ACCEPTANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF E-LEARNING IN A DEVELOPING ECONOMY: PERSPECTIVES FROM BANGLADESH

Z.T. Khalil, S. Kabir, N.M. Patwary

North South University (BANGLADESH)
One of the foundations of a nation is the education of its people. For a developing nation like Bangladesh, educating its masses is a top priority. In this age of advancements in information and communication technology (ICT) effective mass education is often a function of available technology. E-learning is a relatively new education concept which utilizes Internet as a medium to deliver digital content. In the more developed countries of the world, e-learning has become a recognized tool in imparting education.

Factors like unavailability of telephone lines, the poor literacy rate, and low educational level of the population and language skills restrict people’s access to internet. Learning that is facilitated and supported via ICT might not seem plausible in context of a developing country.

Despite the aggregate infrastructural shortcomings in the ICT sector in Bangladesh, there exists a privileged group of students coming from affluent families who have access to internet and are pursuing a degree in the premier private universities of the country. This study aims to understand the attitudes of these students towards e-learning, and conduct an experiment to determine its effectiveness: the experiment group being taught using e-learning methods whereas the control group, given a traditional classroom lecture on a chosen topic. The two groups’ performance in a standardized test will be compared to discuss any significant findings.

Although the country is currently not ready for mass scale e-learning, the government is taking initiatives under the campaign ‘Digital Bangladesh’ to bring conspicuous changes in the ICT sector. We hope that this study will help us gaining an initial insight about the acceptability of e-learning in the country in the future.