The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content includes interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.

News

The Globethics.net library contains articles of Journal of Learning for Development as of vol. 1(2014) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Feasability of Open Schooling in Disturbed Areas: A Case Study of Afghanistan

    UNDP/ NIBP Afghanistan, S S Jena, NIOS-India; Mitra, Sushmita (Commonwealth of Learning, 2014-03-13)
    Most countries have enshrined right to education in their constitution but in reality to fulfil this commitment countries do face a number of challenges. And this is true with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which unlike other countries has a long history of war, conflicts, insurgency and hence insecurity. Although there have been positive steps towards rehabilitation of the education system and signs of promises can be seen in its achievements, access to quality education remains inequitable particularly across the provinces as a result of remoteness and geographical isolation, harsh climate, insecurity which impedes growth and sustainability of access points, high gender gap in all sectors of education particularly from lower secondary stage to higher stages of education, poor infrastructure prevalent in most schools, untrained teachers and low number of female teachers affecting participation, retention and continuity of studies.This paper highlights the current school educational status in Afghanistan to reveal the daunting challenges still existing to confront for the country to achieve its constitutional goals. It will also points out how Open schooling system can take charge of the challenges in Afghanistan to provide a channel of educational opportunities to those who cannot and do not go to school particularly the girls and women.  (Note:This article was orginally presented in: The International Conference on Education for All: Role of Open Schooling, 13th -15th March 2013, New Delhi)
  • Understanding the Profile, Motivations and Current Status of Academic Graduates through Open and Distance Schooling in India

    Common Wealth of Learning; Jha, Jyotsna; Centre for Budget and Policy Studies; Ghatak, Neha; Centre for Budget and Policy Studies; Mahendiran, Shreekanth; Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (Commonwealth of Learning, 2017-06-13)
    In India, Open and Distance Learning for secondary and higher secondary level is mainly provided by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). Secondary education in India pertains to class 9 and 10 catering to the age group of 15 to 16. Similarly, higher secondary education refers to class 11 and 12 catering to the age group of 17 to 18. Based on research supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) this paper discusses the results from a telephone survey of close to 1000 learners who were enrolled with NIOS and completed secondary and higher secondary education during 2008-2012 in selected states. It emerged that nearly 81 per cent of respondents were gainfully employed and NIOS helped them look for better jobs, widen their job search, and gain more stable (permanent) and secure (government) jobs. NIOS has successfully enabled a good proportion of learners to continue with their higher education. Flexibility offered by open schooling is the main motivation to join NIOS; individuals facing various constraints in accessing regular secondary education have opted for this option. It appears that two different kinds of learners join NIOS at these two levels; the secondary level seems to have a bigger representation from lower socio-economic strata. The role of open schooling in reducing the gender gap at secondary level of schooling remains mixed.
  • Open and Distance eLearning in Asia: Country Initiatives and Institutional Cooperation for the Transformation of Higher Education in the Region

    Bandalaria, Melinda dela Peña; University of the Philippines Open University (Commonwealth of Learning, 2018-07-18)
    This paper is an attempt to describe the situation of higher education in Asia including the challenges it faced as well as the open and distance elearning initiatives by different countries and universities.  Data gathering was done through review of online documents and websites as well as documentation of the different initiatives especially by the member institutions of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU).  Descriptions of open education practices on MOOCs, OERs, and open access publications were presented and their potential to transform higher education in the region was discussed.  Challenges encountered in the implementation of ODeL programs were articulated as well as some suggestions on how to address them.
  • Learning for Development in the Context of South Africa: Considerations for Open Education Resources in Improving Higher Education Outcomes

