28th JAMCO Online International Symposium
February 2020 -
Educational Content in the Developing Countries : Its Role and New Possibilities
Quality Education for All:
Good Practices of Using Broadcast Media and ICT in Education
Open schooling is defined as “the physical separation of the school-level learner from the teacher, and the use of unconventional teaching methodologies, and information and communications technologies (ICTs) to bridge the gap and provide the education and training” (Phillips, 2006, p.9). Open schooling also includes virtual schooling.
The world’s largest open schooling system is India’s National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS)1 having served over 2.7 million students through an open and distance learning mode as of October 2019, enrolling more than 300,000 per year. NIOS operates State Open Schools (SOSs) that have been set up in 17 states in India. Initially, NIOS only provided secondary-level bridging courses but as the needs of learners and society changed, it began offering open basic and elementary, academic and vocational pre-degree level and life enrichment programs (Latchem & Jung, 2010, pp.25–26). NIOS has contributed significantly to India’s efforts to achieve universal education, promote the national integration and development of people, serve the educational needs of school dropouts, the handicapped and other disadvantaged persons including scheduled castes and tribes, rural youth, urban poor, girls, and more (Mishra, Jena, & Sadiman, 2012, p.174; Mitra, 2009).
NIOS adopts the multi-channel delivery system as follows (Rumble & Koul, 2007, p.82):
- “self-learning printed materials (to be studied by students on their own at their own places and at times convenient to them),
- supplementary audio and video materials (to be listened to and viewed when broadcast or at study centers),
- personal contact programs (to get over doubts and difficulties requiring support from tutors or counselors and to interact with tutors and peers), and
- occasional on-line communication.”
Self-learning printed materials are the principal medium of instruction. In terms of supplementary materials, documentary, docu-drama and instructional TV and radio programs on the Gyandarshnan TV and Gyan Vani FM radio channels are used. As for interaction, videoconferencing and tutoring services provided on the web and/or through its network of centers in India, Nepal, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Muscat and Kingdom of Bahrain2 are often adopted.
Rumble and Koul (2007) analyzed the cost-effectiveness of NIOS and concluded that such open schooling systems are significantly less expensive than conventional schooling, and that they effectively deliver complementary or alternative secondary education to remote pupils in ways never before possible, even though they may have low status, be under-funded and yield poorer results than conventional schooling.
Indonesia operates its Open Junior Secondary School (OJSS, SMP Terbuka) as an integral part of Indonesia’s formal educational system. It employs the same curricula and assessment criteria as the conventional junior secondary schools and operates through a network of centers in local schools, community centers, mosques and other places linked to regular junior secondary schools. The pupils are expected to have 15-18 hours of supervised study a week, compared with the 27 contact hours in conventional schools. Hours of attendance vary because many of the pupils have jobs, must help their parents during regular school hours, or have to travel from afar (Latchem & Jung, 2010, pp.26-27; Pant, 2009).
Students learn largely through self-study materials and workbooks which are mostly print-based. These modules are supplemented with audiovisual materials including audio and video tapes, radio and TV. Students can meet their local facilitators (primary school teachers or others recruited from the local communities, or parents) in local learning centers 3-4 hours a day, 4-5 days a week. While meeting with these facilitators is an option, attending up to six hours of face-to-face teaching in a local conventional junior secondary school (a so called ‘mother school’ or ‘base school’) and learning subject matter from teachers of the mother school once or twice a week is a requirement (Mishra, Jena, & Sadiman, 2012).
To support students’ learning, videotapes have been developed to supplement biology, mathematics, physics, and English lessons, while radio programs have been developed to supplement lessons on the Indonesian language, English, Pancasila moral education, biology, mathematics, history, economics and co-operatives, geography, and other non-academic subjects such as arts, physical education and health, religion, and vocational skills. Each radio program is broadcast three times by a public radio network in each province. To further assist students with the lessons, audiotapes have been developed for the various subjects. All these materials are created by the Communications Technology Center in cooperation with the Directorate of General Secondary Education through the involvement of selected subject matter teachers (Mishra, Jena, & Sadiman, 2012; Sadiman, n.d.). Yaumi (2007) reported that since 1994, more active use of radio programs, audiocassettes, video programs, and slide tape have been used at OJSS. In addition, more than 270 TV programs have been produced and delivered through Indonesian Educational Television (TPI).
