Journal of Learning for Development <p>JL4D publishes applied research with a focus on innovation in learning including open and distance learning, and its contribution to development.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Commonwealth of Learning en-US Journal of Learning for Development 2311-1550 <p>Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:<br><br></p> <ol type="a"> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a href="">Creative Commons Attribution License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</li> </ol> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol type="a"> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.</li> </ol> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol type="a"> <li>Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See <a href="" target="_new">The Effect of Open Access</a>).</li> </ol> Reconsidering Access: Using Specific Impact Ranking Metrics to Manage Access in Conventional and Open Higher Education <p>This paper considers the widening access and participation agenda, its implications for higher education institutions (HEIs) and contends that it must be underpinned by strategic measurement and monitoring.&nbsp; Access is viewed through of the following lenses: (i) supporting participation, and (ii) facilitating equity. Using mixed methods, the paper draws on data from The University of the West Indies (UWI) and provides examples from key plans and initiatives over 20 years to showcase how the UWI has increased access. Concurrently, the need for more nuanced and complex datasets to assess the extent of equity is highlighted with metrics drawn from the <em>Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking. </em>The authors argue that the strategic use and management of data can promote public accountability associated with access and boost institutional reputation. However, universities will have to be innovative and accelerate measures to survive/thrive in the post-pandemic environment by identifying their institutional scope and “system of interest” in widening access.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Halima-Sa'adia Kassim David Rampersad Copyright (c) 2022 Halima-Sa'adia Kassim, David Rampersad 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 17 36 Decrypting the Learners’ Retention Factors in Massive Open Online Courses <p>Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have recently become attractive at most universities, and the number of MOOCs has risen significantly, particularly in India. Despite their popularity, previous research has revealed a low course completion rate and a scarcity of research on the factors that influences learners’ retention in MOOCs. Therefore, it is a good idea to investigate previous research to understand the factors behind the learners’ retention so that an ideal learning model can be created. This study used Structural Equation Modelling to find out the unexplored learner retention factors in MOOCs and create a model, which may extend the satisfaction. MOOC data sets were collected from different Indian universities in Uttarakhand state. This study has explored the majority of influencing factors correlated with learners’ satisfaction. The findings show that MOOC usage intention is influenced by a willingness to credit mobility, the allure of the latest trendy course, content localisation and perceived effectiveness.</p> Harsh Vardhan Pant Manoj Chandra Lohani Jeetendra Pande Copyright (c) 2022 Harsh Vardhan Pant, Manoj Chandra Lohani , Jeetendra Pande 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 37 54 Comparative Advantages of Offline Digital Technology for Remote Indigenous Classrooms in Guatemala (2019-2020) <p>Technology has been viewed as a means to improve the quality of education for children globally, particularly in remote and marginal communities. This study examines the comparative advantages of the use of appropriate technology (off-line servers with digital libraries connected to a classroom set of laptops) in ten intervention schools in Indigenous communities in Guatemala for one school year. The study was too short (due to pandemic restrictions) to demonstrate statistically significant differences for learning outcomes. However, using an instructional core model as a framework, qualitative findings supported four previously identified comparative advantages, and identified four additional ones relevant to remote Indigenous communities. The intervention validated the ability of technology to improve standardized instruction, differentiated instruction, opportunities for practice, and learner engagement. Newly identified advantages are: access to high-quality educational resources (substitution for print materials), teacher capacity-building, student technical skills and digital literacy, and sharing cultural knowledge.