Rethinking A Framework for Contextualising and Collaborating in MOOCs by Higher Education Institutions in Africa


  • Haipinge Erkkie University of Namibia
  • Ngepathimo Kadhila University of Namibia



connectivism, contextualisation, higher education, MOOCs, Sub-Saharan Africa, online learning


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are online courses that are open to anyone with Internet access. Pioneered in North America, they were developed for contexts with broader access to technology and wider access to the Internet. As globally networked learning environments (GNLEs), MOOCs foster collaborative communities and learning in ways not conceived as feasible until recently. The affordances of MOOCs, such as the ability to access learning beyond one’s immediacy, exemplify their benefits for open and distance learning, especially in developing countries that continue to consume rather than produce online courses. However, the globality of MOOCs and their delivery mode pose a challenge of contextualising learning content to the local needs of educational institutions or individual students that choose to use the courses. This theoretical paper used a desk-research approach by revising literature to investigate and propose ways of contextualising MOOCs to the African higher education setting. It applied the principles of reuse and repurposing learning content, while suggesting the use of mobile learning as a technological delivery solution that is relevant to the local context. The paper also suggests a framework for inter-institutional collaboration for higher education institutions to guide future efforts in the creation and sharing of credit-bearing MOOCs.

Author Biographies

Haipinge Erkkie, University of Namibia

Erkkie Haipinge is a Deputy Director for eLearning at the Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning, University of Namibia. He holds a Master of Arts in Education and globalization from the University of Oulu, Finland and has specialised in educational technologies. He teaches technology integration in learning and teaching and is a proponent of project based learning. His research interests include social media integration in learning, new digital learning environments, mobile learning and application of innovations to learning and teaching. Email:

Ngepathimo Kadhila, University of Namibia

Ngepathimo Kadhila is a Director of Quality Assurance at the University of Namibia. He holds a PhD in Higher Education, with a focus on Quality Assurance, from the University of the Free State, South Africa, a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Namibia, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education from Rhodes University in South Africa. His research interests include academic development, curriculum development in higher education, teaching and learning in higher education, and quality assurance. Email:



How to Cite

Erkkie, H., & Kadhila, N. (2021). Rethinking A Framework for Contextualising and Collaborating in MOOCs by Higher Education Institutions in Africa . Journal of Learning for Development, 8(1), 204–220.



Case Studies
Received 2020-07-30
Accepted 2021-02-26
Published 2021-03-19