Browsing 05. Conference Proceedings & Working Papers by Subject "Access"
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- ItemOpen AccessAccess and Inclusion Through Open Education Resources in Botswana(2016-11) Modesto, Stanslaus TThis Paper investigates the implementation of Open Education Resources (OER) in education as a much-talked-about problem that is not much in evidence in practice among institutions in developing countries. Inspiration for this paper was drawn from the initiative by the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC), a Commonwealth organization that, among other objectives, gives guidance about OER. The Paper shares initiatives by the Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) by answering these questions: i. How has the institution gone about the uptake of OER in the Botswana education context? ii. What challenges have been faced in the educational initiative? iii. What impact has the initiative of offering OER programmes had? // To answer the research questions, documents on enrolment over the past four years were analysed, and these yielded quantitative data, showing statistics of enrolment by gender and the demand for the programmes. The sequential explanatory design was used, starting with quantitative data on enrolment statistics, followed by qualitative data derived from interviews of key stakeholders, namely, students, lecturers, and government officials. Some of the findings were that there is a high demand for the new programmes, with more females than males enrolled, and that the College was unable to meet demand due to under-funding. This led to a number of conclusions and observations including lessons learnt. These included researched evidence on how BOCODOL leverages on OER under guidance of the VUSSC, as well as showing that despite constraints, the effort yields positive results. This is a recommendation that comparable institutions in the small states of the Commonwealth could emulate. // Paper ID 34
- ItemOpen AccessAccess and Quality in Self Organized Learning Environments(2010-11) Kulkarni, Suneeta; Mitra, SugataLearning Environments in remote areas: // Almost no one in the world will deny that children need to have access to meaningful learning experiences if they are to truly gain from these experiences and go beyond rote memorization for the sake of passing an examination without understanding the concepts involved. This concern becomes even more critical in disadvantaged and remote settings, where it is even harder to find ‘good’ teachers and schools. // Typically, remoteness is understood in geographical terms. The focus is often on distances from city and urban centres with the corollary assumption that these settings are far from the resources, services, facilities that one has come to associate with urban life. However, in the context of the current effort of Self Organized Learning Environments [SOLEs] and its basis, the Hole in the Wall [HiW] the concept of remoteness and thence access, goes way beyond simple geographical distance from an urban setting. Remoteness is understood to exist in resource poor, underprivileged, economically and socially deprived sections of society. Many of these exist within the heart of the city, in slums, or other areas where freedom of movement, of interaction, of choice, of thought, and therefore access, is often dictated by stringent social norms. All these aspects have implications for the quality of educational facilities available to children as well as the manner of participation in learning that is possible on part of the children. Even in these locations in the midst of the city, ‘good’, trained teachers are hard to come by, since neither the salary that can be given to them, nor the setting in which they would have to work, make this an appealing proposition. The quality of education naturally suffers. [Mitra, Dangwal, Thadani 2008] // Yet the need to provide children with quality education remains a prime concern.
- ItemOpen AccessAccess and Success in Learning: Technologies for Scaling up Open and Distance Learning Programme in the Institute of Distance Learning, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana(2010-11) Essel, Rebecca; Owusu-Boateng, WilliamIn recent years, in the field of education and training, there is an increasing world-wide interest in students opting to read open and distance learning programmes and also stakeholders expanding their infrastructure and distance learning programmes. The terms open and distance learning (ODL) represent approaches that focus on opening access to education and freeing learners from the constraints of time and place and offering flexible learning opportunities to individuals/groups of learners (UNESCO, 1997). The distant learner sees ODL as a way of increasing access, flexibility and combination to work and education or a more learner-centered approach, with new ways of interaction. According to (UNESCO 2002) report on trends, policy and strategy considerations, the term ‘distance learning is used as a synonym for the more comprehensive and precise term distance education’. The main aim of distance education is to create wide opportunities for learners to study regardless of their geographic, socioeconomic conditions or other constraints. Distance learning would usually have the learners become responsible for what and how they learn, and who to ask for help.
- ItemOpen AccessAccess to ICT Infrastructure and Devices in the South Pacific(2022-09) Naidu, Som; Bhartu, Dhiraj; Mays, TonyPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // The South Pacific region spreads over more than 30 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. The region comprises more than a dozen island nations ranging from small volcanic islands to even smaller coral atolls. Population masses in the island nations vary from around 2,000 in Tokelau to a little more than 800,000 in the Republic of Fiji. Access to information and communications technologies and internet connectivity in the region is varied. This project involves the design and conduct of a desktop study into access to ICT infrastructure, connectivity and devices and their use by students and teachers in the Pacific. Outcomes of this study will enable COL to make informed decisions about what access and delivery technologies to employ in the Partnership for Open Distance and Flexible Learning project in the Pacific. The study will address issues of access to hardware, software, connectivity and skills, as well as examples of ways in which teachers, institutions or Ministries have found ways to address the challenges in low bandwidth/limited access environments, especially in the nine developing countries of the Commonwealth in the region. // Paper ID 3503
- ItemOpen AccessAccess to ODL programmes at NAMCOL through Recognition of Prior Learning(2010-11) Afunde, Ndeshimona LThe Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) aims to broaden access to education by providing alternatives to conventional means of education and training and facilitate life-long learning opportunities for Namibians. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process of identifying, matching, assessing and crediting the knowledge, skills and experience that candidates have gained through formal, informal or non-formal learning. Comparing relevant prior learning and experience against the set learning outcomes. // Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is seen as having the capacity to widen access to education and training and to enhance the qualification status of historically disadvantaged adults and youth. By enabling people to apply what they already know and can do, RPL can reduce barriers and create opportunities that will lead to greater social and economic prosperity // As of 2008 NAMCOL committed itself to implement Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as a route to admit adult learners to its programmes. This paper is discussing the NAMCOL RPL case study, sharing the achievement, challenges and way forward in using the RPL for access to ODL programmes at NAMCOL.
- ItemOpen AccessAccess to Technology and Educational Disparity(2022-09) Forhad, MdPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // The educational disparity has been a long-standing concern and grand challenge for the community. Like other sectors, the pandemic has changed the teaching and learning approaches across the globe. Although equal technology access is challenging, online learning practice offers a relatively easier avenue to minimize the disparity in academic attainment. Using purposive sampling, this study examines the effect of technology access on academic achievement. The study employs a difference in difference (DID) method and finds that technology improves educational attainment. Findings imply that technology access reduces academic disparity raised by socioeconomic differences. Therefore, policymakers could ensure technology access with sufficient training to address educational inequality-related challenges. // Paper ID 6153
- ItemOpen AccessAccessibility and Quality Education of Persons with Disabilities in India: An Open Schooling Perspective(2016-11) Mahapatra, Sukanta KRecently under the Sustainable Development Goal 4, all the countries including India are mandated to achieve the goal to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations by 2030(4.5.) and 4.a: build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. Various countries including India have taken proactive steps and mobilized huge resources for achieving Education for All by 2015. There were some policies and programmes devised to meet the goal of Education for All. However, the goal is still elusive. In this context, it is important to note how these children with Disabilities can be streamlined in the system of education, particularly through open schooling system. The paper discusses how NIOS as one of the largest open schooling system, has used various strategies for providing accessible and quality education for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). NIOS emphasizes on using Media and ICT support both in academic and evaluation system, recognizing and accommodating learners’ needs and interests to provide them the quality education. The paper recommends for awareness and collaboration not only to provide accessibility but also to improve the usability of services rendered to the learners so that the goal of equitable participation of persons with disabilities in education can be ensured. // Paper ID 147
- ItemOpen AccessThe accessibility of ODL to the disadvantaged-teenage employees(2010-11) Khanyane, Marethabile MMost importantly, distance learning provides opportunity to those teenage employees, who could not continue with their education for various reasons. These include loosing parents due to HIV/AIDS, and having no one to take care of; parents being too poor due to being unemployed and therefore not having money to pay for their children for higher education. Some children do not perform well at primary school and therefore do not meet the minimum entry requirements for post-primary education. // In most cases, teenagers who end up not going further with education, due to various reasons mentioned above, go on to find employment, either as domestic workers, gardeners, herd boys, shopkeepers or labourers.
