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Putting a MOOC for Human Rights in the hands of Kenyans: The Haki Zangu case for non-formal learning
Stockholm University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, ISSN 1681-4835, Vol. 65, no 3, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The research goal of this project was to explore the use and effects of non-formal education and incentives in the context of a developing country. The practical aim of this project was to create, implement, and evaluate a platform about human rights that was available to any Kenyan for free in order to increase knowledge and engagement. Therefore, a non-formal massive open online course (MOOC) about human rights was designed and launched. The course was free and open to anyone in Kenya and offered both a digital badge and certificate from Stockholm University in Sweden upon completion. The course was called Haki Zangu (Kiswahili for “My Rights”), and it explored how using incentives such as a digital badge and certificate of completion affected learning outcomes. This course offered ubiquitous access based on principles of responsive web design and used audio recordings of the entire course content. The course is perpetual and still on-going, but after six months there were 160 participants who had enrolled, and ten participants had completed the course and received certificates and digital badges. The participants showed extensive enthusiasm and engagement for human rights issues, and they expressed desires to learn more and further spread knowledge about human rights. The current findings suggest that the availability of digital badges and certificates increased interest for participation and positively affected learning outcomes. Moreover, the use of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) format with incentives proved successful, combined with the contextualization and accessibility of the course content. Furthermore, the technical platform proved adequate for disseminating education for free in a developing country, and allowed for unencumbered access regardless of device. Lastly, a key challenge for future non-formal learning efforts in developing countries is the cost of Internet access.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 65, no 3, 1-17 p.
Keyword [en]
mobile learning, non-formal learning, digital badges, ICT4D, human rights
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114857OAI: diva2:792809
Available from: 2015-03-05 Created: 2015-03-05 Last updated: 2015-03-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. New ways of learning: Participatory action research and Kenyan runners’ appropriation of smartphones to improve their daily lives and participation in m-learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New ways of learning: Participatory action research and Kenyan runners’ appropriation of smartphones to improve their daily lives and participation in m-learning
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Nya vägar till lärande : Deltagande aktionsforskning kring kenyanska löpares appropriering av smarta telefoner i vardagen för mobilt lärande
Abstract [en]

In Kenya, mobile technology is widely used, with more and more people gaining access to the Internet. Mobile technology has the potential to support learning and improve lives, particular those of impoverished people. In this study, 30 Kenyan runners from poor backgrounds and with limited formal education participated. They were provided with a basic smartphone and Internet data bundles for one year so that they could participate in m-learning. The participatory action research approach was used. Sources of data included interviews, observations, fieldnotes, web inquiries, and mobile log files. A sociocultural perspective was used to analyze how the participants learned informally using the smartphones.

Findings indicate that the Kenyan runners’ rapid appropriation and mastery of the smartphones was based on their curiosity and interest in sports. The runners’ skills and knowledge increased over time, showing how digital resources improved their training, increased their social interactions, developed entrepreneurial skills, created awareness in and with the rest of society, and improved participation in m-learning. Sociocultural analysis showed that feedback from peers and the tool itself were both significant for learning. The participants themselves influenced the research process. From their interest emerged an online course (MOOC) about human rights. Key challenges in the process were power consumption, lack of electricity, and the availability and cost of Internet access. A lack of critical attitude about content on the Internet was also discernible. The main findings highlight how mobile technology can not only improve daily lives, but also develop new ways for people to participate in mlearning.

Abstract [sv]

I Kenya är användningen av mobilteknologi och Internet utbredd och ökar stadigt. Mobilteknik visar sig ha potential att öka medborgares intressen för lärande och kunskap, och därigenom förbättra livssituationen särskilt för fattiga människor. Den här studien syftade till att med deltagande aktionsforskning analysera hur sådana processer går till. I studien deltog 30 kenyanska löpare från fattiga förhållanden och med begränsad formell utbildning. Deltagarna utrustades med en enkel smartphone med fri surf under ett år och följdes med intervjuer, observationer, webbenkäter och mobilspårning. Deras lärandeprocesser analyserades ur ett sociokulturellt perspektiv om hur teknik tillägnas – approrieras – och används i vardagliga praktiker och utvecklar lärande.

Resultaten visade att de kenyanska löparna snabbt approprierade telefonerna och fann utifrån nyfikenhet och intresset för idrott olika sätt att använda dem. Kunskaper och färdigheter utvecklades över tid och de digitala resurserna förbättrade löparnas träning, ökade sociala interaktioner, utvecklade entreprenöriella färdigheter och nya synsätt på sina möjligheter i världen.

Den sociokulturella analysen visade även att feedback från andra deltagare och/eller av tekniken i sig hade betydelse för lärandet. Forskningsprocessen påverkades av deltagarna och utifrån deras intresse skapades en on-line kurs (MOOC) om Mänskliga rättigheter. Problem i studien var telefonens energiförbrukning, brist på elektricitet, tillgång till och kostnad för Internet samt deltagarnas kritiska förhållningssätt till Internet. Det övergripande resultatet är att mobilteknologi kan förbättra livsvillkor och skapa nya vägar till lärande.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 145 p.
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 189
Participatory action research, m-learning, sociocultural perspective, Deltagande aktionsforskning, mobilt lärande, sociokulturellt perspektiv
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115804 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-115804 (DOI)978-91-7519-124-9 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-24, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-03-24Bibliographically approved

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