    Baijnath, Narend; Council on Higher Education (Commonwealth of Learning, 2018-07-18)
    Education is at the core of South Africa’s national development. The National Development Plan recognizes the potential of education to transform individuals and drive attainment of other development goals. The country’s higher education system is characterized by low participation and high attrition. This presents challenges for attainment of targets set by the NDP. A number of Open Education Resources initiatives implemented around the world have shown that when combined with Open Educational Practices, such approaches have potential to address some of the challenges facing the South African higher education Sector. This paper explores these initiatives and elements that would need to be considered to ensure an environment that is conducive to their sustainable adoption.
  • From policies to implementation of open distance learning in Rwanda: A genealogical and governmentality analysis

    University of Rwanda; Commonwealth of Learning; Mukama, Evode; University of Rwanda - College of Education (Commonwealth of Learning, 2018-03-17)
    The purpose of this paper is to analyse the interplay between policy formulation and implementation in terms of the present historical and cultural practices of open distance learning (ODL) in Rwanda. This paper draws on the Foucauldian genealogical and governmentality analysis. The paper examines Government aspirations as depicted in policy statements starting from2001, ayear aligning with the beginning of the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020. This Vision aims at transforming the country from an agrarian to a knowledge-based and technology-led society. This study analysed discourses emerging from policy statements on ODL and scrutinised how Government aspirations were translated into concrete actions. Moreover, the study examined the rationality governing ODL practice and explored governing techniques adopted in relation to ODL discourses.  The findings reveal that, though policies extol ODL potential to increase access, relevance and inclusion in education, and though they highlight the need to improve quality in higher education through affordable, scalable and sustainable technologies, implementing institutions tend to adopt contentious approaches to cope with a dual mode. The study suggests some concrete ideas to close the gap between ODL policy formulation and implementation. 
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Skill Deficit: The Role of Open Distance Learning (ODL)

    COL; Srivastava, Mamta; National Institute of Open Schooling A24/25 sector 62 Institutional Area NOIDA India; Jena, Sitansu S; Former Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling A24/25 sector 62 Institutional Area NOIDA India (Commonwealth of Learning, 2015-03-20)
    Skills acquisition is vital for any economy to compete and grow, particularly in an era of economic and technological change. Skill needs are widespread in most developing countries , including India . Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a direct means of providing workers with skills more relevant to the evolving needs and equitable but must be linked directly to industry needs and requirements. Skilling India may be the biggest challenge facing the country today. Training half a billion people by 2022 is the most ambitious goal ever set by any country in the field of education and training. On the other hand in India there are millions of people who have considerable level of skill in a particular area but they do not have any form of certification to testify their existing skills, as a result they are unable to use this to progress further for training or improved employment. Hence, there is need for a credit and qualifications framework against which individuals' skills could be mapped. Recognition of Prior Learning ( RPL) is a new concept for India. Presently no system is designed for assessment and certification of RPL.The Indian Government vide its executive orders notified the National Qualifications  Education Framework,  ( NVEQF)  and assigned the task of assessment and certification of  RPL for skills at the lower level of occupations mostly engaged in the unorganized  sector to Open Schooling and along with the Industry through Sector Skills councils( SSC) .  Recognition of Prior Learning is a crucial area in open and distance learning system. Given the magnitude of the skill development challenge, Recognition of prior learning enables effective and maximum utilization of human resources. Hence can be considered as a ‘tool’.This paper will portray the framework developed and discuss the issues related to the implementation of this RPL Framework in the diverse country like India. Key words ; Recognition of Prior Learning, skill deficit ,Sector Skills Councils
  • An Evaluation of the Usefulness and Ease of Use of the Aptus within the Samoan Education Context

