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.


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

Recent Submissions

  • Student Perceptions of Online Examinations as an Emergency Measure during Covid-19

    Biccard, Piera; Mudau, Patience Kelebogile; van den Berg, Geesje (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    This article explores student perceptions of writing online examinations for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, examinations at an open and distance learning institution in South Africa were conducted as venue-based examinations. From March 2020, all examinations were moved online. Online examinations were introduced as an emergency measure to adhere to safety and health protocols. Although students in developed countries have indicated benefits to online examinations, less is known about students living in the Global South when it comes to writing examinations online. Not enough is known about the benefits and challenges of online examinations since they were implemented as an emergency measure. We aimed at  exploring student perceptions of writing online examinations for the first time, improve examination processes by including student views. Through an analysis of 336 written responses to an open-ended question posed at the end of an online survey, we established that digital access, duration of the examination, and the examination system interface affected students’ success in online examinations. Based on the findings, we recommend that students need to be given tools and data to participate in online examinations. Furthermore, students should be granted ample opportunity to practise writing online examinations while receiving the necessary support.
  • Commentary: What, exactly, is 'online' education?

    Nichols, Mark (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    As responsible educators, it is time we admitted that we do not know what 'online' education is. We also need to confront the discomforting realisation that no one else does, either. The term 'online' has reached the stage where it is now so inclusive as to be meaningless. In embracing too much, it describes nothing. What was once a useful term to describe using the internet as part of asynchronous distance education is now used universally, to describe almost anything. Lectured, synchronous classes are now 'online' (Johnson et al., 2022). Emergency remote teaching and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic was 'online'. Including additional resources on an LMS for students to refer to after class is considered ‘online’. Across much of the educational spectrum, to be 'online' now is far from unusual. In this commentary I make the case that the term 'online' needs a forced retirement, or, at the least, additional context when it is applied.
  • Educator Perspectives and Intention to Adopt OER in Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools in Mauritius

    Rajabalee, Yousra Banoor; Jugurnath, Bhavish; Santally, Mohammad Issack (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    There has been a growing interest in the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) to support educators to adapt, use, re-use, remix and recontextualise content for teaching and learning. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent and intent of adoption of OER practices and tools in secondary schools in Mauritius within a sustainable and innovative teaching and learning model. The main objective was to investigate whether the inclusion of OER in teaching could help maintain quality instruction and sustain a viable economic model for learners. Moreover, this study assessed the readiness and attitudes of secondary educators in their intention to adopt OER.  A survey was carried out among 271 secondary school educators to determine the influential factors in the intention to adopt OER in teaching. Factor and regression analysis were carried out to estimate the significance of each independent variable. The findings of this study reported that Productivity, Interactivity, Infrastructure and Constraining Factors were among the factors that had a significant effect on teachers’ adoption of OER in their teaching process. Combined with other findings as reported in the literature, this study also helps to enlighten policymakers about teachers’ intention in adopting OER in secondary schools in Mauritius and how they add value to the teaching and learning processes. The Cabinet of Ministers in Mauritius approved the National policy on OER in December 2022.
  • Collaborative Research Writing in the New Normal: Students’ Views, Challenges, Coping Strategies, and Takeaways

    Roxas, Mark Joshua (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    The ‘new normal’ setup of education posed challenges on courses requiring learners’ collaboration. Despite the proven advantages of collaborative writing, several challenges still confront the learners which may affect the quality of their output. Collaboration per se is already a challenge for learners in face-to-face classes, more so in online distance learning. Thus, this study explored the views, challenges, coping strategies, and takeaways of senior high school students in collaborative research writing in the ‘new normal.’ Thirty (30) reflective essays written by senior high school students from three (3) academic strands, namely Humanities and Social Sciences, General Academic, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics were analysed. Ten (10) sample essays from each strand were selected through Critical Case Sampling. Findings revealed that students view collaborative research writing in general as easy, while some see it as difficult. The students met challenges in research technicalities, communication, and collaboration. Varied coping strategies were identified, such as having a positive mindset, being patient, considerate and determined, seeking help from others, maintaining proper communication and collaboration, seeking spiritual guidance, and taking a break. Ultimately, the takeaways of the students were not limited to academics or cognitive aspects—they were also able to gain important values.
  • Effectiveness of Digital Technologies in Inclusive Learning for Teacher Preparation

