Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Online Education in Emerging Knowledge Economies: Exploring Factors of Motivation, De-Motivation and Potential Facilitators; and Studying the Effects of Demographic Variables

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Online Education in Emerging Knowledge Economies: Exploring Factors of Motivation, De-Motivation and Potential Facilitators; and Studying the Effects of Demographic Variables

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation for improving peoples' lives and attaining sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools, particularly for women and girls in emerging economies. (OECD, 2017). Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, but bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, although the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education. (OECD, 2017; UNDESA, 2014; UNDP Uganda 2013; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, MDG 2014 Report; UNSDG, 2015). Additionally, although many countries are improving performance on universal education coverage, there are still gaps in the education quality levels. Quality education is very important as it ensures the achievement of many other sustainable goals. For example, when people are educated they can break the poverty cycle. Data from 114 countries shows that one extra year of education is associated with a reduction of the Gini coefficient (numerical statistic used to measure income inequality in the society) by 1.4 percentage points. (United Nations, 2017).

ICTs refer to all technologies used to communicate, create, manage, access, gather and distribute information. These include computer hardware and software, the Internet, telephone, television, radio, and audio-visual equipment (UNESCO, 2009). The term covers a vast technology range, from simple technologies such as the radio and telephone to complex technology such as computers, network hardware and software as well as the associated equipment and services (United Republic of Tanzania, 2007). With the emergence of the digital era, the role of digital platforms and ICTs in imparting education has become significantly important in pursuing education through the online mode. The trend of online education not only helps in providing quality and lifelong education at all levels, but also narrows the gap among the genders and rural/urban communities in terms of accessibility to quality education. Millions of students, both male and female, from around the globe have enrolled; thousands of courses have been offered; and hundreds of universities have lined up to participate (Christensen, G. et al., 2013).

The role of ICTs, its acceptance and use (UTAUT-Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology by Venkatesh, 2003) is vital in order to encourage education via the online mode. Most of the studies focus on the potential effect(s) of ICTs and related motivation(s) of learners towards online education (Kaliisa et al., 2017; Papadakis and Kalogiannakis, 2017; Ventakesh, 2003). However, they fail to tap learners' hidden perceptions regarding online education. Hence, they lag behind in understanding the motivational factors, de-motivational factors and potential facilitators through the lenses of participants, which limits or inhibits our understanding of learners' attitude towards online education. As such, they pose restrictions to improve the existing facilities to impart quality education and encourage lifelong learning through the online mode. This study attempts to fill this gap by exploring motivational and de-motivational factors and potential facilitators by carrying out exploratory research in India and Uganda. It then presents a comparative quantitative analysis in order to understand any potential differences in enrolment, awareness, and preference for online education on the basis of country, gender, age, employment status and existing educational qualification.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The expansion of education plays a vital role in the development of emerging knowledge economies like India and Uganda. The role of higher education for the economy is seen by governments as having an increased importance, to the extent that higher education has become the new anchor for governments around the world. …

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