    National Unversity of Samoa, COL, Ministry of Education Samoa (MESC); Chan Mow, Ioana Tuugalei; National University of Samoa; Temese, Edna; National University of Samoa; Mose, Mose Nitreous; National University of Samoa; Patu, Tara; National University of Samoa; Mauai, Elisapeta; National University of Samoa; Sinclair, Ioana; National University of Samoa; Lafaele, Fiafaitupe; National Univeraity of Samoa; Namulauulu, Joseph; National University of Samoa; Tanielu, Misioka; National University of Samoa; et al. (Commonwealth of Learning, 2017-11-20)
    This paper describes the findings of the first trial of the Aptus device within the National University of Samoa. The Aptus is a device that enables wireless access to valuable educational resources in the absence of electricity and the Internet. The goals of this research were to explore the acceptance of using the Aptus to access e-resources within the context of education in Samoa, with user acceptance measured by evaluating the ease of use and usefulness of the Aptus. The findings of the trial indicated very positive perceptions of students and teachers at the university in terms of ease of use and usefulness of the Aptus within educational settings. From the results of Phase 1, a strong recommendation is made to adopt the Aptus as a technology for providing access to quality educational resources within the National University of Samoa. The study also recommends the need for training of teachers on the use of the Aptus and its applications, such as Moodle.
  • Willingness to Engage in Open Educational Practices among Academics in Rwandan Public Higher Education and Responsive Actions

    Commonwealth Scholarship Commission; The University of Leicester; The University of Rwanda; Dr Pamela Regerson-Revell; Nkuyubwatsi, Bernard; EUCLID University (Commonwealth of Learning, 2017-11-20)
    Academics’ engagement in Open Educational Practices (OEPs) is critical for opening up higher education. It is in this perspective that the willingness to engage in such practices among academics in Rwandan public higher education was investigated with an agenda to trigger responsive actions. Via convenience/availability and volunteer sampling, 170 academics were invited to participate in the study and 85 of them completed and returned an email self-completion questionnaire. The results revealed that the majority of participants were willing to contribute to Open Educational Resources (OER) by publishing their work under an open licence. Participants were also willing to engage in diverse OEPs including 1) finding OER and evaluating their quality, 2) participating in and evaluating open courses, 3) aggregating OER, 4) adapting OER and open courses, and 5) assessing accomplishment from open learning based on OER and open courses for credit. National and institutional policies were found to be the potentially most important enablers of academics’ engagement in those practices. In the light of the findings, the researcher argues that the inclusion of more learners in the higher education system would make academics more impactful than simply the citation of their work, a stance that was reflected in subsequent responsive actions. This study may benefit institutions and policy makers who are interested in opening up higher education, especially the University of Rwanda that is expected to contribute significantly to the transformation of the country into a middle-income, knowledge-based society.
  • Motivations, Achievements, and Challenges of Self-Directed Informal Learners in Open Educational Environments and MOOCs

    Bonk, Curtis J.; Indiana University; Lee, Mimi Miyoung; University of Houston (Commonwealth of Learning, 2017-03-24)
    This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) related to online teaching hosted by Blackboard using CourseSites. Data collection included a 40-item survey of which 159 MOOC respondents completed the close-ended survey items and 49 completed the 15 open-ended survey items. Across the data, it is clear that self-directed online learners are internally motivated and appreciate the freedom to learn and choice that open educational resources provide. People were also motivated to learn informally from personal curiosity and interest as well as professional growth needs and goals for self-improvement. Identity as a learner was positively impacted by informal online learning pursuits. Foreign language skills as well as global, cultural, historical, environmental, and health-related information were among the most desired by the survey respondents. The main obstacles to informal online learning were time, costs associated with technology use, difficulty of use, and lack of quality. Qualitative results, embedded in the findings, indicate that self-directed learners take great pleasure in knowing that they do not have to rely on others for their learning needs. Implications for instructional designers are offered.
  • Tracking Students’ Eye-Movements when Reading Learning Objects on Mobile Phones: A Discourse Analysis of Luganda Language Teacher-Trainees’ Reflective Observations

    Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); Kabugo, David; Makerere University; Muyinda, Paul Birevu; Makerere University; Masagazi, Fred Masaazi; Makerere University; Mugagga, Anthony Muwagga; Makerere University; Mulumba, Mathias Bwanika; Makerere Univesity (Commonwealth of Learning, 2016-03-16)
    Although eye-tracking technologies such as Tobii-T120/TX and Eye-Tribe are steadily becoming ubiquitous, and while their appropriation in education can aid teachers to collect robust information on how students move their eyes when reading and engaging with different learning objects, many teachers of Luganda language are yet to gain experiences of utilizing these technologies in their teaching. This paper emerges from a semester-long (17 weeks) study which followed a Design Based Research (DBR) approach and deployed qualitative techniques to cultivate the experiences of 68 Luganda language teacher-trainees in utilizing different emerging Educational Technologies (ETs) in their teaching. The study was guided by Kolb (1984)’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) and Reeves (2006)’s model of conducting research in authentic e-learning contexts. During the study, trainees concretely experienced, abstractly conceptualized and made observational reflections about their own active experimentations of different ETs in teaching Luganda language. In this paper, we describe how we supported the trainees to conduct an active experimentation of Tobii-T120 to track how students moved their eyes when reading and engaging with learning objects on an emulated smart phone. Following the observational reflections, which the trainees made about their active experimentation, this paper also presents a discourse analysis thereof.
  • Towards Inclusive Education: A Case Study of IGNOU

    none; Chaudhary, S. V. S.; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi; Khare, Pankaj; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi; Gupta, Sanjay; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi; Garg, Suresh; Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi (Commonwealth of Learning, 2016-11-10)
    Towards the end of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007 -2012), India catered to about 20 per cent of the youth in the age group 17 to 24 years. However, to achieve the threshold level of about 30 per cent by 2020, and address concerns which perpetuate inequalities in opportunities to higher education, Government of India (GoI) formulated positive discrimination policies. Establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was one such positive step in this direction. Since 1987, IGNOU has been striving for inclusive education and reach all groups till the last mile. As a result of its dedicated efforts, at the end of 2012, it had reached 639 out of 659 districts in the country, including those in the red corridor (infested by Naxalite and Maoist extremists) passing through States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, and West Bengal. IGNOU has been successfully imparting education and training to socially, economically, physically and/or geographically disadvantaged, in addition to women, minorities and jail inmates. Our results show that participation of rural women is particularly encouraging in all programmes but the dropout rate of these groups is rather high and success rate comparatively low.
  • A Critical Look at Policy Environment for Opening up Public Higher Education in Rwanda

    Commonwealth Scholarship Commission; University of Leicester; Nkuyubwatsi, Bernard; The University of Leicester (Commonwealth of Learning, 2016-06-17)
    Policies play a critical role in the implementation of open, distance education and opening up higher education. To encourage participation of different stakeholders in related practices, policies may need to embody values and benefits for those stakeholders. It is in this perspective that this study was conducted to investigate the policy environment for opening up public higher education in Rwanda. An interview was conducted with a leader/policy maker at the University of Rwanda and three policy documents were analyzed. Results indicated that existing policies were unlikely to inform practices that contribute to opening up higher education. Related policy documents were decontextualized in some aspects. Different ways in which these policies may be contextualized to inform opening up higher education were recommended. The findings and recommendations are particularly important to policy makers and institutional leaders who are interested in opening up higher education in Rwanda and other settings.
  • Unlocking the Potential of Public Libraries in Supporting Distance Learning

    Makerere University. University of Cambridge; Nabushawo, Harriet Mutambo; Makerere University Department of Open and Distance Learning.; Aguti, Jessica Norah; Commonwealth of Learning; Winterbottom, Mark; University of Cambridge (Commonwealth of Learning, 2016-03-16)
    This paper examines the place of public libraries in supporting distance learners in Makerere University, exploring the factors which affect utilisation of their services. The study adopted a survey design with 300 B.Ed. students, collecting data through focus group discussions, structured questionnaires and individual interviews. 
  • A Discourse Analysis of Teacher-Trainees’ Abstract Conceptualizations of Emerging Technologies in Teaching to Revitalise Luganda Language