    Drushlyak, Marina; Semenikhina, Olena; Kharchenko, Inna; Mulesa, Pavlo; Shamonia, Volodymyr (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    In this research, digital technologies that will potentially be useful for teachers in an inclusive educational space were considered. The combined classification of digital technologies of inclusive direction, including software and hardware in three main areas, is offered: for training and repetition; to help with learning; and to expand learning opportunities. The authors developed and theoretically substantiated a model for preparing pre-service teachers to use digital technologies in an inclusive educational space. The effectiveness of the developed model was tested through a pedagogical experiment that involved three tests based on criteria. The effectiveness of the authors’ model was confirmed by the sign test at the significance level of 0.05.
  • Changing Perceptions of ‘Learning for Development’ in the New Normal

    PANDA, Santosh (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
  • Feasibility of Work-Based Learning Model for Undergraduate Engineering and Technology Programmes in Tanzania

    Lingwanda, Mwajuma Ibrahim (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    This study proposes a new approach to teaching-learning in engineering and technology programmes at the undergraduate level in Tanzania, and evaluates its feasibility. The rationale was to improve flexibility in learning by providing learners with alternative programmes to choose from. A conceptual model was introduced showing how the work-based approach can be implemented in training diploma holders to acquire bachelor’s degrees. A survey type of study with a mix of open- and closed-ended questions issued to a sample of 150 finalist students was conducted. The sampled population was all finalyear diploma students pursuing engineering and technology programmes at Mbeya University of Science and Technology in Tanzania. A stratified random sampling approach was followed to obtain the sample. More than 93% of the respondents supported the establishment of work-based programmes. This study, therefore, recommends, amongst other things, that Tanzanian learning institutions should set a pilot programme to test the effectiveness and practicability of this model.
  • Becoming An Effective Teacher: A Teaching Reference Book for Teachers, Teacher Educators and Student Teachers : A Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) Support

    Haynes-Brown, Tashane (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    This is a review of the book Becoming an Effective Teacher by Kisirkoi and Cude (2021). It is designed as a resource text for pre-service and in-service teachers and teacher educators. The authors use a mix of theoretical and practical discourse that focus specifically on a key ingredient needed for effective teaching and learning in the 21st century, that is enabling teachers and teacher educators to conceptualize their classrooms in more student-centred ways. Through the presentation of 16 chapters grouped under three themes, the authors present a balanced discussion of how each component of teaching is connected to acheive the ultimate goal of becoming more prepared to address the changing needs of the 21st century student. 
  • Thematic Construction of Digital Visual Arts: Implications for Digital Pedagogy

    Bañez, Richard Mendoza (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    This paper attempts to describe the signifier choice of student artists in thematic representations of digital visual arts and determine its implications for digital pedagogy. Utilising a qualitative approach to research and covering a corpus of six digital artworks of student artists, the semiotic analysis utilising Peirce’s (1991) sign modes showed the student artists’ preference for mostly indexical and symbolic signifiers in thematic representations of Filipinos’ resiliency to the pandemic. This signifier choice of student artists was influenced by their experience, family, self, other artists, and their initiatives for finding information and drawing inspiration from online sources, as revealed in the conducted Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with the participants. Moreover, the individual interviews with the participants demonstrated that the student artists’ choice of signifiers served as a vehicle for expression, representation, and impression of ideas, themes, and abstractions dominating their artworks. This study calls for the integration of digital artmaking tools into pedagogy to provide opportunities for artistic expression and support diverse representation. Teachers can introduce various digital tools and platforms, create assignments that encourage creative experimentation, and foster a safe and inclusive classroom environment. Future research could explore the practical applications of digital pedagogy in visual arts education.
  • Deployment of Offline Learning Management Systems: Comparing the Performance of Selected Micro-servers in Tanzania

    Maro, Salome; Kondoro, Aron; Haßler, Björn; Mtebe, Joel; Proctor, Jamie (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    Low-powered mobile devices such as Raspberry Pis and tablets can be used as micro-servers to implement offline Learning Management Systems (LMS). Despite their potential, especially for low-income countries, such as Tanzania, no research is available detailing the affordances of these devices for supporting LMS features. This study investigated the suitability of various low-cost micro-servers for deploying LMSs. It compared the performance of the Raspberry Pi, Android tablet, and Chromebook in terms of LMS benchmarking, response time, and resource utilisation. Results showed all devices had sufficient hardware resources to support the LMS, however, software stacks, I/O performance, and platform optimisations affected the micro-servers' performance. The Chromebook had the best performance in terms of response time, followed by the Raspberry Pi and tablets. In terms of cost, the Raspberry PI was the cheapest option.  The installation process for tablets was more cumbersome than the other devices, meaning the devices with better tooling and a more conventional software stack were a better option for deploying offline micro-servers.
  • Instructor Emotional Support, Academic Resiliency, and School Engagement in an Online Learning Setting during Covid-19 Pandemic

