Opening up higher education in Rwanda: The potential contribution of extension Massive Open Online Courses (xMOOCs), Open Educational Resources (OER) units in the MIT Open Courseware and different stakeholders
thesisposted on 14.11.2016, 10:10 by Bernard Nkuyubwatsi
This study focused on the potential contribution of xMOOCs, OER units and different stakeholders to opening up higher education. The main research questions were: “Which MOOCs can potentially be adapted for use in opening up Rwandan higher education?” (1) “Which OER units can potentially be adapted for use in opening up Rwandan higher education?” (2) and “What is the potential contribution of different stakeholders in Rwandan higher education to opening up this level of education?” (3). The study had a transformative mixed method design and consisted of two major components: The Research component and the Parallel development component. Research was conducted on ten xMOOCs, ten OER units, 105 learners, 85 academics, one institutional leader and four policy documents. Results showed that two xMOOCs and one OER unit can be adapted for direct use in opening up higher education in Rwanda if open educational services and enabling policies are available. Learners were willing to engage in different self-determined open learning practices and academics were willing to contribute to opening up education in different ways. No evidence of institutional leaders/policy makers‘ intention to recognise academics‘ engagement in open educational practices and support assessment of accomplishment from open learning for credit could be identified. The main contributions of the study to knowledge include a framework for collaborative investment in opening up education; an in-depth understanding of non-rivalrous resources that may be used in opening up education; a deeper understanding of the concept of heutagogy and proof of its transformative outcomes and a comprehensive evaluation of xMOOCs and OER units and how they may contribute to opening up education. Conclusions may be beneficial to transformative researchers, learners, academics and institutions interested in opening up education.