    This paper emerged from a larger PhD study that was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) through the Embassy of Sweden in Kampala (Uganda), and the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) at Makerere University.; Kabugo, David; Makerere University; Masaazi, Fred Masagazi; Makerere University; Mugagga, Anthony Muwagga; Makerere University (Commonwealth of Learning, 2015-11-08)
    While many young learners of the 21st century have grown up with, and generally prefer to learn using Emerging Technologies (ETs), a few teachers of Luganda language graduate with learning experiences of integrating ETs in their teaching. One of the most crucial stages of gaining experiences in any subject or object of interest is making Abstract Conceptualizations (ACs) about it (Kolb, 1984). Whereas scaffolding ACs has potential to expand teacher’s knowledge of integrating ETs in teaching, it is difficult to enact in a pedagogically sound manner. This paper emerges from a Design Based Research in which 68 Luganda language teacher-trainees at Makerere University were enrolled into a semester-long (17 weeks) blended learning course aimed at cultivating their experiences of integrating ETs in teaching. The study was informed by Kolb (1984)’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) and Reeves (2006)’s model of conducting research in authentic e-learning contexts. Six distinct abstract conceptualisations of ETs emerged from trainees’ responses. This paper discusses the implications of such abstract conceptualization in the revitalisation of Luganda language.
  • Open and Distance Learning and Information and Communication Technologies- Implications on Formal and Non formal Education.

    Africa International University academic department; Kenya Institute of Curriculum development; Kenya ICT Board, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.; Situma, David Barasa; Africa International University, Kenya (Commonwealth of Learning, 2015-03-20)
    The Population; female (% of total) in Kenya was last reported at 50.05 in 2011, according to a World Bank report published in 2012. Despite this higher percentage, women in Kenya are not well represented in education and training compared to their male counter parts (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics: Kenya Facts and Figures 2012 student enrolment by type of institution and sex). The need to empower girls and women through education is vital to achieve the Bill of Rights (Constitution of Kenya, 2010). Use of Information and communication technologies (ICT) for Open and distance learning (ODL) are some of the initiatives that seek to gap the gender parity in education in Kenya. In establishing the implications of ICT and ODL on girl and women education in Kenya, this paper seeks to: a) examine the current policies that supports the use of ICTs in formal and non formal education in Kenya, b) assess the objectives and strategies to facilitate widespread use of ICTs and how they affect girls and women Education in Kenya; c) assess the Implementation of policy objectives and strategies in support of ICTs and ODL for girls and women Education, d) Identify priority areas for implementation of ODL initiatives for women and Girls Education in  Kenya; e) State lessons drawn from the ICT and ODL  initiatives for girl and women Education ; f) propose strategies for addressing the challenges for implementation of ODL and ICT for girl and Women Education in Kenya. Literature provides very informative findings in support of ICT and ODL for Gender. A number of policies and initiatives are operating in Kenya to ensure ICT and ODL are fully maximized by both Genders. However, the said policies and initiatives have not fully achieved the objectives for which ICT and ODL ought to be implemented. There is need to factor in women and Girls in a curriculum development strategy concerning ICT and ODL.
  • RPL and Skill Deficit: The Role of ODL

    COL; Srivastava, Mamta; National Institute of Open Schooling A24/25 sector 62 Institutional Area NOIDA India; Jena, Sitansu S; Former Chairman, National Institute of Open Schooling A24/25 sector 62 Institutional Area NOIDA India (Commonwealth of Learning, 2015-03-20)
    Skills acquisition is vital for any economy to compete and grow, particularly in an era of economic and technological change. Skill needs are widespread in most developing countries , including India . Vocational Education and Training (VET) is a direct means of providing workers with skills more relevant to the evolving needs and equitable but must be linked directly to industry needs and requirements. Skilling India may be the biggest challenge facing the country today. Training half a billion people by 2022 is the most ambitious goal ever set by any country in the field of education and training. On the other hand in India there are millions of people who have considerable level of skill in a particular area but they do not have any form of certification to testify their existing skills, as a result they are unable to use this to progress further for training or improved employment. Hence, there is need for a credit and qualifications framework against which individuals' skills could be mapped. Recognition of Prior Learning ( RPL) is a new concept for India. Presently no system is designed for assessment and certification of RPL.The Indian Government vide its executive orders notified the National Qualifications  Education Framework,  ( NVEQF)  and assigned the task of assessment and certification of  RPL for skills at the lower level of occupations mostly engaged in the unorganized  sector to Open Schooling and along with the Industry through Sector Skills councils( SSC) .  Recognition of Prior Learning is a crucial area in open and distance learning system. Given the magnitude of the skill development challenge, Recognition of prior learning enables effective and maximum utilization of human resources. Hence can be considered as a ‘tool’.This paper will portray the framework developed and discuss the issues related to the implementation of this RPL Framework in the diverse country like India. Key words ; Recognition of Prior Learning, skill deficit ,Sector Skills Councils
  • From Learning to Empowerment: A study of smallholder farmers in South West Uganda