    Lobo, Joseph (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    In recent years, numerous published scholarly works have examined the association between academic resilience and school engagement, as well as the function of emotional support in bolstering the relationship between the two. However, these investigations have only been undertaken at the elementary and secondary levels. Therefore, it can be concluded that there are only a few studies that were conducted in the context of Higher Education, especially in the Philippines. In this regard, this study aimed to evaluate the relationship between academic resilience (ARS) and school engagement (SE) via teacher-emotional support (TES). Using data from 910 students and Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), it was unraveled that (1) ARS positively affects SE, (2) ARS leverages TES, (3) TES affects SE, and (4) TES partially mediated the association between students' ARS and SE. According to the findings, instructors' emotional support promotes college students' resilience and engagement. The study underlined the need of strengthening personal and contextual resources to support student well-being in an online class setting.
  • Learning Behind the Bars: Implications for ‘Learning-for-Development’

    Akin, Gulden (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    This study aimed to determine the learning patterns and experiences of incarcerated adults within correctional settings and how their prison learning transforms their lives after they are released. In this qualitative research, semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain the opinions of eight formerly incarcerated people who experienced educational practices during their serving time in prison. The snowball sampling technique was used to reach the target group of the study. Thematic analysis method was used during the data analysis process. The results of the paper, which are limited to the opinions of the participants in the study, showed that the change in the educational level of the prison population had led to a transformation in group dynamics among inmates in Turkey. Although former inmates experienced a permanent transformation in their lives after attending literacy courses, they could not carry on their religious practices after being released due to the struggle to make a living. Inmates who were not interested in educational programmes within prison managed their own learning processes as self-directed learners. Moreover, although inmates are certified through vocational training programmes, they have challenges in finding jobs when they re-enter society. Educational disruptions due to Covid-19 demonstrate that it is urgent to transform the prison education system into a technologically enriched learning environment in Turkey.
  • Effectiveness of Guided Inquiry-Based Mosiry E-Module on the Immune System in Improving Students' Integrated Science Process Skills (SPS)

    Sulistyana, Yanti; Indrowati , Meti; Ariyanto, Joko (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-07-18)
    Integrated Science Process Skills online learning cannot be taught optimally so learning media are needed that can teach integrated, interactive, and practical SPS. One such media is an e-module. This study aimed to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of Guided Inquiry-Based e-module, or Mosiry, in improving Integrated SPS of Class XI students in the Immune System subject. This research is a developmental research, using the 4D development design stages: 1) Defining; 2) Designing; 3) Development; and 4) Disseminate. The sample was selected using a purposive sampling method. Data was collected by using observation, interviews, questionnaires, and pretest/posttest; and data was analysed based on media feasibility, and effectiveness analysis. The results of this study were that the Mosiry e-module is suitable for use as a learning medium for the Immune System and could improve students' SPS in the moderate category.should set a pilot programme to test the effectiveness and practicability of this model.
  • EDITORIAL: Technology and Pedagogy for Learning and Capacity Building

    Panda, Santosh (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
  • BOOK REVIEW: The Encyclopedia of Female Pioneers in Online Learning

    Nyangara, Karen (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
  • Technology as a Key Driver in Enhancing Scientific Education during the Covid-19 Era at the University of Namibia

    Josua, Lukas Matati; Kanyemba, Saara (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
    Abstract: Student profiling on the use of technology for teaching, learning and assessment has a potential to enable educators to enhance their transformational teaching strategies.  Therefore, this study explored the views of students on use of technology to facilitate online learning during COVID-19. The study employed a quantitative approach to collect data using a Google Form questionnaire. Nineteen conveniently sampled respondents (38%) were drawn from a population of 50 students registered for first year BSc Microbiology and BSc Environmental Biology in 2021. The collected data was analyzed through descriptive statistics using Microsoft Excel 2010. The findings revealed that during online learning students experienced challenges related to subject knowledge acquisition (63%). Hence; majority (84%) of the students preferred face-to-face or blended teaching learning and assessment to ensure pedagogic access.  It is concluded that students’ exposure to online learning helped improve skills such as typing (79%), internet information searching (95%) and general computer skills (89%). Thus, it is recommended that academics and student should be capacitated with training, and higher education curricula should encourage the use of digital technology, which prepares students to be relevant in the digital society.
  • Thematic and Sentiment Analysis of Learners’ Feedback in MOOCs

