Academic makes massive research contribution to global digital learning policy
A University of Wolverhampton academic has collaborated with the Commonwealth organisation that promotes learning and education to produce a policy brief focused on digital distance learning and the potential of massive open online courses.
John Traxler, Professor of Digital Learning in the University’s School of Education, is lead author of the recently published Policy Brief: Leveraging MOOCs for Teacher Development in Low-Income Countries and Disadvantaged Regions.
The new briefing document has been developed with Betty Ogange of the Commonwealth of Learning, the intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
This policy brief looks at open digital distance learning and the potential of massive open online courses to deliver and support teacher development in low-income countries and disadvantaged regions.
It also addresses the particular barriers faced by teachers and their communities and proposes options to help overcome their challenges. Recommendations cover areas of local, national and global policy.
Professor Traxler said: “The brief was conceptualised and drafted in the midst of the global pandemic and written on the assumption that policymakers will have to work within the pressures and constraints of the pandemic for the foreseeable future. The pandemic, its successive waves, the responses to these successive waves and the aftermath of these waves and responses mean that for the foreseeable future — in different places and in different ways — any “new normal” will not resemble the “old normal.
“This brief was drafted in the expectation that the waves of the pandemic will hit low-income countries and disadvantaged regions particularly hard but also in the expectation that digital and educational responses to these waves, if generalised and undifferentiated, will increase the disadvantage of these areas, their teachers and their schools. This will be particularly true if these responses are not targeted and calibrated specifically for these countries and regions, especially their communities at the margins of national, mainstream norms.”
John Traxler is a Founding Director of the International Association for Mobile Learning. His journal papers have been cited over 9000 times and is in the top 2% in his discipline. He has worked on many digital learning projects and missions. He is a frequent international keynote speaker and has worked with a number of international agencies and international corporates.
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