    The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL); Makerere University, Uganda; Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), Canada; Department for International Development (DFID),UK; various Commonwealth; Carr, Alexis M.; Commonwealth of Learning; Tenywa, Moses; Makerere University; Balasubramanian, K.; Commonwealth of Learning (Commonwealth of Learning, 2015-11-08)
    The relationship between education and empowerment has been widely debated in development literature. In recent times, social capital and community-centric learning have been increasingly recognized as important variables in the empowerment process. This paper outlines the development of a Three-dimensional Framework for Empowerment, and looks at the relationship between a community-centric learning process and empowerment in selected villages in Uganda. Based on a comparative study of two villages, the paper evaluates the role of the Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) programme, developed and supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), in empowering farming communities. The study shows that the integration of human capital (viewed purely from learning, knowledge acquisition, reflective practices, skills and competencies) social capital and financial capital, has a positive impact on development outcomes such as empowerment.
  • The Role Distance Learning Has to Play in Offender Education

    New Zealand Department of Corrections; Seelig, Caroline; Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (Commonwealth of Learning, 2013-12-05)
    This article looks into the uses of digital and online tools in distance learning to improve literacy and numeracy of offenders in New Zealand prisons.  Looking at the benefits and restrictions of digital education within the prison environment, this article discusses the solutions that Open Polytechnic, in partnership with the the New Zealand Government, has put in place to give prisoners further opportunity for rehabilitation, and ultimately prepare them for re-entry into society, the workforce or further study.
  • Using Community Radio in a Rural Women’s Post-literacy Programme in Nepal

    TOYOTA Foundation; Nagaoka, Chizuko; the National Institute for Educational Policy Research and Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan.; Karki, Manohar; the Skill and Education for Underprivileged (SEFU) (Commonwealth of Learning, 2014-06-10)
    The paper examines the literacy and post-literacy needs of rural women in Nepal, describes a pilot study in using community radio to supplement a classroom-based post-literacy programme for these women, analyses the findings of this intervention and considers the implications for similar programmes in other settings.
  • Improving the Quality of Basic Education Through the Use of Gender-sensitive Student Councils: Experience of Six Selected Districts in Tanzania

    Oxfam-Tanzania, Institute of Adult Education.; Mnubi, Godfrey Magoti; Institute of Adult Education (Commonwealth of Learning, 2017-06-13)
    This paper analyses whether the gender-sensitive and democratically elected student councils helped in strengthening school leadership and providing a platform for increased awareness and advocacy for male and female students to address their needs and rights in primary and secondary schools in Tanzania. The data was collected through qualitative methodology using in-depth interviews with purposively selected 29 school heads, 35 mentor teachers, 24 champions and 54 student leaders. Other data were obtained from focus-group discussions with 590 student leaders. The findings show that the student council plays a major role in strengthening school leadership and increasing the ability of students, particularly girls, to voice their needs and concerns. Some students’ needs and concerns were sexual harassment, the right to quality education and health services and the elimination of corporal punishment. The use of student councils helps to improve the delivery of quality education in schools.

View more