Namibia, which is located in Southern Africa, established the Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) 3 in 1997 to expand access to secondary education. NAMCOL is a distance teaching institution offering the Junior Secondary Certificate and the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate and follows the same national curriculum as offered in conventional secondary schools (Murangi, 2009). It is the largest educational institution in Namibia, with an average annual enrolment of 25,000 learners, a figure which represents 40% of all the learners enrolled in the secondary schools in Namibia. Most of its learners are out-of-school youth and adults who could not enter the conventional school system for various reasons.
Students at NAMCOL learn mostly via print materials that are developed following the House Style Manual developed by the NAMCOL’s Programmes and Material Development Division. As supplementary media, the print materials, especially the self-contained guides, are most popular as they contain both content from textbooks and learning activities. Copyright issues of using copyrighted materials are cleared during the development stage.
In addition to the print materials, the education radio project was initiated by the Ministry of Education in 2004 and NAMCOL was assigned to manage the project. As of 2009, 136 radio programs have been broadcast via the national broadcasting system and other community radio stations throughout Namibia and found to be an effective supplementary medium for the print materials (Murangi, 2009, p.97). In addition, online materials (e.g., video and radio lectures in different subject matters and at different levels) are offered on the College’s website and TV programs on local TV stations. NAMCOL’s experience with video production and educational effects of video programs are well documented in Diergaardt (2010). An e-learning platform4 is used to supplement the print-based distance education. Moreover, students are offered three hours of face-to-face tutoring per week in each subject, two vacation workshops every year (for those learners who cannot attend the weekly tutorial sessions), two assignments and mock examinations, and self-supervised study halls (where available).
Bangladesh has implemented another model of open schooling. The Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has Open School 5 as one of their programs and offers three programs: 1) Secondary School Certificate (SSC), 2) Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and 3) Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) which are equivalent to Secondary, Higher Secondary and Bachelor of Business Studies programs. In 2012, over 120,000 students took these programs. Like other schools of BOU, Open School uses print materials such as books, readers guidebooks, journals, and students’ handbooks as the main instructional media. All students are provided with a complete set of textbooks written in modular form. Furthermore, they are offered support materials through radio and television programs, which has schedules published on the BOU website6 .
The U.S. does not have a national-level open schooling system. Molnar, Miron, Elgeberi, Barbour, Huerta, Shafer, and Rice (2019) report that in 2017-18, 501 full-time virtual schools enrolled 297,712 students, whereas 300 blended schools enrolled 132,960 (p.4), and that private (133 profit and 37 nonprofit out of 501 schools) organizations operated 34% of full-time virtual schools, those private schools enrolled 64.4% of all virtual school students (p.8). For details on these virtual schools (including student profile, learning performance, finance, governance, and quality), see the full report7 . High ranking virtual schools are often run by conventional universities. For example, Stanford University offers Online Highschool , George Washington University offers GW Online High School9 , University of Missouri has Mizzou Academy10 , and University of Nebraska High School11 . Let’s examine an example of the Nebraska High School.
The University of Nebraska High School (UNHS), established in 1929 with 14 students, is now serving high school students in all 50 states of the U.S. and more than 100 countries worldwide. It offers more than 100 core and elective high school courses, AP classes, and other types of classes, all online. Students in public and private schools, home schooled students, athletes, and international students can enroll in the courses. Students can enroll in UNHS courses year around and complete them in as few as 5 weeks or in as many as 52 weeks. They can take a few UNHS courses to supplement their traditional high school path or enroll in and complete an entire UNHS diploma program online. Online courses are developed by a team of instructional designers and content experts (high school teachers in various subjects). According to its website, all UNHS online courses are offered on the UNHS online content management system (“WayCool”) and follow two principles: 1) “gating which means only one assignment per course can be submitted per day , and 2) sequencing which means all teacher connect activities, unit evaluations, projects and progress tests within a course must be completed by the student in the order they are presented”. Each course contains lesson content with discussions, reading assignments, skill builders and practice activities.
