American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4976-4983
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Governments in developing countries and their donors waste a significant amount of resources on non-sustainable initiatives in the name of development. Educational expenditure is no exception. For example, vast sums are wasted on technology-enhanced educational interventions that are not sustainable due to a variety of factors including lack of appropriate resources, non-acceptance by teachers, poor end-user training, politics and cultural taboos. This paper considers the problem of selecting a sustainable learning technology intervention (LTI) for a typical developing country. A solution to this problem would allow more sustainable LTIs to be selected for implementation resulting in improved efficiency in the utilisation of scarce resources and greater access to education for all. Whilst previous studies have evaluated individual LTIs like online learning or mobile learning, this study is the first to develop a framework for assessing a comprehensive collection of LTIs. The paper introduces a unique decision framework for undertaking a selection of LTIs by combining ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ decision analysis techniques. The selection problem is modelled as a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem and a combination of the Future Search Conference (FSC) technique and the Analytic Network Process (ANP) is used to develop a decision tool for selecting the most sustainable LTI for a developing country. The study comprises of two stages where the outputs from the FSC constitute the inputs to the ANP model. The ensuing decision tool was applied in one developing country (Pakistan) where multiple stakeholders including teachers, educational administrators, key government officials, representatives of donor agencies, and leaders of non-governmental organisations and their implementation partners participated. The opinions of these stakeholders were combined mathematically using the geometric mean. The ANP was subsequently used to conduct a quantitative analysis of their collective opinions and generate a collective decision for the most sustainable LTI for this community. The analysis revealed that of the various LTIs considered like use of mobile phones, MOOCS, and online tutoring; school on wheels was the most sustainable LTI in the collective opinion of all the stakeholders.
Sustainable Development, Learning Technology Interventions, Multi-criteria Decision Making (MCDM), Analytic Network Process (ANP), Future Search Conference.