- ItemOpen AccessAccessibility Strategies for Making MOOCs for People with Visual impairments: A Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Perspective(2016-11) Ngubane-Mokiwa, Sindile AMassive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were designed to enhance access to education to all that desire it. The open access drive seeks to promote free and equitable access to basic, higher, formal and informal education. The main aim of MOOCs is to de-institutionalize education moving it from the formalized class to the open platform where there are no admission requirements. The second aim of MOOCs is to provide access to lifelong learning for those who want to learn for the sake of knowing and developing their competencies. The objective of this document analysis based paper is to analyze primary qualitative-research academic sources dealing with strategies to make MOOCs accessible to people with visual impairments. This paper uses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles as a lens through which accessibility of MOOCs to people with visual impairments is examined. The document analysis involved a careful examination of research methodologies that had been used to gather data. Fifteen academic sources were sought through formidable search engines. Specified inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to select the articles that were analyzed to answer the research question: What accessibility strategies can be employed to make MOOCs accessible to people with visual impairments? Lastly, recommendations are made towards making MOOCs more accessible for people with visual impairments. // Paper ID 174
- ItemOpen AccessAlienation at the Open University of Mauritius: A Conceptual Framework for Interpretation of Learner Feelings and Emotions(2016-11) Jutton, TeenahThere is a growing focus on how to widen access and inclusion in higher education, however there is a strong link between alienation and attrition. This study aimed at understanding distance learners’ experiences of alienation at the Open University of Mauritius. A qualitative research design was adopted. Focus group discussions and face-to-face interviews were conducted with distance learners both in the system and those who had left. The findings indicate that several factors including isolation, inadequate learner support and institutional presence generate negative feelings and emotions that lead distance learners to experience alienation and to suspend or abandon their studies. The study recommends among other things; learner friendly policies, strategies, a robust learner-centred support system with a strong focus on retention and well-being of distance learners and a deeper understanding of the alienation phenomenon by ODL managers and practitioners. // Paper ID 92
- ItemOpen AccessAn Examination of Issues of Equity during the Pandemic: Global Perspectives(2022-09) Bissessar, CharmainePCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion [POSTER] // This poster presentation will be based on a review of articles in the book Emergency Remote Learning, Teaching and Leading: Global Perspectives. The poster presentation will entail a discussion of issues in equity among students from teachers’ perspectives. The participants are from Trinidad, Grenada, Greece, and Ghana. The presenter will discuss the similarities experienced by students in each context as well as the differences. The chapters are qualitative and quantitative in nature with 17 teachers in Greece to 265 students in Ghana. The sampling methods are different for each chapter and these will be presented in a chart. The findings include such issues as emotional, behavioural, technical, and issues in competencies in Ghana. In Trinidad and Grenada, the issues were (1) the digital divide; (2) attendance (3) parental involvement; (4) students’ motivation or lack thereof. In Greece, there were similar issues with students’ attendance, their online skills and their lack of motivation. The findings of these studies will add to the extant literature. // Paper ID 9376
- ItemOpen AccessAttaining 100% Transition from Primary Schools for Learners with Disabilities in Kenya: Reality or Fantasy?(2019-09) Ochieng, Fredrick Haga; Murungi, NathanielKenya has adopted a policy that will ensure that all learners transit from primary to secondary levels of education until they attain ‘basic education’, which is a fundamental right as recognized in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Historically, learners with disabilities and special needs in Kenya have had very low transition rates from primary to secondary levels, a factor which might jeopardize the government policy, unless drastic measures are undertaken to include this marginalized population into the education system. This situation then begs the question as to what new strategies the country will employ to ensure that all learners are able to acquire quality inclusive basic education regardless of their disability. This paper is a case study of Kenya, critically analyzing the considerations that are being made and the strategies put in place for all learners with disabilities to transit, in the spirit of ‘leaving no one behind’. In doing this, it questions whether indeed there can be complete transition of the said group of learners under the prevailing conditions, hence addressing equity in accessing education, or whether this is a pipedream. The study focuses on the policy framework and the practical steps that are being taken to ensure 100% transition for learners with disabilities in the country. The role of technology is discussed. Observations are also made regarding potential hurdles on the road towards realizing the transition goal for the learners. // Paper ID 160
- ItemOpen AccessBarriers to Learning: The Difference Distance Learning can make in Namibia(2010-11) Hummel, Ulrich IThis paper will address the barriers to learning, including innovative structures and strategies put in place to overcome such barriers, with specific reference to rural distance education students in the Namibian context. Access to quality learning has been compromised for many years prior to the country’s independence in 1990. Distance education, having been around for a long time, has seen changes, innovations and vast improvements that contribute to enhancing quality learning. If we are to find means to improve the situation, it will be vital that everyone understand the importance of education- that it is not merely a means to obtain status in society, but rather, that it is the responsibility that society owes to itself. // The Polytechnic of Namibia, through its Centre for Open and Lifelong Learning (COLL), has recently fulfilled this responsibility to the rural society of Namibia when it established a network of Regional Centres across Namibia that has the function of coordinating and facilitating all the necessary instructional and support services to address the needs of distance education students throughout their learning process and to give them the academic tools they need to overcome unnecessary barriers in order to succeed. There are various drawbacks on the part of those who would like to pursue their studies through distance learning. Despite the fact that decentralisation of the support services has taken place through the establishment of the Regional Centres, all areas in Namibia are not covered and students face limitations due to factors like distance from the Centres, and affordability. // Making studying through distance education possible for more Namibians will require funding to students who are economically disadvantaged. eLearning is one way to bridge the gap and ensure easier access to education. Students become more pro-active in their pursuit of studying towards their desired qualification once the facilities that support their learning are brought closer to them. // The support services on offer through COLL, and in particular through the Regional Centres, ensure that barriers such as distance and affordability are overcome. Students, prospective students and the public should be educated about the facilities on offer, and how these can support their learning. They can then be encouraged to pursue studying on distance, knowing they have a good chance to succeed. In this case study, the strategies implemented to establish a well-functioning Regional Centre with good logistics and reliable infrastructure as an integral part of the delivery of Open and Distance Learning (ODL), including the support provided to rural distance education students are put forward.