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> en-US <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> (Tony Mays) (Tony Mays) Tue, 20 Jul 2021 09:36:43 -0700 OJS 60 Editorial: Researching Technology-Enabled Teaching, Learning and Training <p>Editorial</p> Santosh Panda Copyright (c) 2021 Santosh Panda Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:28:16 -0700 The Global Micro-credential Landscape: Charting a New Credential Ecology for Lifelong Learning <p>This article offers a global overview of the burgeoning field of micro-credentials and their relationship to lifelong learning, employability and new models of digital education. Although there is no globally accepted definition of micro-credentials, the term indicates smaller units of study, which are usually shorter than traditional forms of accredited learning and courses leading to conventional qualifications such as degrees. The paper aims to provide educators with a helicopter view of the rapidly evolving global micro-credential landscape, with particular relevance to higher education leaders, industry stakeholders and government policy-makers. It addresses five questions: (i) what are micro-credentials? (ii) why micro-credentials? (iii) who are the key stakeholders? (iv) what is happening globally? and (v) what are some of the key takeaways? Drawing on a European-wide perspective and recent developments in The Republic of Ireland, the paper concludes that micro-credentials are likely to become a more established and mature feature of the 21<sup>st</sup> Century credential ecology over the next five years. While the global micro-credential landscape is currently disconnected across national boundaries, more clarity and coherence will emerge as governments around the world increasingly align new credentialing developments with existing national qualification frameworks. The micro-credentialing movement also provides opportunities for governments and higher education institutions in partnership with industry to harness new digital learning models beyond the pandemic.</p> Mark Brown, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl , Elaine Beirne, Conchúr Mac Lochlainn Copyright (c) 2021 Mark Brown, Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl , Elaine Beirne, Conchúr Mac Lochlainn Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:32:41 -0700 Open Pedagogy: A Systematic Review of Empirical Findings <p>Open licensing used in open educational resources allows for teaching and learning practices that are not possible with traditional copyright. There is a growing body of empirical research on open pedagogy. However, definitions and instantiations of open pedagogy vary in the literature. The purpose of this review was to systematically search and synthesize empirical findings on open pedagogy. In this, the definitions of open pedagogy across empirical reports were examined. Generally, open pedagogy was defined in the context of open licensing affordances; however, there were exceptions particularly when examining faculty experiences with open pedagogy. Synthesized findings may be used by faculty to inform use of open pedagogy especially when considering issues with student confusion and changing power dynamics.</p> Virginia Clinton-Lisell Copyright (c) 2021 Virginia Clinton-Lisell Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:45:21 -0700 A Learning Design for Deep Learning for a Distance Teacher Education Programme <p>Self-learning materials (SLM) generally lack the mechanisms for ensuring deep learning but help address the learning needs of large number of learners. Hence, it was retained as the key instructional component for a distance in-service teacher education programme offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), India. However, for the programme’s personal contact programme, a learning design was developed with the aim of addressing the SLM’s pedagogic limitations. This study aimed to determine how learners were using the SLM for learning while the design was being implemented at multiple units of analysis. It used the case-study method, and the findings suggested that the learning design encouraged deep learning processes that included the use of workplace learning as a context for interrogating the SLM and evaluating their relevance. Findings of qualitative studies are not generally generalisable. Nevertheless, this study will help in making informed decisions favouring ‘learning designs’ instead of instructional designs for IGNOU’s future teacher education programmes.</p> Sutapa Bose Copyright (c) 2021 Sutapa Bose Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:49:19 -0700 Postgraduate Students’ Perception of the Use of E-portfolios as a Teaching Tool to Support their Learning in an Open and Distance Education Institution <p>E-portfolios have been used for decades in education; however, it is still a new trend in some developing countries as they continue to adopt e-learning practices. The study investigated postgraduate students’ experiences and perceptions of using an e-portfolio as a teaching tool to support their learning in an open and distance e-learning (ODeL) university in South Africa. A sample of 74 students registered for an online module were selected and an online questionnaire administered via Lime Survey. The results show that more than half of the respondents (71%) were using the e-portfolio for the first time. The study also revealed the contrasting views of the support received from the lecturer and institution for the e-portfolio platform, especially with technical issues. This study suggests that distance education institutions that are using e-portfolios need to strategically choose user-friendly technology tools and design appropriate student support strategies for delivering online modules. Higher education institutions that are planning to implement e-portfolios may find the results of this paper useful; however, further investigation of the learners’ needs, and available tools may assist with creative and appropriate designs of support strategies for their contexts.</p> Mphoentle Puleng Modise Copyright (c) 2021 Mphoentle Puleng Modise Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:52:40 -0700 Technology Enabled Delivery of Medical Programmes through ODL : A Case of Training Medical Doctors in Geriatric Medicine <p>COVID-19 provided an opportunity to experiment with alternative delivery mechanisms for a medical education programme offered through open and distance learning with face-to-face training as an essential component of the programme. Non-availability of hard copies of the course material (92%) and lack of communication from the university (32%) as well as training centres (42%) were some of the challenges faced by students of the Geriatric Medicine programme of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) during the COVID pandemic. Around 90% were willing to attend online classes and 65% to 77% were willing to present cases online for discussion. A programme-specific web portal containing all resource material and information was visited by 85% of students. Most students attended the online classes and 68% attempted the formative assessments based on the online classes. Online classes were recorded and uploaded and were found useful by 90% of students. The experiment successfully demonstrated the feasibility and acceptance of delivering practical skills using online technological tools. Further integrating technology to complement some of the face-to-face component could be used as a permanent and effective delivery strategy, which could also reduce resource requirements.</p> Ruchika Kuba Copyright (c) 2021 ruchika kuba Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:55:09 -0700 The Perception of Educational Stakeholders on Utilization of E-learning Technology for Quality Instructional Delivery in Universities in Rivers State, Nigeria <p>The study was conducted in Rivers State, South-South, Nigeria. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study, which comprised 168 subjects (44 lecturers and 124 students). Two research questions were posed by the researchers to guide the study. The study used questionnaires to elicit information from respondents. Mean and standard deviation were descriptive statistical tools used to answer the research questions. The findings of the study revealed, amongst others, that many universities in Nigeria lacked digital facilities for quality e-teaching and learning and, again, university lecturers and students required core digital skills for effective e-learning. Based on these findings, it was recommended, amongst others, that the Nigerian government, in collaboration with university authorities, should ensure adequate provision of ICT equipment and facilities in universities for quality e-teaching and learning. Furthermore, adequate ICT training programmes should be set up for the training of lecturers and students in digital technology in order to realise effective e-learning in the Nigerian university system.</p> Offia Owo, Isaac Udoka Copyright (c) 2021 OFFIA OWO, Isaac Udoka Mon, 19 Jul 2021 09:58:02 -0700 Contradictions in Learner Interactions in a Blended-Learning Writing Course in the ODL Context: An Activity Theory Analysis <p>This paper reports on the use of Engeström’s (1987) Activity Theory (AT) framework to gain insights into the contradictions that emerge within the activity system of the online component of an advanced writing skills course, delivered in a blended-learning mode using the Process Approach.&nbsp; Activity theory, with its principle of contradictions, has been used successfully to identify tensions that arise in interactions between and among participates in online environments. The focus of this mixed-method study was to identify challenges participants experienced due to externally imposed conditions when engaging in the online activities. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and the online log reports from the Learning Management System (LMS). Contradictions emerged between and among the elements of two activity triangles within the activity system of the online writing course. Implications of these contradictions were noted to take steps to improve the design of the online component of the writing course. &nbsp;</p> Judy Pullenayegem, K. Radhika M. De Silva, Buddhini, Gayathri Jayatilleke Copyright (c) 2021 Judy Pullenayegem, K. Radhika M. De Silva, Buddhini, Gayathri Jayatilleke Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:01:50 -0700 Developing Partnerships to Acquire Impact: The Role of Three Regional Centres’ Capacity Building Efforts for ODL Adoption in the Emerging World <p>Partnerships are central to the awareness, implementation and development of open and distance learning (ODL). It is an attribute that is distinct in the higher education sector, where ODL has made a large footprint by dispelling the notion that university enrolment is reserved for a narrow and elite demographic. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) operates to advance the uptake of ODL amongst the 54 member states of the Commonwealth. COL leverages its work through various channels, and the COL Regional Centres play a pivotal role as partners to COL and, in turn, to acquire new partners that may benefit from COL’s technical expertise. The Regional Centres, strategically located across the Commonwealth, engage primarily in capacity building for ODL. Their constituents include governments, institutions, and individual learners. This paper explores the role of COL Regional Centres to grow existing partnerships and to form new ones in the pursuit of ODL expansion. The formation of partnerships is understudied in the ODL space, yet it has been pivotal in augmenting the visibility and importance of ODL around the world. Drawing on data from an evaluation of three COL Regional Centres conducted at the end of 2019, and reporting on follow-up activities to the mid-point of 2021, this paper highlights how the RCs are achieving their mandate to engage partners and, in the process, have achieved short- and long-term outcomes since 2018. Findings provide insight into the effectiveness of RC activities, relative to the number of institutions and individuals reached, complemented with inputs from RC stakeholders, mostly comprised of RC staff. &nbsp;Recommendations are offered, with the paper positing that the role of the Regional Centres should continue and expand to other areas of the Commonwealth premised on their ability to build and sustain partnerships through capacity building efforts. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Kirk Perris, Rory McGreal Copyright (c) 2021 Kirk Perris, Rory McGreal Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:05:35 -0700 Challenges to the Effective Teaching and Learning of Geography through ODeL at the Zimbabwe Open University <p>ODeL offers a lot of opportunities and unique challenges for adult learners. In this paper, the authors sought to examine the main problems that influence the effective teaching and learning of geography and environmental studies in Zimbabwe through ODeL as perceived by the students at the ZOU's Harare/Chitungwiza Regional Campus. This single case study employed vital informant semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis and observations to solicit information from ten students and four tutors in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department (DGES) over three months. Thematic analysis and review of qualitative gained insight into the challenges that are faced by ODeL students in the DGES. The study found out that students in the department face personal and socio-economic challenges as well as related institutional challenges. The study recommends that the ZOU DGES should offer more academic support and improve its communication to the students so that they are aware of all university-related developments that impact on their studies.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: challenges, teaching, learning, ODL, ODeL</p> Vincent Itai Tanyanyiwa, Rejoice Madobi Copyright (c) 2021 Vincent Itai Tanyanyiwa, Rejoice Madobi Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:13:59 -0700 COVID-19 and Technology Enhanced Teaching in Higher Education in sub-Saharan Africa: A Case of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania <p>This article aims to share an experience on the process taken by the University of Dar es Salaam to adopt and deliver technology-enhanced teaching and learning during the COVID-19 crisis. &nbsp;The university started by forming a team which conducted an audit to identify existing ICT infrastructure, skills gaps amongst instructors, and information systems that could be quickly adopted to deliver various courses during the COVID-19 crisis. The Moodle system, Zoom video conferencing system, and Postgraduate Information Management System were identified and recommended. After the audit, 340 instructors were trained on identified systems and 369 new courses were developed. Although face-to-face classes resumed a few months after the training and preparations, postgraduate courses continued to be offered via the blended mode with the Zoom and Moodle systems being used. The experience gathered from this study contributes towards knowledge of ICT integration in teaching and learning and can be integrated into teaching during the COVID-19 crisis in resource-constrained universities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.</p> Joel S. Mtebe, Katherine Fulgence, Michael Gallagher Copyright (c) 2021 Joel S. Mtebe, Katherine Fulgence, Michael Gallagher Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:19:41 -0700 Achieving Community Development through an Agricultural Extension Programme: Technology Dissemination for Mushroom Farmers <p>Mushroom production is a small-scale business unit in rural areas. The Life Long Learning for Farmers (L3F) Programme aims to enhance the socio-economic conditions for them, increasing their access to and use of knowledge and technology. This study evaluates the outcomes of the L3F Programme at the community level. Data were collected through a pre-tested questionnaire survey. The sample consisted of 30 L3F farmers. Farmers’ achievement was assessed by the Farmer Performance Index (FPI). Results indicate that mushroom farmers have scaled up their production; have improved their productivity; designed new experiments to minimise the impact of pests and diseases; focused on environmental sustainability and scientific mushroom production; and improved the quality of packaging. The mobile app <em><span style="font-weight: normal !msorm;">Bimmal Govi</span></em>, blended with Information and Communication Technology, helped them to move with the latest technological advancements. The L3F Programme has increased the standards of mushroom production, helping the farmers become promising entrepreneurs.</p> Nilantha De Silva, Mahinda Wijeratne Copyright (c) 2021 Nilantha De Silva, Mahinda Wijeratne Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:21:52 -0700 Sustaining Work-based Learning During COVID 19 Pandemic <p>Sustaining Work-based Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic became a challenge since access to working-cum-learning places for students of a work-based degree programme was depleted. Socio-economic challenges needed to be addressed as students came from economically weaker sections of society. Also critical were the pedagogic challenges in terms of validating the sustenance and spirit of the work-based learning (WBL) model.</p> <p>This case study presents a special initiative of digital freelancing offering virtual workplaces as well as livelihoods to work-based learning students during the pandemic. Merits, limitations, potential spinoffs of the WBL model for higher education and learning for development are discussed.</p> Revati Namjoshi, Soumya Pani, Ujjwala Despande, Amit Ranade Copyright (c) 2021 Revati Namjoshi, Soumya Pani, Ujjwala Despande, Amit Ranade Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:23:45 -0700 Scaling Smallholder Farmer Empowerment: Lessons from the Lifelong Learning Program in Uganda <p>An evaluation study of the Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) program was undertaken in two sites; in the central and northern regions of Uganda.&nbsp;Propensity Score Matching (PSM) was used to measure the impact of the program on crop and household income, as well as the empowerment levels of its participants. The two sites had differences not only in geographical location but in historical background and implementation of the program, which may have influenced the livelihood outcomes. Despite these differences, the results of the study confirm the potential of the L3F approach to raise participants’ crop and household income relative to non-L3F counterparts, significantly so for women participants. There is also sufficient evidence to confirm that L3F positively contributes to farmer empowerment, and, subsequently, their livelihood. The paper draws lessons for scaling the empowerment process using the lifelong learning for farmers’ model in Uganda.</p> Rebecca Kalibwani, Medard Kakuru, Alexis Carr, Moses Tenywa Copyright (c) 2021 Rebecca Kalibwani, Medard Kakuru, Alexis Carr, Moses Tenywa Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:25:23 -0700 Academic Silver Linings in a Philippine State University Amid the Early Stages of Pandemic Cases <p>The primary role of the academe is knowledge building, however, due to the prevailing digital divide, some institutions of higher learning were not able to offer even Emergency Online Teaching (EOT) for continuous formal education during the early stages of the pandemic. This article highlights diversified ways that a state university from a developing country &nbsp;(Philippines) &nbsp;responded to the crisis to offer assistance towards the social development of the stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 200%;" lang="EN-GB">&nbsp;</span></p> Cathy Mae Toquero Copyright (c) 2021 Cathy Mae Toquero Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:27:24 -0700 Reports from the Field: Secondary School in Hong Kong Integrating the Spirit of Humanities into STEAM Education <p>A small project of STEAM education called “Innovation for Love and Care” was implemented in a local secondary school in Hong Kong. Four seventh-grade students participated from November 2020 to February 2021. The project aims to integrate humanism into the traditional STEAM curriculum to stimulate the students’ innovation in a people-oriented approach. The project consisted of three modules implemented by means of both online teaching and face-to-face lessons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses of the students were very positive. The overall performance has been recognised by the school management team. For the next step, the project team plans to expand the project to all seventh-grade students.</p> Sin Fai Eric Ng, Chin Hung Ng Copyright (c) 2021 SIN FAI ERIC NG, Chin Hung Ng Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:28:46 -0700 Review: Southgate, E. (2020). Virtual Reality in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Evidence from Secondary Classrooms. Routledge. Terry Neal Copyright (c) 2021 Terry Neal Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:30:12 -0700 Review: Cleveland-Innes, M. F., & Garrison, D. R. (Eds.), (2021). An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Routledge. David Alexander Porter Copyright (c) 2021 David Alexander Porter Mon, 19 Jul 2021 10:31:18 -0700