</p> Adrienne Wiebe Luis Javier Crisostomo Ruben Feliciano Perez Terry Anderson Copyright (c) 2022 Adrienne Wiebe, Luis Javier Crisostomo, Ruben Feliciano Perez, Terry Anderson 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 55 72 Examining the Practices and Challenges of Distance Education of PhD Candidates in the Context of COVID-19 <p>The distance education system is actively developing in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sharp transition of PhD candidates to distance education caused difficulties in organising the educational process. The aim of this study was to analyse the methods of distance education for postgraduate students in the context of a COVID-19 pandemic. A survey of graduate students was conducted through specially- designed and semi-standardised interviews of focus groups of producers and consumers of educational services. The study showed that the process of adaptation of postgraduate students majoring in Physical Culture and Sports and Biology was much more difficult than in the major Educational, Pedagogical Sciences and Philology. The reasons for the problems of distance education of PhD candidates included the complexity of creating educational and methodological materials for distance learning; lack of a centralised system of certification and accreditation of electronic courses; insufficient motivation of teachers; shortage of teachers who could competently develop distance learning courses in higher education. The study identified opportunities to implement promising areas of online learning in the system of training of academic and teaching staff: retraining of a large proportion of the teaching staff, implementation of a system approach to the development of the online environment of educational institutions, development of skills and abilities to use educational content. Prospects for further research include the study of problems of violation of academic integrity by postgraduate students in the course of distance learning.</p> Olha Fast Olena Semenog Myroslava Vovk Nazar Buhaichuk Galyna Golya Copyright (c) 2022 Olha Fast, Olena Semenog, Myroslava Vovk, Nazar Buhaichuk, Galyna Golya 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 73 88 Resilience, Adaptability, and Sustainability of Higher Education: A systematic Mapping Study on the Impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic and the Transition to the New Normal <p>The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a global crisis, affecting many areas of society, including higher education, which has not been immune to its effects. This study, therefore, examines COVID-19 from the perspective of higher education, applying data mining and analytics approaches, i.e., t-SNE analysis, text-mining, and social network analysis, to identify research themes and patterns. The results obtained show that studies have not been restricted to addressing only the impact of COVID-19 on learners and educational institutions in terms of pedagogical issues. The study identified three broad themes from the body of research on this subject: (1) educational crisis and higher education in the new normal: resilience, adaptability, and sustainability, (2) psychological pressures, social uncertainty, and mental well-being of learners, and (3) the rise of online distance education and blended-hybrid modes. The study concludes that the survival of higher education depends on the resilience, adaptability, and sustainability skills of higher education institutions.</p> Aras Bozkurt Copyright (c) 2022 Aras Bozkurt 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 1 16 Effects of Internet Access During Examinations <p>The scores obtained by students in examinations where internet access was allowed during the examination were compared with the scores obtained in traditional examinations where no assistance was allowed. These scores were then compared with those obtained in a standardised school examination on the same topic or subject, taken by the same students a year before. We observed that scores dropped by over 70% within a year of taking a traditional examination but could be significantly improved if internet access is allowed in the later examination. We further observed that scores in examinations where internet access was allowed were consistently higher than where internet access was not allowed. Finally, we report an analysis by rank and observe that student rankings change both over time and whether internet access was allowed or not. This leads us to suggest that use of the internet during examinations measures abilities that are different and more meaningful to our times than those that are measured by traditional examinations based on memorisation and unassisted recall.</p> Sugata Mitra Ritu Dangwal Copyright (c) 2022 Sugata Mitra, Ritu Dangwal 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 129 136 Virtual Community Mentoring Models for Middle School Underachievers Psychosocial Development and Well-Being During COVID-19 <p>Recent studies highlight the outcomes of COVID-19 on the psychosocial skills of early adolescents. It shows the unavailability of virtual community mentoring models for teenagers' individual and interpersonal growth in the virtual scenario. Hence, there emerges a need to explore and apply the available virtual communication resources by facilitators, families, and other community professionals for teenagers’ self-development. This article reports the application of virtual resources like WhatsApp, graphic design platforms (CANVA and Adobe), graphic interchange formats (GIPHY App), all-in-one visual content editing forums (InShot App), and memes (Meme Generator App) in engaging and supporting community mentoring capacities leading to psychosocial development and well-being for teenagers during COVID-19. Through this article, contemporary virtual models are explored and executed with community guidance to integrate the personal developmental skills of middle school underachievers. There is also a need to work with community interventions by using virtual mentoring skillsets for positive youth development.