tuikys, 2016). Learning management systems are used to store speech notes in slides or PDFs and links to online reading or online forums. The students can go over the lecture in their free time when a lecture is recorded, and then they become rooms for interactive sessions.

This model is referred to as the “flipped classroom.” In collaborative online learning, students collaborate to create knowledge, invent, explore ways of designing, and follow abstract knowledge necessary for resolving issues rather than reciting their opinion that is the right answer (Kamara, 2013).
Smart learning also includes open educational resources (OERs), which refer to digitally available materials on the Internet that can be downloaded by students without having to be charged (Tharmabalan, 2016).OER includes full courses, modules, textbooks, or other means of knowledge transmission. OER has several advantages, although they need to be well-conceived and firmly established in a productive learning environment.

Social media will be used to supplement existing and obsolete learning methods. However, there has been ineffective and superficial use of digital technology to enhance students’ learning experiences.As a result, it is worth noting that tertiary institutions have been slow to recognize the potential benefits of using social media. There have been several proposed explanations for why this exists.
To begin, there is a misunderstanding of why and how social media should be integrated into pedagogy. Career advancement is based on research outputs, which provide an incentive for academic staff to devote time and energy to new practices. Tutors have had little incentive to create online courses focused on knowledge and development.

Others include outlining how new technologies will be used and rethinking how learning will be evaluated. According to Ashman (2012), the use of technology in tertiary education actually improves student learning. He observes that when technology focuses on tutors’ design processes, less of it is used in teaching and learning. He believes that there should be a balance, but that the student learning process should be prioritized.

2.2.6 Responding to change through intelligent learning.

The revolution in digital technology has resulted in a shift in learner needs. Tertiary institutions must recognize that creating knowledge and sharing it with students is no longer sufficient, and they must be self-critical when it comes to what they do with a greater emphasis on the students.
At the very least, tertiary institutions will need to rationalize and, in some cases, rethink their operations, while also incorporating new teaching and learning delivery mechanisms. According to Adesina and Molloy (2014), in order for tertiary institutions to thrive in a technologically enabled world, they must consider the following:
To begin, they should use the scale economies exemplified by MOOCs to improve the efficiency of preparation and general education courses.

Second, they should consider significant technological investments and the decommissioning of lecture halls in favor of decentralized and smaller learning spaces.

Third, they should institute a culture change process among academicians to rethink how they conduct teaching and encourage them to see it as a means of enabling intellectual and personal growth among students rather than as a means of imparting knowledge to them.

They should strive to transform schools into productive living ecosystems by first providing residential housing, then incorporating leadership training, promoting professionalism among tutors, incorporating leadership training, and having international exposure and experience as part of the 21st-century learning process.

 2.2.7 Choosing the model for smart learning

Tertiary institutions must evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their current operating model. There is a need to shift away from the current model of large campus-based tertiary institutions relying on large lectures as the primary mechanism for teaching students.

Tuition fees will be a thing of the past with the introduction of smart learning. The majority of students are now reconsidering traditional tertiary education. The most recent models that provide opportunities for saving money and progress are in high demand.

To deal with the current situation, tertiary institutions’ leadership will need a solid framework for implementing organizational change. Gibbon (2014) suggests some approaches to accomplishing this.

He suggests that institutions increase number of programs offered or focus on a narrow range of applications on competitive advantage. They will also need clear strategy and mode of execution, focusing on specific student segments and their unique needs ,preferences.


Universities will also need to reconsider the role of digital channels and third-party partnerships in student recruitment and the delivery of teaching and research programs.
The university administration and back-office staff will be required to be lean. According to Johnson and Machika (2015), tertiary institutions in the aftermath of smart learning must focus their resources on a few distinct programs. To capitalize on the combination of programmatic strengths, the programs should be organized differently.

Partnerships could be formed to address flaws in applications, delivery to students, and other areas critical to providing high-quality programs. The researcher observes that traditional tertiary institutions have an advantage over other models due to their ability to blend online and face-to-face learning processes. He contends that traditional universities can provide high-quality, low-cost online learning supplemented with some periodic classroom-based instruction.

The combination of online technology and the tertiary learning institution experience adds a new dimension to traditional learning. With the available resources, they can handle competition while also having a high enrollment. Institutions must develop policies and procedures to improve the quality of teaching and assessment across all departments.

According to the 2009 UNESCO Report, a teaching and learning development center can play an essential role in quality development by ‘assuring school-wide staff growth in line with the institute’s style of teaching, student learning outcomes, and best practices revealed through the scholarship of teaching and learning.’

2.2.8 Becoming a smart tertiary school

The field of tertiary education is undergoing a great deal of change. The institutions are adopting highly digital technologies which now support new and innovative content through high Internet speeds. However, in tertiary education, there is still a small conversation about the digital age (Ellis & Goodyear, 2016). Many university students have internet access and access to digital learning resources. The few who access university sites do not find rich spaces to learn when accessing study sites.

