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No University Credit, No Problem?: Exploring Recognition of Non-Formal Learning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2014 (English)In: 2014 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings, IEEE Computer Society, 2014, 2420-2426 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are disrupting traditional, higher education and redefining how learning takes place online. These open courses typically offer some form of recognition, such as a certificate of completion and/or digital badge, to recognize, validate, and in some cases even accredit learning. A general problem with MOOCs is the uncertainty regarding the use and goals of recognition, validation, and accreditation (RVA), and participants’ acceptance and perception of such techniques. This research effort addresses this problem by exploring course partici-pants’ attitudes and levels of acceptance of non-formal learning recognition compared to traditional university credit in both devel-oped and developing countries. The actual study uses both certifi-cates of completion and digital badges to recognize and validate learning in an introductory, university level course in web pro-gramming using HTML5/CSS. The course is available to anyone, but was specifically marketed to participants from Sweden and Kenya. Empirical data was gathered using interviews and online surveys in the course. The preliminary results are that participants from developing countries value digital recognition to a greater extent than their counterparts in Europe. However, both Swedes and Kenyans see open courses with digital recognition as a com-plement to traditional learning to individually construct an educa-tion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2014. 2420-2426 p.
Keyword [en]
non-formal learning, learning recognition, digital badges, MOOCs
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108692ISBN: 978-1-4799-3922-0 (print)ISBN: 978-1-4799-3921-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108692DiVA: diva2:760070
Conference
2014 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Madrid, Spain, 22-25 October 2014
Available from: 2014-11-03 Created: 2014-11-03 Last updated: 2014-11-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Do-It-Yourself Learning in Kenya: Exploring mobile technologies for merging non-formal and informal learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do-It-Yourself Learning in Kenya: Exploring mobile technologies for merging non-formal and informal learning
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The educational landscape is changing and a variety of technologies and techniques are blurring the lines between traditional and non-traditional learning. This change is substantial in low-income countries: individuals in developing countries have a great desire to educate themselves and improve their quality of life. Kenyans are adequately literate and accustomed to mobile technology despite being a largely impoverished, poorly educated populace. Kenya represents an optimal setting in which to research the use and feasibility of modern mobile and educational technologies. The broad aim of this dissertation is to explore how mobile devices can catalyze and enhance both informal and non-formal learning. In particular, this dissertation explores how technologies and concepts such as mobile web apps, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and learning incentives via a smartphone specifically affect informal and non-formal learning in Kenya. The primary research question is how can learning efforts that utilize mobile learning, MOOCs, and learning incentives combine non-formal and informal learning to develop and contribute to a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to learning in Kenya? The primary method is action research. The first contribution of this dissertation is the finding that mobile web apps are currently better suited for data exchange than producing new content. The second contribution is the finding that a smartphone can enhance informal learning in a developing country with little or no scaffolding. The third contribution is the finding that non-formal learning efforts as a MOOC are shown to be a viable means of delivering non-formal learning in a developing country via a smartphone. The fourth contribution is the finding that the use of incentives such as digital badges provide a means by which to validate non-formal learning and contribute to a DIY attitude towards learning creation, where individuals can freely complement or replace a traditional curriculum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 122 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 14-018
Keyword
ICT4D, mobile learning, M4D, informal learning, non-formal learning, MOOCs, digital incentives
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108428 (URN)978-91-7649-045-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-12, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-20 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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