Open Access Week

October 23 - 29, 2023 | Everywhere

Open Access Resources for Refugees: A discussion on Policies, Design Strategies and Measure of Success

With the increasing need to offer a reliable educational program to so many underprivileged people and refugees in countries like Lebanon, some projects have been considering the possibility of making use of Open Educational Content . and courses such as MOOCs to alleviate the burden of the traditional educational system of the country.

The World Bank, is one of the active institutions trying to find solutions for this problem. Through its partnership with Coursera , they are exploring “specific challenges in developing countries, such as dealing with low Internet bandwidth, customizing content for local realities, and exploring the potential for mobile learning” (Lee, 2013).  In Parallel, Queen Rania Foundation, a Jordanian institute, partnered with EdX  to launch a new platform called Edraak. Edraak is offering “engaging, fresh, relevant – and, most importantly, in Arabic – MOOCs that will open up a world of possibility for intellectually hungry Arab youth" (Connell, 2013).  Moreover, Jesuit Commons, an initiative of the Society of Jesus, develops strategies to offer education to those at the margins of our society. Their project “seeks to bring courses from the order’s universities to refugee camps worldwide” (Nelson 2013).

These are just some of the worldwide initiatives to  support open access material and make education a reality in developing countries. There is a need to investigate the design and the policy issues that these initiatives are following in order to achieve their objectives. loopholes are to be located, discussed vis-à-vis findings of previous research on MOOCs. In addition, analysis has to be conducted with different perspectives of students and concerned educational authorities on MOOC courses as a concrete alternative to expand and enhance knowledge and education among the people living in developing countries.

Some of the questions I would like to discus are:

  • Which roles do the authorities in higher education (ministries and NGOs) play in the success or failure of such initiatives in offering unique opportunities for students to get educated?

  • From an instructional design perspective, what are the design principles that should be explored and implemented to make sure this type of content are worldwide spread and integrated?


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