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Botswana Experience in Developing the OERs(2010-11) Amey, F L O; Bagopi, MBotswana together with six other countries are taking part in the development of OERs for secondary level education through the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation /COL Partnership Project. A total of twelve officers are involved in the project (6 BOCODOL Staff members, 3 Curriculum Development Officers and 3 Secondary school teachers). // Botswana wants to share her experiences and in so doing, highlight what worked and what did not. Using non BOCODOL staff most of whom were being exposed to writing for distance learning for the first time, impacted on the project. Timely and regular access to computers as well as the workload also had an effect. That notwithstanding, the assumption is that the participants have gained valuable skills and knowledge. And if so, the major concern would be at the end of the Project, then what? // As a developing institution and country, we are happy with the opportunities that OERs presents to us. The OERs are making knowledge available to us as educators at a faster and more accessible manner than before. We are also aware of some of the concerns that affect this relatively new way of sharing. Some of the major concerns have to do with sustainability as opposed to the seemingly ongoing consumption. // The questions that this paper seeks to explore therefore are: • what skills and knowledge those that were involved have gained • how these skills and knowledge can be developed further in order to sustain growth in this new area. • What other uses can these be put to? • What are the quality imperatives associated with the development of OERs • to identify pre-requisites of a thriving OERs environment in terms of resources • what is the extent to which BOCODOL is amenable to thrive in this environment // The paper concludes by making a recommendation to the College to integrate technology to scale up its school equivalency programmes through the development of OERs.
- ItemOpen AccessBridging the Gap: Enabling Education(2019-09) Diwaker, GowriAccess to education remains a major concern, especially for displaced populations. Eighty percent of migrant children across seven Indian cities did not have access to education near worksites even as 40% of children from seasonal migrant households are likely to end up working rather than being in school, facing exploitation and abuse, according to the UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report. // Such population movements affect access to and quality of education of migrant children also making them vulnerable to drug addiction, human trafficking and social abuse. The 2009 Right to Education Act is one of India’s multiple national programmes which has made it mandatory for local authorities to admit migrant children. However, there are many implementation challenges. Mandatory requirements such as residential proof make it difficult for migrant children to enroll in schools. Those who are more vulnerable because of their gender or disability are even less likely to do so. They also face empathy and mistreatment due to stereotypes about them. Culture, language, lifestyle, cleanliness and clothing are major barriers between the teachers and the migrant community. Very few states, in practice, have proactively facilitated migrant children’s schooling, and only at a small scale where it has. However, a mobile school in India’s National Capital Region with the highest recorded in-migration, has been transforming the lives of migrant children . A mobile van with all the facilities of a school reaches out to their camps on construction sites and facilitates their learning process by also moving to their new abodes as and when their families shift, thereby retaining these children who would have otherwise dropped out. These learners are also certified through the government approved Open Basic Education Programme of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), enabling them to make an entry into mainstream education. // Paper ID 114
- ItemOpen AccessChallenging Technologies and the Technologically Challenged: Assessing the User Acceptance of ODL Technologies in Geographical Spaces(2022-09) Sahay, Moni; Singh, Dheerendra PratapPCF10 Sub-theme: Promoting Equity and Inclusion // The challenges of the ODL systems in contemporary world remains to extend its outreach to the hither to unreached geographically, economically, socially and also technologically. In countries like India, with a comparatively young population base and rich demographic dividends to be reaped for the next few decades, the ODL system has a significant role to play in building up the human capital, uniformly across geographical spaces. This study will focus to assess, from the end user perspective, the success and efficiency of the technological interventions of IGNOU through its Regional Centres and pan India coverage during the period of Pandemic. It will also focus on the challenges in digital inclusion of the masses, as we adopt and incorporate technologies for education. The Technology Accessibility Model (TAM) of Davis, which studies the user acceptance of information systems will be the basis to assess the 'user acceptability' of online counselling methods and other facilities used during the period of pandemic at two of the Regional Centres each of Delhi and Bihar to understand the impact of online initiatives and challenges for digital inclusion across geographical spaces. The study will be based on primary data and information collected through Google form questionnaire from students of some Post Graduate Programmes in the Regional Centres of Delhi and Bihar. // Paper ID 7380
- ItemOpen AccessColorBoard: A Product and Process to Enable Quality Education for All(2010-11) Crichton, Susan; Onguko, BrownThis paper 1) proposes both a product and a process to provide access and opportunity to learning, 2) offers a way to encourage the participatory development of appropriate, relevant resources, and 3) shares findings from a recent field trial of our approach in East Africa. We recognize many of us have offices filled with more resources – books, materials, and technologies - than many classrooms or entire schools in developing contexts, so it is with extreme humility we share an approach to bridge this obscene chasm between have and have not populations, recognizing that “Knowledge [has the potential] to make everything easier” (Maeda, p. 33, 2006).