</p> Roseline Florence Gomes Lijo Thomas Copyright (c) 2022 Roseline Florence Gomes 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 137 144 Editorial: Some More Research on Technology-Enabled Learning Santosh Panda Copyright (c) 2022 Santosh Panda 2022-03-19 2022-03-19 9 1 i iv Exploring the Use of Tweets and Word Clouds as Strategies in Educational Research <p>This paper presents personal insights and discussions on the exploration of specific strategies which relate to data collection and analysis used to support the focus group discussion data collection and preliminary analysis of a doctoral research entitled Undergraduate students’ experiences of learning with digital multimodal texts. The main objective of the doctoral research was to understand the different ways undergraduate students experienced learning with digital multimodal texts (DMTs) within the context of a history module included in their first-year programme of studies both as readers (consumers) and authors (producers). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, written reflection accounts, a focus group discussion and consideration given to the DMT (a video) produced by the participants. The focus group discussion event included a hands-on task whereby participants were requested to write their views in response to a given prompt question in the form of tweets. Also, the written tweets were visualised as word clouds for the purpose of initial analysis. The findings reported in this paper, which are based on observation notes and investigation of the word clouds, suggest that the tweet-related, hands-on task acted as a good ice breaker, making the participants feel at ease and more relaxed about sharing their views amongst each other while eliciting discussions and fostering deeper thinking. Also, the word clouds were revealed to be an effective data visualisation tool allowing emerging and salient themes to stand out from the participants’ written tweets and reflections.</p> Dorothy Cooshna-Naik Copyright (c) 2022 Dorothy Cooshna-Naik 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 89 103 An Assessment of Computer and ICT Skills at Botswana Open University: Implications of ICT in Business Subjects <p>This paper presents a study that focused on assessing computer and ICT skills of business subjects’ learners at Botswana Open University (BOU). The study explored the levels of computer skills; existence of ICT skills and perception of business subject learners on the adoption and use of ICT skills for teaching and learning. A sample size of 223 participants from BOU’s five regions was studied and data was collected quantitatively using survey questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. The results showed that most of the respondents had average ability to navigate on the e-learning school platforms (E-library, portals, websites, etc.) and average awareness of the business learning software and applications; they were familiar with most MS package elements, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. They were familiar with the use of emails, social sites and blogs as well as internet searching and browsing. Results also showed that the respondents understood the basic functions of computer hardware. The study also revealed that respondents needed improvement in the use of ICT tools for learning their business subjects, and that the improvement of the use of ICT tools would enhance their understanding of the subject matter. Respondents cited poor internet connectivity and unreliable power supply, as well as slow internet connectivity, as some of the reasons for their poor ICT skills in teaching and learning ICTs.</p> Tommie Hamaluba Copyright (c) 2022 Tommie Hamaluba 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 104 116 ODL Embedded with Innovative Communication and Digital Media to Empower All Levels of Farm Sectors to be Smart Farmers <p>This research shows how innovative communication and digital media could help empower any level of farm sector in Thailand and be embedded into ODL to serve their most effective demands. &nbsp;Qualitative research was used via case-based studies among eight key farm leaders from four success farms with data mapping and an interview form. Content analysis was also used. Tangible results of how ODL embedded with innovative communication and digital media can empower all levels of farm sectors under “SDGs” is described. The main findings are “ODL embedded with Innovative communication and digital media must be: 1) undertaken for the right reasons; 2) sensitive to real demands and problems; 3) fit with the existing context such as existing infrastructure, i.e., farms and ICT; 4) best engaged among all stakeholders with all kinds of participatory processes; and 5) an appropriate design to fit with all farmers’ contexts, i.e., friendly relationships, pedagogical, administrative, and all kinds of participatory channels and opportunities.</p> Kamolrat Intaratat Copyright (c) 2022 Kamolrat Intaratat 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 117 128 Book Review: Dede & Richards, Eds., The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy Don Olcott Jr Copyright (c) 2022 Don Olcott Jr 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 145 150 Book Review: McNaught & Gravett, Eds., Embedding Social Justice in Teacher Education and Development in South Africa Carol Hordatt Gentles Copyright (c) 2022 Carol Hordatt Gentles 2022-03-15 2022-03-15 9 1 151 154