The Air and Correspondence High School (the Cyber High School in its English name) serves working adolescents, housewives and others who have missed out on high schooling and has awarded secondary education diplomas to over 250,000 learners since its establishment in 1975. It became a cyber high school system in 2008 and now offers all of its courses online.
Students have to attend LMS (learning management system)-based online classes and study with textbooks and workbooks in a pdf file format along with mp3 files for audio lectures. They also use supplementary short videos that are less than 5 min. For those students who lack the pre-requisite skills for certain subject matters such as English and Math, supplementary materials developed as video lectures, mp3 files and pdf files are offered. Online discussion and Q & A sessions are also available.
An open university or open and distance university is defined as a university which provides higher education via distance mode with an open-access policy, with minimal or no entry requirements. Open and distance education (ODE) refers to as “nontraditional forms of teaching and learning in which the students and tutors have little or no face-to-face contact, a separation in space and often also in time (Sewart, 2014, p.1).” ODE adopts a wide range of nontraditional ways of teaching and learning that are mediated by various media and technologies. Jung (2019, pp.1–3) provides an overview of the historical development of open and distance education.
As the early form of ODE, correspondence education first appeared in the early 1800s in Europe.
- In 1833, a correspondence course to teach ‘Composition through the medium of the Post’ appeared in Sweden (Holmberg, 1995, p.47).
- In 1840, another correspondence program using the nation’s uniform postal system in England was introduced by Isaac Pitman to teach shorthand writing.
- In 1878, the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle was created in the U.S. to offer a 4-yr correspondence reading course for adults.
- In 1892, the University of Chicago began offering college-level correspondence courses and became the first traditional university in the U.S. to offer correspondence education (Kentnor, 2015).
- In 1917, the University of Wisconsin-Extension in the U.S. began to operate the first nationally licensed radio station for its program and 176 educational institutions obtained licenses for educational broadcasting (Kentnor, 2015, p.24).
- In Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, radio was more widely used than in the U.S. as an inexpensive broadcasting tool targeting a large number of audiences.
- TV was introduced in education in 1934 by the University of Iowa.
- Educational TV broadcasting was used as a supplementary visual medium by schoolteachers between the 1950s and early 1970s.
- It was adopted by open universities in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly by those in Europe and Asia.
A majority of the open universities established across Europe, Asia and Africa are public and supported by their government. They include (Jung, 2019, p.2):
- established in 1972, FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany in 1974, Anadolu University, Turkey in 1982, Open University in the Netherlands in 1984 and Universidade Aberta in Portugal in 1988.
- In Asia, Korea National Open University established in 1972, Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan in 1974, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Thailand in 1978, The Open University of China in 1979, Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia in 1984, Indira Gandhi National Open University, India in 1985, Payame Noor University, Iran in 1987 and Open University of Hong Kong in 1989.
- In Africa, the University of South Africa established in 1948, Open University of Tanzania in 1992, Zimbabwe Open University in 1999, National Open University of Nigeria in 2002, Open University of Sudan in 2002, Open University of West Africa in Ghana in 2011, and Open University of Mauritius in 2012.
While these universities are keen to introduce ICTs, most of them still use such traditional media as print, correspondence, radio and TV, and audio and videocassettes, often in combination with face-to-face sessions. These are often the most feasible options especially for open and distance universities located in the developing regions.
