About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2777-2786
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1600

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MOOCS IN SOUTH AFRICA: CHALLENGES AND RESULTS FROM A COUNTRY-WIDE SURVEY

L. Dalvit, S. Gumbo

Rhodes University (SOUTH AFRICA)
Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have the potential to contribute to improving education outcomes and workforce development in developing countries. In South Africa, this could combat the high youth unemployment rate (above 40%) and shocking university exclusion and/or drop out, which recently led to country-wide protests. As is the case in other developing countries, the uptake of MOOCs is hampered by relatively low fixed Internet penetration and high data costs as well as low levels of functional literacy, particularly in English. This paper discusses an investigation into circumstances under which individuals register and do MOOCS, together with what they perceive as advantages and disadvantages. This is part of a multi-country study within the Advancing MOOCs for Development Initiative (AMDI). A Survey of MOOC actual and potential users was administered online via social networks and mailing lists, targeting university students and other young people in the age group 18 – 35. The original targets were 500 actual and 500 potential users but the initial response was lukewarm and several strategies had to be implemented to increase the response rate. While minors could not be included in the survey, people above the target age group were considered in the final 941 respondents. While MOOCs potential users exceeded the target (669), actual users were hard to find (268). 4 respondents did not specify whether they were MOOCs users or not. In the final phase of the survey, actual users were contacted in-person by trained fieldworkers who administered the survey through tablets. The breakdown by gender and level of education yielded interesting results for South Africa when compared to respondents in other developing countries. The survey was followed by a workshop of 5 actual users, identified through the survey itself. The choice of a central venue in Johannesburg ensured meaningful participation despite the relatively low density of MOOC users in South Africa. Findings were complemented through interviews with 15 key participants from among prospective employers (private and government sector) as well as educators in universities and training colleges. The collaboration with a private company specialised in surveys as well as a combination of technical and social sciences background among the researchers were key success factors. The research encountered numerous challenges, ranging from the difficulty of contacting respondents among university students due to protests on almost all campuses to reluctance to participate in surveys without some form of incentive and lack of collaboration among MOOC practitioners in South Africa.
@InProceedings{DALVIT2016MOO,
author = {Dalvit, L. and Gumbo, S.},
title = {MOOCS IN SOUTH AFRICA: CHALLENGES AND RESULTS FROM A COUNTRY-WIDE SURVEY},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1600},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1600},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2777-2786}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Dalvit AU - S. Gumbo
TI - MOOCS IN SOUTH AFRICA: CHALLENGES AND RESULTS FROM A COUNTRY-WIDE SURVEY
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1600
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 2777
EP - 2786
ER -
L. Dalvit, S. Gumbo (2016) MOOCS IN SOUTH AFRICA: CHALLENGES AND RESULTS FROM A COUNTRY-WIDE SURVEY, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 2777-2786.
User:
Pass: