Lifelong learning and widening participation in HE in developing countries - The challenge for e-Learning

Smith, Christopher and Rodriguez-Yborra, Maria A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3022-2099 (2007) Lifelong learning and widening participation in HE in developing countries - The challenge for e-Learning. In: JISC Innovating e-Learning 2007 Online Conference: Institutional Transformation and Supporting Lifelong Learning.

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Official URL: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elearningonlineconf07

Abstract

Ever since the publication by UNESCO of Faure’s ‘Learning to be – the world of today and tomorrow’ (1972), in which lifelong learning was proposed as a ‘master concept’, nations both within and beyond Europe have been striving to promote the concept, with varying degrees of success (Smith, 2002). In 2001 the concept again gained prominence with the European Commission’s declaration: ‘Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality’. With e-learning and the move to digitise knowledge becoming ever more prevalent, so at last the prospect of lifelong learning and widening participation can become a reality. However, whilst these days it is the norm in the Northern and industrialised nations of the world for households to have computers and virtually unlimited access to the internet, it is a quite different story in the developing countries of the world. With poor infrastructure, connectivity and bandwidth problems, many countries are finding it difficult to prosper in this new e-learning age. Yet it is precisely such countries which stand to benefit most in terms of wider accessibility to knowledge. If this ‘digital divide’ is not to become insurmountable, strategies need to be put in place to maximise the available technology for widening participation. The University of Bolton (UoB) has several years experience of delivering ‘traditional’ programmes off-campus in developing countries. However it now has new programmes scheduled for delivery, under the initiatives described above, that will significantly increase the use of e-methods for programme delivery. Under one such initiative, our intention is to create cadres of ‘learning professionals’ in the workplace who can, by their proximity and roles, act as change agents within their respective institutions. Although the learners will be work-based and use on-line tools for some programme delivery, cadres from different organisations will come together for a series of residential sessions in which knowledge and experiences will be shared through the medium of a range of modular programme inputs. This paper seeks to explore some of the practical issues that are likely to be faced when incorporating a blended learning / e-learning approach into a Masters distance programme. By reflecting on past experience the authors will also suggest ways in which an optimum learning outcome can be achieved using a combination of these approaches in a developing country.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper presented at the JISC Innovating e-Learning 2007 Online Conference: Institutional Transformation and Supporting Lifelong Learning; and published in the Proceedings e-book, Editors: Geoff Minshull and Judith Mole, Direct Learn Services Ltd. The Conference can be found online here http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elearningonlineconf07
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lifelong Learning,developing countries,e-Learning,innovation,blended learning,masters programs
Divisions: Faculty of Professional Studies > School of Education and Psychology > Education
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:36
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2018 14:49
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/179

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