    Pant, Harsh Vardhan; Manoj, Manoj Chandra Lohani; Jeetendra, Jeetendra Pande (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
    In recent years, sentiment analysis has gained popularity among researchers in various domains, including the education domain. Sentiment analysis can be applied to review the course comments in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which could enable course designers’ to easily evaluate their courses. The objective of this study is to explore the influential factors that affect the completion rate of MOOCs and unravel the sentiments of dropout learners by evaluating learners’ feedback. In the present study, sentiment analysis was performed using Python programming and NVivo tools on the feedback of the learners enrolled in three MOOCs entitled Introduction to Cyber Security, Digital Forensics and Development of Online Courses for SWAYAM, which was hosted on the SWAYAM platform ( Two instruments were used for data collection: (1) a structured questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale was administrated using Google Forms — the questionnaires have also some additional open-ended questions — and (2) semi-structured interview schedules with the domain experts. The feedback was collected using Google Forms and a total of 324 responses were received between April 23, 2022 to May 31, 2022. The non-probability sampling method served as the sampling approach in the quantitative phase in this study. During analysis, the findings of the feedback uncovered important dimensions of some peculiar factors that may be responsible for retention of learners, i.e., content localisation, credit mobility and latest trend courses that were less explored in the earlier literature.
  • Blending Innovative Pedagogy and Technology for Capacity Development of Educators during the Pandemic

    Karunanayaka, Shironica Priyanthi (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
    The increased use of digital learning environments augments the adoption of open practices in education which contributes to SDG4. The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled an accelerated move towards technology-enhanced learning, prompting educators to re-think and re-design learning environments grounded in innovative pedagogy and technology. In the current scenario it is imperative that educators are offered capacity development opportunities to meaningfully engage in digital and open practices. This paper presents a case study of an online capacity development intervention in OER-integrated technology-enhanced learning (TEL) material creation, implemented with a group of 15 educators selected using the purposive sampling method. It focused on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of OER-integrated TEL materials by the educators. The intervention comprised a carefully designed learning experience with intensive hands-on activities in a Moodle online learning environment, supplemented with a series of ZOOM-based interactive workshops. The study explored the design strategies that enhanced the creation of OER-integrated TEL materials by the educators, challenges encountered by them and how those were managed, and the effects of the intervention on changing their thinking and practices. Multiple data gathering occurred via questionnaires, discussion forums, reflective journals, and focus group interviews. Primarily, an in-depth content analysis of the qualitative data gathered was conducted. The findings revealed that the systematic learning experience design, which adopted a ‘learning by designing’ approach harnessing the affordances of both technology and pedagogy, empowered educators to become active creators of OER-integrated TEL materials and to take leadership in integrating digital and open practices into teaching-learning processes.
  • Democratising Digital Educational Game Design for Social Change

    Myers, Christina; Piccolo, Lara; Collins, Trevor (Commonwealth of Learning, 2023-03-20)
    Digital games can be used as educational tools for tackling structural inequalities and promoting social justice. Designing games with these purposes is often a complex task that requires a myriad of combined expertise, including games’ mechanics, software development, educational game design, pedagogy, and knowledge of the educational topic (which can target very specific social issues). Democratising the design of educational games is used to increase the agency and participation of diverse and novice groups throughout design processes - and can be used to improve the efficiency of such games as it directly leads to the inclusion of broad voices, knowledge, experiences and perspectives. This research adopted a Design-Based Research methodology to create, evaluate and validate 13 design principles to democratise the design of educational games for social change. Three research phases were implemented in turn: a preliminary research, prototyping and evaluation phase. The preliminary research phase was based on creating these principles by grounding them on fundamentals of Critical Pedagogy, a theory of education which presents pedagogical techniques to accelerate learning, engagement and social change. The prototyping phase was based on conducting semi-structured interviews to assess and improve these principles with educational and game design experts. During the evaluation phase, these principles were applied and evaluated during two weekend-long game design events, which were mostly attended by diverse groups who had never designed a digital game before. This research presents theoretical and practical contributions related to how to democratise educational game design for social change. It evidenced the relevance of facilitating design principles that addresses what could be done to trigger learning in games by presenting design principles; why this learning could be facilitated, from both educational and gaming perspectives; and how to implement these principles into an educational game.

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