Friday, 10 May 2013

The Impact and Reach of MOOCs

The Impact and Reach of MOOCs: A Developing Countries’ Perspective is now published in eLearning Papers - volume 33.

Here we discuss the rhetoric and the reality of MOOCs as a solution for developing countries' lack of access to education, especially at higher levels. The discussion draws examples from our previous research experiences in countries such as Sri Lanka and Burundi and these examples are real stories of our research participants from these developing countries and/or colleagues' experiences in working in these countries. My PhD research 'ICT and Distance Education in Sri Lanka' experience was immensely helpful in writing this paper.

The paper is not all about doom and gloom of MOOCs. We discuss the advantages of MOOCs in developing countries too. For example, MOOCs to bridge cultural barriers that prevent some groups of people from accessing education (this can be Dalits also known as Sheduled Cast people in India or Napal or females over the age of 8 in Afghanistan who have been denied education by the Islamist Group Talaiban)

This paper is an effort to make others aware of the barriers that people face in accessing 'free education' through MOOCs. Things taken for granted in developed countries are luxuries in 'some parts' of the developing world.

The paper was co-authored by Prof. Shirley Williams and Prof. Andrew Adams whom I had the pleasure of working with throughout my PhD research.

You can find the full paper from eLearning Papers Volume 33 - MOOCs and Beyond

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