Thursday, September 19, 2013

eLearning in the Developing World

Continuing my browsing of the shelves of the ADFA Library, I came across "Reconsidering Open and Distance Learning in the Developing World: Meeting Students' Learning Needs"  by David Kember (Routledge, 2007). This traces the development of distance university education in developing nations, especially as it relates to the UK Open University Model. This is very much a personal account with the author having experience in education in Hong Kong, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fuji and the UK. While written in the relatively early days of Internet education, the principles are still very applicable today's MOOCs. The University of the South Pacific provides an interesting model, being an institution run in cooperation by twelve nations, spread across a significant portion of the world. Many will find it surprising that the model of distance education made world famous by Open University UK was largely derived from what is called the "Armidale model" at University of New England, Australia. The experience of the University of South Africa, with an unsuccessful attempt at placing computers in schools for distance education, provides a lessen in the risks of technological optimism.

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