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The impact and reach of MOOCs: a developing countries' perspective

[Massive] open online courses (MOOCs) are a recent but hugely popular phenomenon in the online learning world. They are hailed by many as a solution for the developing world's lack of access to education because MOOCs can provide learning opportunities to a massive number of learners from anywhere in the world as long as they can access the course through Internet. However, a close consideration of the ability of learners from most developing countries to make use of MOOCs seems to contradict this rhetoric. This paper discusses features of MOOCs and looks at them from a developing countries' perspective to conclude that due to a complicated set of conditions ('access', language, computer literacy, among others) prevailing in developing countries, MOOCs may not be a viable solution for education for a large proportion of people in these areas of the world. The paper further shows the need for more data on the demographics of MOOC participants from developing countries to form a better understanding of MOOCs role in educating people from developing countries.

[Massive] open online courses (MOOCs) are a recent but hugely popular phenomenon in the online learning world. They are ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Liyanagunawardena, Tharindu; Williams, Shirley; Adams, Andrew
Date: 2013
Journal title: eLearning papers
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Economics; Equity;

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Understanding the MOOC trend: the adoption and impact of massive open online courses

This paper addresses three questions: What makes [massive open online courses] MOOCs different from previous online and open education efforts? Will MOOCs generate a positive return on investment for their providers? What can be learnt from early entrants into large-scale online instruction?

This paper addresses three questions: What makes [massive open online courses] MOOCs different from previous online and open ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Attis, David; Koproske, Colin; Miller, Chris
Date: 2012
Resource type: Paper
Subjects: Higher education; Teaching and learning; Finance;

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Making real the dream of Education for All through open schooling and open universities in Ghana

Although the last three decades have witnessed astronomical increases in enrollment in basic education, the challenges of access, equity, and quality continue to confront countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ghana, education sector policies and reforms have been unable to deal with low transition rates from primary to junior high schools, from junior high schools to senior high schools, and from senior high schools to tertiary level. Children and young students who are unable to continue fail to re-enter because of the absence of complementary or alternative pathways. The old paradigm of physical expansion continues to dominate policies of access. Although several developed and developing countries have used open schooling and open universities to widen access, the success of these programs has been founded on strong policies, commitment of government, and huge investment in technology. Indeed, the future lies with open schooling and open universities.

Although the last three decades have witnessed astronomical increases in enrollment in basic education, the challenges of ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Tagoe, Michael
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Africa; Ghana
Journal title: SAGE open
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Outcomes; Pathways;

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Factors affecting students' retention and attrition in the open and distance learning system

This study was undertaken to find the factors that affect student retention and attrition in the open and distance learning (ODL) system in the Punjab region in India. The main objectives of the study were to find out: (1) retention and attrition rates among the learners pursuing graduate and postgraduate programmes; (2) rate of attrition among the learners pursuing other professional and non-professional programmes; (3) percentage of retention and attrition among male and female, rural and urban students; and (4) factors that cause the attrition rate among the learners pursuing the professional and non-professional programmes. For the purpose of finding the retention and attrition rates of the learners who had opted to pursue their study through distance mode, the admission data of selected degree programmes from selected districts in Punjab was collected and analyzed. After analysis of the data, it was found that the attrition rate was high among the learners pursuing the non-professional programmes in comparison to those pursuing the professional programmes. The number of dropouts among rural learners was larger in comparison to those of urban students. For uncovering the factors that cause the retention and attrition rates among the distance learners pursuing these programmes, a questionnaire was developed for collecting feedback from the learners of the mentioned districts. It was found that factors like the non-receipt of counselling schedule in time from the learner support centre, writing of the study material in tough language, non-availability of self-instructional material in local language, delay/non-receipt of study material, non-receipt of the evaluated assignments in time, inadequate guidance at the study centre level, and delay in updates of student data on the website are the factors responsible for the high attrition rate among the learners.

This study was undertaken to find the factors that affect student retention and attrition in the open and distance learning ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Kumari, Santosh
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Asia; India
Journal title: Indian journal of open learning
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Participation; Teaching and learning; Students;

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Accreditation of prior learning experiences of adult learners in open and distance learning

In 2001 the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) embarked on the recruitment of adult learners through accreditation of prior learning (APL). This was in recognition that adult learners who embark on open and distance learning (ODL) have a variety of learning experiences which relate to the world of work which can be incorporated into their degree programmes. The ZOU in recognition of the above philosophy and practice went ahead and admitted students into the counselling degree programme using the APL route. The assumption was that the learner's would achieve personal development and growth through their involvement in APL advisement and assessment. This qualitative study therefore aimed to find out what the APL students' experiences were. Convenient sampling was used to select the students. An extensive open interview was carried out with them. Lecturers and administrators were also interviewed to solicit their views on the students' experiences. The findings revealed that the students lacked adequate support. ODL institutions need to improve awareness of APL and support to students.