- ItemOpen AccessCovid-19 Disruption of Inclusive Lifelong Learning through Digital Technologies in Ugandan Higher Education: Policies and Practices for University Vulnerable Groups(2022-09) Atcero, MilburgaPCF10 Sub-theme: Fostering Lifelong Learning // The Covid-19 crisis has forced most governments around the world to close educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the pandemic, impacting over 91% of the world’s student population according to UNESCO. Uganda is among the countries where schools have been closed for at least 2 years. Uganda subscribes to the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goal (SDG) 4 which is grounded on notions of equity and fairness. The SDG 4 agenda: ‘Ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Similarly, Uganda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan 2018-2020 stipulates delivery of equitable, relevant and quality education for all. Notably in Uganda, with 42 million people (UBOS 2020) in lock down and mostly confined in their homes, digital technologies are becoming a necessity, as they become one of the main ways to access education, but also one remaining vectors for social interactions to take place. For instance, the 2019 communication sector report by the Uganda Communications Commission shows that the country’s internet penetration stands at 37.9% with over 23 million internet users, who mostly use mobile phones. According to the same report, mobile internet subscription stood at between 14.3 to 15.2 million persons out of the 42 million Ugandans. Meanwhile about 1.1 million to 1.4 million Ugandans have actively subscribed to pay-tv services. This clearly shows the digital gap as of 2020, given that a large proportion of the population (estimated at 62-96%) does not have access to the internet or pay-tv. The present article aims to demonstrate that in the current Covid-19 crisis, much as digital technologies are helping to reach wider audiences globally, Uganda, like other Sub-Saharan African countries, still faces several challenges which directly or indirectly affect lifelong learning. Our hypothesis is that some of the most vulnerable students from Universities living in rural communities, people living with disability are the most difficult to reach if ICTS serve as the main instrument for promoting lifelong learning. A survey of a convenient sample of 350 Ugandan students from various socioeconomic backgrounds was conducted. Preliminary results show that despite the fact that digital technologies have enabled the closing of the gap of continued access to lifelong learning during the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda, there are still existing challenges in implementing Inclusive lifelong learning such as mobile phones, unstable electricity, poor infrastructure and accessing the lowest technology in order to close the educational gap. // Paper ID 6456
- ItemOpen AccessDeconstructing the Politics of Access: The Case of the University Student(2010-11) Mathew, RamaAs we address the issue of access to English for the large majority of young people in the country, i.e. those who have had many years of formal instruction solely devoted to teaching it as a subject in a vernacular medium school but with not much success, there are certain aspects that seem axiomatic. Therefore it is necessary to put them down right at the start to clarify the premise on which this paper is based.
- ItemOpen AccessDemocratising higher education: the ignou initiatives(2010-11) Padhi, NayantaraStarting with two courses and 4,000 students in 1985, IGNOU has reached the ladder of success being the world’s largest mega university, most diverse and inclusive institution offering over 3500 courses and catering to over 2.5 million students. IGNOU is committed to be accessible to all by ensuring learner convenience through its unique ‘age no bar, place no bar and pace no bar’ approach. This approach of IGNOU falls in line with the objectives of democratizing higher education as the current initiatives of IGNOU indicate. During last few years IGNOU has been experimenting various innovative ideas and methods for meeting the above mentioned objectives and ultimately to cater to the diverse needs of people. This has resulted into successful launching of number of programmes, courses, medium and modules. To name a few, Community College establishment, programmes for physically challenged, providing second career opportunity to Indian Army: Gyan Deep, Convergence of distance education and higher education, starting of face to face programmes, use of 3G technology for imparting education , Flexilearning mode, satellite based communication etc. // In this paper an attempt has been made to present an overview of the above mentioned innovations that has been carried out by IGNOU in order to align with the mission of democratising higher education. Also the current status of these innovations and the related issues are highlighted.