Invisible Virtual Learners Self-Building a Future With Informal Learning
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Invisible Virtual Learners Self-Building a Future With Informal Learning

Tabassum Amina (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Pages: 300|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7669-4
ISBN13: 9781799876694|ISBN10: 1799876691|EISBN13: 9781799876717|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781799876700
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Description

This book is an exploration, interpretation, and presentation of the online learner population from the developing world and their use of online resources for knowledge building. It examines how online learning experiences and knowledge have impacted adult learners’ personal, academic, and professional lives. It focuses on qualitative studies that incorporated primary and secondary sources of data to understand the online learner population from South Asia. It also incorporates the researcher’s observations from her own online learning experiences both as a learner and moderator of online discussion forums as a significant reference point in the development of the data collection tools and the process of data gathering and analysis. Women from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka were interviewed for an in-depth understanding of their online experience and also to identify the minute and large impact of their learning experiences on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Along with that, this book also includes the emergence of the Community for Mentorship and Exchange of Information (CoMEIn) – an online informal discussion space built with goals to provide its users with a secure online informal and life-experience based learning opportunity. It brings into the forefront data from studies on pilot groups on this online discussion forum and explores the impact it can have on the informal learning in closed groups. It also shows the use of online spaces in the time of the novel COVID-19 pandemic when in-person conversations are restricted and limited. This book discusses and explores the perils and pleasures of online qualitative data collection that includes no in-person meetings or interviews and all conversations and data collections occurred on virtual spaces and via the Internet.

The book endorses and further strengthen claims that online learning has reached a substantial population in developing countries and given them access to knowledge. “Invisible Virtual Learners: Self-building their future with informal online learning” identifies the developing country online learner population as self-motivated learners who have an interest to build and enhance their skills but do not have access to the updated, improved, and useful tools and resources in their country or educational institutions. It is also discussed in the book how MOOCs, although unable to reach the people who do not have access to higher education, have greatly impacted and influenced the actions and decisions of South Asian female learners with college-degrees who have actively participated in MOOCs in the past.

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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