ONLINE CONTENT LOCALIZATION FOR BLENDED LEARNING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: A CASE STUDY USING KHAN’S ACADEMY
Online Content Localization for Blended Learning in Developing Countries: A Case Study Using Khan’s Academy
Problems in localizing online learning content across cultures are well recognized . A number of pedagogical models for designing culturally congruent online content have also been proposed (e.g., , ). Learning styles of students can also vary across cultures . In blended learning situations , teaching styles, roles, and quality teachers become relevant as well. Authenticity  of content is also a key concern; using “bran muffins” to explain counting to primary school children carries little meaning to most children in rural Africa. Another important issue is content alignment with the local curriculum. How students view assessments also changes across cultures ; this is relevant for localization of formative assessments. This paper presents uses Khan’s Academy , a repository of free learning videos. This case study focuses on localizing the Khan’s academy content for grade IV and V mathematics. A total of 48 relevant videos were found on Khan’s Academy. Despite being translated into the local language, a number of issues related to the problem difficulty, authenticity, language translation, use of technical terms, and audio and color issues were identified. One major issue was conformance to the local curriculum. While Khan’s Academy’s content tries to conform to the Common Core Mathematics Curriculum , 80 additional videos were created to bridge the curricular gap. In addition, formative assessments on Khan’s academy were also analyzed for consistency with, and validated against an assessment instrument based on item response theory . Finally, current teaching styles of teachers from the target population were compared with the pedagogy implicit in these online materials. This paper summarizes experiences gained from this localization effort, and presents a prescriptive framework for building such content that can potentially minimize the localization effort required, especially as it pertains to developing countries.
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