Since the 1990s, many open and distance universities have integrated ICT in ODE. For example, several single-mode open universities and ODE programs in conventional institutions have developed online content as main or supplementary course materials, created totally online programs and offered various forms of online services. Early virtual (or online) universities include: the University of Phoenix (1989), Western Governors University (1997) in the U.S., Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR) in Malaysia (1997), the Virtual University of Pakistan (2002), and 21 virtual universities in South Korea.
Open and distance universities including virtual universities have played important roles in higher education. As Baggaley (2007) argues, ODE in developing regions like Asia and Africa is essentially a means of compensating for too few places in conventional higher education institutions. ODE also plays an important role in building social capital – reaching out to those lacking educational opportunity and enabling upward mobility in individuals and communities (Kawachi, 2008).
Openness and flexibility
As argued in Latchem and Jung (2010, p.44), open universities provide school dropouts and adult learners with access to higher education, but they vary in the extent of their ‘openness’ and flexibility’. A few, like Open University of China, accept some open entry students, allowing them more time to complete their studies. Some, like UK Open University and Indira Gandhi National Open University, relax the entry requirements for all or some of their degree programs. Others, such as the University of South Africa, have rather strict entrance requirements (high school diploma and a minimum academic point score). Still others, like the University of the Philippines Open University, take relevant working experience into account when applicants lack the minimum requirements. Yet others, like Zimbabwe Open University, have a requirement for English proficiency.
Several open universities, like the Open University of Japan and the Indira Gandhi National Open University in India, require attendance at on- and / or off-campus lectures for certain courses, tutorials, practical sessions and/or examinations. But most open universities such as Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in Thailand and National Open University of Nigeria and Anadolu University in Turkey offer tutorials as an option.
Media and ICT
Most open universities still use correspondence, print, audio, video, and face-to-face methods. Some open university studies involve practical work. For example, the Open University of Sri Lanka engineering courses combine independent multimedia and web-based study with lab work, day schools, field camps, schools and consultation sessions (Ariadurai & Manohanthan, 2008). However, open universities are increasingly digitizing their materials and going online even though many students in developing countries still have problems accessing the internet. Let’s analyze a two examples from the conventional open universities. These two open universities use print materials as their main way of delivering distance education, and the Internet and radio/TV as supplementary media to support students’ interactions and self-study.
- The Open University of Israel12 , established in 1974, is the largest university in Israel with over 47,000 annually enrolled students. OUI adopts a blended approach combining printed textbooks, face-to-face tutorials, and an online learning content management system wherein each course has its own website (Gorsky, Caspi, Antonovsky, Blau, & Mansur, 2010). The website provides a students’ guide, a forum where students can ask questions, discuss problems, share ideas, and recommend articles or links, and the means of interacting with their instructors (Latchem & Jung, 2010), but using the course website is optional. Some courses have e-tutorials replacing tutorials at study centers, other courses offer materials online.
- Indonesia’s Universitas Terbuka (UT)13 , established in 1984, is one of the mega open universities with over 500,000 annual enrollments. Like other open universities, UT adopted an independent study mode where its students learn on their own initiative using various learning materials and services provided by UT (Belawati & Zuhairi, 2007). Students can use UT’s Head Office located in Jakarta and 37 Regional Offices throughout the country. For over 1,000 courses, print materials are used as a main medium for independent study, and the Internet, radio and TV broadcasts and computer-assisted learning materials, audio and video programs are used as a supplement. Face-to-face or online tutorials are also available at the student’s request. With the first introduction of an email system in 2004, UT has developed the ICT infrastructure so as to replace the communication channels between the Head Office and the Regional Offices from surface mail and courier services, telephone, and/ or facsimile to the ICT-based methods and to offer more online services and materials to UT students.
- The Virtual University of Pakistan (VUP)14 was established in 2003; the public non-profit VUP delivers its programs nationally and overseas in English and Urdu. It employs video lectures delivered online and via four satellite channels (Hussain, 2007) to over 190 virtual campuses and homes across Pakistan as a main medium, and uses reading materials, audio/video tutorials and online interactions in e-class rooms as supplementary materials. Semester examinations are conducted in a formal, proctored environment at designated examination centers throughout the country in the same fashion as used in conventional universities.
Students can study in any of the wide-spread virtual campuses or at home. VUP’s video lectures are developed in the in-house recording studios by a team of experts. Then the video lectures are delivered through the university’s learning management system (VULMS) and its four free to air satellite TV channels (VTV1-4). They are also made available over the Internet on YouTube, Dailymotion and VUP’s Open-Courseware site (http://ocw.vu.edu.pk). Students can purchase these video lectures on DVDs from the University’s online bookshop. Interactions between student and teacher occur through VULMS.
- The Hanyang Cyber University (HCU)15 , founded in 2002, is one of 21 cyber universities in South Korea; it has over 10,000 enrolled students as of 2019. In South Korea, just like the Korea National Open University, there are now 21 cyber universities serving more than 100,000 adult learners in total as of 2019 and a number of conventional universities are offering distance learning programs as well. HCU aims to contribute to lifelong education via its 35 online programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. HCU delivers and manages their courses via web based and mobile LMSs (Han & Han, 2014). With its web based and mobile LMSs, students have access to their courses in virtual classrooms. Course content is delivered in streaming audio or video format. The students’ learning activities such as learning progress, time spent on learning in virtual classrooms and attendance are recorded in both LMSs. To study on the LMSs and view their learning progress, students must use a personal authentication certificate to prevent proxy attendance. The mobile LMS makes it easier and more flexible for students to interact with instructors and their peers and study while on move. It also helps instructors post assignment deadlines, test schedules, and other course-related announcements as well as offer personal tutoring for students in need more easily and frequently.
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Since 2000, freely available open educational resources (OER), defined as teaching, learning, and research resources with an intellectual property license that permits them to be reused, reworked, remixed, and redistributed (D’Antoni, 2009), have gained the attention of educators. UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) announced the 2012 Paris OER Declaration 16 which urged the commitment of many governments towards the ten key recommendations suggested by UNESCO’s Education 203017 to facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing, standard setting and global and local cooperation in OER.
OER take various formats such as full courses, course materials, modules, learning objects, textbooks, streamed videos, software, tests, assignments, case studies, e-portfolio, training materials, practice items, etc. OER can be divided by content type into several categories including text-based, audio-based, video-based, game-based, and multiple media-based. As Hylén (2006) suggests, different types of OER can meet different needs and impact teaching and learning differently. However, it is generally agreed that OER have the potential to meet the increasing demand for higher education and enable various educational institutions and providers to serve geographically, socially, economically or otherwise excluded learners (Jung & Hong, 2016), and contribute to the quality improvement of school education.
Jung, Sasaki, and Latchem (2016), after critical review of the literature on OER, conclude that OER can serve seven principal purposes:
- Providing open, accessible and quality content for a wider community of teachers and learners.
- Sharing best practices and helping to avoid re-inventing the wheel.
- Helping developing countries improve and expand learning for development opportunities.
- Offering flexible non-formal and informal knowledge and skills accumulation pathways to formal study.
- Providing learning opportunities for geographically, socially or economically excluded students and non-traditional and work-based learners.
- Improving the quality of conventional and online education by achieving greater awareness of open and inclusive educational practices and varied perspectives on fields of study.
- Enabling collaboration between institutions, sectors, disciplines and countries.
- NHK for School in Japan offers OER for non-commercial use only in educational contexts. With the increased use of the Internet both in schools and at home, Japan’s national broadcasting organization, NHK has begun to provide the NHK Digital Curriculum as teaching resources on the Internet since 2001 (Watanabe & Kodaira, 2011). The digital resources correspond to the school TV broadcast programs for elementary, middle and high school students. The NHK Digital Curriculum consists of three components: TV Programs, Short Video Clips, and Resources for Teachers (e.g., case studies of using NHK digital contents, worksheets, related links, etc.). Anyone can use the NHK Digital Curriculum content free of charge, and teachers can use videos and other materials in their classes as they are or with revisions. Watanabe and Kodaira (2011) found in their national survey that more than 70% of the schools participated in the survey were using either the NHK school broadcast programs or the NHK Digital Curriculum resources in their classes.