In 2001 the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) embarked on the recruitment of adult learners through accreditation of prior ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Kaputa, Thomas M.
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: Zimbabwe; Africa
Journal title: Asian journal of educational research
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Pathways; Teaching and learning; Students

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From Open Educational Resources to college credit: the approaches of Saylor Academy

Over the past decade great progress has been made in improving the availability of Open Educational Resources (OER). However, one area in which OER has been deficient is in its ability to lead to college or university credit, something that many users of OER may desire. This article describes the work done by the Saylor Academy in amalgamating OER in such a format that college credit is more easily attainable. [The authors] describe not only the theory behind what Saylor has done, but also provide details about the initial stages of their program implementation within specific accredited institutions.

Over the past decade great progress has been made in improving the availability of Open Educational Resources (OER). ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Hilton, John; Murphy, Lindsay; Ritter, Devon
Date: 2014
Geographic subjects: United States; North America
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Pathways; Research; Students;

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Open and distance education systems: do they enhance graduates' soft skills?: the results from 2009 Universitas Terbuka tracer study

The vision and mission of Universitas Terbuka (UT) is to become a highly qualified open and distance education institution and to provide higher education access to all communities. Graduates of UT are expected to acquire adequate knowledge, hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills play important roles in the world of work. The aim of this article is to describe: (1) whether the open and distance education systems are capable of providing graduates with soft skills; (2) how soft skills are acquired during the period of study; and (3) how are the range of soft skills acquired by graduates and required by stakeholders at work. This article uses the 2009 UT tracer study, which employed survey and in-depth interviews to selected respondents and stakeholders. Two thousand four hundred and seventeen pairs [of] data (graduates and stakeholders) were analysed. The rating scales were from one (very poor) to four (excellent). The attributes analysed were personal, interpersonal and situational skills. The results show that learning systems that are based on individual learning and tutorial did provide graduates with soft skills. Graduates and stakeholders perceived interpersonal skills as fair. In general, soft skills required at work were time management, self-confidence, problem solving, creativity and team-work.

The vision and mission of Universitas Terbuka (UT) is to become a highly qualified open and distance education institution ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Ratnaningsih, Dewi Juliah
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Indonesia; Asia
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Skills and knowledge; Employment;

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Assessment challenges in open learning: way-finding, fork in the road, or end of the line?

Growing global commitments to open learning through the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) are accompanied by concerns over what 'to do' with that learning when learners present it to traditional institutions for assessment and accreditation. This paper proposes that established RPL (recognizing prior learning) protocols, in place at many institutions worldwide, can offer a pedagogically sound framework that supports the spirit of open learning and respects the diversity of learners' efforts.

Growing global commitments to open learning through the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) are accompanied by concerns ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Conrad, Dianne
Date: 2013
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Pathways; Assessment;

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Improving open access through prior learning assessment

This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): type-one for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; type-two for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain certification; and type-three mapping occupational skills as portfolio-needs analysis. In each of these some e-assessment can play a role, notably in type-three in distance education. [The authors'] previous research has been in type-two and [the authors] report the empirical results and challenges involved in practice. Moving beyond type-two [the authors] further report how e-type-three can improve practice in the Open University of China - a very large [open and distance learning] ODL provider. [The authors] discuss the barriers and challenges being faced, and ways being explored to resolve these issues, to reduce the costs involved and to improve open access to learning.

This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: China; Asia
Journal title: Open praxis
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Teaching and learning; Pathways; Equity;

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MOOCs and the funnel of participation

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are growing substantially in numbers, and also in interest from the educational community. MOOCs offer particular challenges for what is becoming accepted as mainstream practice in learning analytics. Partly for this reason, and partly because of the relative newness of MOOCs as a widespread phenomenon, there is not yet a substantial body of literature on the learning analytics of MOOCs. However, one clear finding is that drop-out/non-completion rates are substantially higher than in more traditional education. This paper explores these issues, and introduces the metaphor of a 'funnel of participation' to reconceptualise the steep drop-off in activity, and the pattern of steeply unequal participation, which appear to be characteristic of MOOCs and similar learning environments.

Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are growing substantially in numbers, and also in interest from the educational ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Clow, Doug
Conference name: International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference
Date: 2013
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Resource type: Conference
Subjects: Higher education; Participation; Outcomes;

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