However, not everything is lost. Tertiary institutions are looking for ways to provide quality services and more learning, and cheaper costs. The digital transformations will transform the way academics provide feedback to students in real-time. They will also determine how education is accessed in remote areas and how value is created in tertiary education .

MOOCs are seen as one way to take evolving technology into account in tertiary education. As a result, there will be a mushroom of higher quality and more collaborative online modes of study with traditionally based universities that incorporate technology into all their work.
The inclusion of MOOCs will allow institutions to benefit in particular. They will allow universities to display their brands at some way low costs worldwide. It also enables institutions to attract high-quality students.

MOOCs will also allow them to connect their brands to pioneers of MOOC.MOOCs could inspire more university professionals to be reputable and creative. But not everybody agrees. Almeida et al. (2016) note that innovative learning, beyond MOOCs, contributes to the expansion of entirely new focus areas and institutions.

The UNESCO report for 2009 notes that higher education trends are strongly supported, and distance education is one of the principal expansion areas. It also notes that trends are important to meet the changes in the increasing population of students.

2.2.9 Reconstruction of smart learning and education

The challenge is to determine the optimal combination of online and on-campus education and tutoring in the higher education sector. The changing nature of available technologies and the student body means that tutors have to change their way of teaching. Academics face the pressure to embrace smart learning in mixed and online modes face to face.

Tutors today use tools such as skype to interact in the same virtual space with their students. Regardless of whether they are in different time zones, they can still interact if there is previous communication between the parties concerned (Cho & Woodward, 2014).

This  to work, the tutors need skills and knowledge in order to, for example, design, facilitate and evaluate the course. They must also be capable of supporting the students’ social and emotional well-being and technical skills. Chang (2019) believes that there is a need to work together to make smart learning meaningful.

He notes the need for relevant learning theories to underpin the construction of learning experiences. He notes that components must be incorporated that work together to achieve meaningful learning in smart learning.
Smart learning requires a wide range of design skills, which most tutors lack. They are also deficient or unable to access media producers who can create necessary videos, simulations, animations, and digital graphics. Without this technological support, the tutors become accustomed to what classroom they are confronted with. Most of them are familiar with the theory of face-to-face learning. Educational designers must therefore consider learning goals and adequate design skills.

Smart Skills

It must also be noted that the tutor’s regular presence is crucial to students’ success. Brookfield (2013) suggests that intelligent learning includes new types of education. There is a need to plan how students learn in mixing the spaces for physical, digital, and social learning. A good selection of online tools and resources of all kinds of active learning is also needed. There is also a need for independent learning activities in all forms to be designed and developed.

It is also necessary to include personalized and adaptive teaching, which improves conventional methods, flexibility in combined learning options, and the role of tutors in online discussion.

The technology should also be used to improve qualitative feedback and use advanced training analytics to help the teacher to better understand where the teaching needs to be improved.
The one point that comes out in the literature is the inclusion in tertiary institutions of intelligent learning in the classroom model.

This model sees situation where lectures are replaced by online classrooms that allow students to access own space and time. It takes the form of watching video presentations etc. Intelligent learning is designed to make it easier for students to develop cognitive skills and work together to solve real-life problems.

It supports the huge demand for students who want to access learning and mixed learning opportunities. But the implementation of this directive is largely costly, and most likely, the universities will contribute to MOOCs and run their own degrees, while also receiving an intensive place-based degree.

2.2.10 Redesign of learning

tertiary institutions move toward intelligent learning, the nature of the spaces through which learning takes place needs to be considered .activities on campus need to be significant. There must be flexible and well-equipped spaces. Investments in the classrooms must take smart learning into account.

This means that ICT employees, designers, and tutors are involved in the design of classrooms. When the tutors receive the flexible, well-designed learning environment, significant changes will probably be seen in the learning and teaching process.

In higher schools, following has to be considered. Is it necessary to add classrooms when students spend the most of their time online ?.  It will also be necessary to consider whether there are available places to learn where students can work in small groups and meet quickly again.

2.3 Summary of Chapter

To conclude, a literature synthesis is completed. Smart learning involves the use of information and communication technology in the learning process. The reviewed literature sought to connect this study to the future of tertiary education in South African tertiary institutions. Smart learning.

This literature has demonstrated that ICT plays an important role in all levels of education, not only in tertiary institutions. The literature notes that intelligent learning has not been fully exploited, but that will change substantially in the coming years.

The use of ICT and intelligent learning will have a positive effect on education, learning, and research.Students will be easy to access the education without time and geographical barriers

Intelligent learning influences how students are taught and how they learn. A more tactful approach to intelligent learning will provide the teaching-learning process with a rich environment and motivating by offering tutors and learners new opportunities.

These possibilities have an enormous impact on student performance and achievements. Smart learning can also lead to best practices and best materials in the high school. The general literature recommends that ICT be integrated effectively into education to make intelligent learning an even better learning experience.


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