- The Open Education Resource universitas (OERu) is an international network of nearly 40 organizations and universities from various continents (e.g., University of Namibia in Africa, Nepal Open University in Asia, UK Open University in Europe, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in Middle East, Penn State University, Athabasca University and the Commonwealth of Learning in N. America, and Curtin University in Oceania) collaborating to provide flexible and affordable quality education to everyone, regardless of their background. OERu uses open online courses developed by member institutions. The content component of the OERu courses is given for free, and students looking for globally recognized higher education qualifications pay a fee to their institution. OERu member institutions are required to create two courses as OER to be added to the OERu course catalogue every year and offer assessment and credentialing services for their supplied courses in addition to the annual membership fees.
In developing online courses which often include video lectures, reading resources, assignments and activities, OERu adopts open policy in every stage of its course development and uses existing OER, open educational practices, open licensing, open source software, and open planning models. Mackintosh (2017) describes OERu’s open policy at the design and development stages and says that “OERu design and development begins with a simple premise that it is more productive and sustainable to reuse and remix existing resources than to create new ones from scratch. It requires an agile disposition to assemble learning pathways which utilize existing OER and open access resources to support the learner’s journey in attaining the learning outcomes. The open design process is highly iterative. Unlike production-line models found at many open distance learning institutions which develop a ‘master design plan’ which provides detailed direction of the development, the OERu design process accepts that we are more open to iterative change as the development process progresses (p.108)”.
While many OER have been developed and are widely available to educators, there are still issues related to the use of OER in teaching and learning. Some issues include 1) existence of a multitude of sources and distribution channels which makes it difficult for educators to locate OER for specific purposes, 2) lack of clear licensing information which makes it difficult for educators to distinguish OER from other digital content, and 3) educators’ general lack of knowledge and skills in evaluating the quality of OER (Jung, Sasaki, & Latchem, 2016). Initial and continuous training and support for educators appear to be important to address these issues.
16 see http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/WPFD2009/English_Declaration.html
17 see http://www.unesco.org/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/ED/ED/pdf/FFA_Complet_Web-ENG.pdf
Various forms of educational resources ranging from print, audiovisual, radio and TV broadcast and to online and mobile content have been used in a wide range of educational and training contexts. Those resources have contributed to widening access to education at different levels and improving the quality of education. Good practices examined in open schooling, open university and OER contexts teach us some invaluable lessons about utilizing educational resources for quality education for all:
- Never underestimate the value of low technologies such as print and radio.
- Integrate audio-video programs and radio/TV programs to improve the quality of educational content and learning outcomes.
- Integrate the advanced digital technology for student-teacher/student-student interactions, and effective learner supports.
- Build competencies of course and material design team members to produce high quality materials.
- Utilize available, existing OER, open source software and other open materials whenever possible.
- Be aware of the danger in over-emphasizing the importance of technology and under-estimating the pedagogical and quality assurance measures.
- Develop collaborative partnerships and networks with other institutions to support each other and share costs and resources.
- Invest time and resources for envisioning and re-envisioning, strategic planning, leadership, management, academic and technological support and practice informed by research and evaluation.
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International Christian University
Insung Jung is Professor of educational technology at the International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan. She has served as an editorial board member of several journals including International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Distance Education, and Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. She is serving as an editor of SpringerBriefs in Open and Distance Education series. Her recent books include: Quality Assurance in Distance Education and E-learning (Sage), Distance and Blended Learning in Asia (Routledge), Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Distance Education and E-learning (Routledge), Online Learner Competencies (Information Age Publishing), and Culture and Online Learning (Stylus).
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