Organizational Knowledge and Administration Lessons From an ICT4D MOOC

Organizational Knowledge and Administration Lessons From an ICT4D MOOC

Leila Goosen (University of South Africa, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch020

Abstract

The undeniable rapid acceleration of both human-centred and technology-oriented advancements in a multitude of industries and fields means that most organizations could greatly benefit from an expansion of coverage into all aspects of organizational research, allowing for a greater breadth and range of content. The purpose of this chapter therefore is to offer insights into key topics, such as organizational structure, strategic leadership, information technology management, analytics, among others, especially as applicable in the emerging areas of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This chapter will be comprised of content that highlights authoritative research results for researchers, educators, students, professionals, and knowledge seekers all around the world, as these pertain to aspects of organizational growth and development, specifically discussed in the context of a MOOC entitled ‘Ethical Information and Communication Technologies for Development Solutions'.
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Introduction

The rapid acceleration of human-centered and technology-oriented advancements in a multitude of industries and fields means that most organizations could greatly benefit from an expansion of coverage into all aspects of organizational research, allowing for a greater breadth and range of content. In a chapter on transdisciplinary approaches to action research for Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), Goosen (2018c, p. 97) further recommended that researchers “ought to try out the theories they propose together with practitioners in real-world situations and with real organizations, towards making academic research relevant.”

The purpose of this chapter is therefore to offer insights into key topics, such as organizational structure, strategic leadership, information technology management, and analytics, among others, especially as applicable in the emerging areas of ICT4D and Massive(ly) Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This chapter will be comprised of content that highlights authoritative research results, directed at the proposed target audience of this book. “That is why students, professors, and universities” could be interested (Abbakumov, Desmet, & Van den Noortgate, 2019, p. 332), together with e-learners, teachers and managers at e-schools in South Africa (Goosen & Van der Merwe, 2015), as well as researchers, educators, students, professionals, and knowledge seekers from all around the world, as these pertain to all aspects of organizational growth and development, specifically discussed in the context of a MOOC entitled ‘Ethical Information and Communication Technologies for Development Solutions’.

“With e-learning technologies evolving and expanding at high rates, organizations and institutions around the world are integrating” MOOCs and other Open Educational Resources (OERs) in order to address problems, especially for “Open Education in the Global South” (Zhang, Bonk, Reeves, & Reynolds, 2019). In their guest editorial on initiating the debate regarding perspectives on teaching, learning and assessment in Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) contexts, Prinsloo and Coetzee (2013, p. 1355) indicated that there are many problems “facing higher education institutions, such as changes in funding regimes, the impact of technologies, changing student profiles and the impact of the economic downturn, to mention but a few.” According to Subotzky and Prinsloo (2011), the problems and imperatives related to enhancing student support for retention and success at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in particularly South Africa are formidable, where success rates and retention are notoriously poor. Examples of conference papers, which detailed such issues include Goosen (2014), who aimed to investigate effective teaching and meaningful learning to address the problems of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education in an Open and Distance e-Learning context, and Goosen (2015c), on assessment to address the problems of effective teaching and meaningful learning in an ICT4D MOOC.

The chapter represents significant innovative work by closing gaps regarding research and “sharing of teaching practices that empower educators to benefit from the best ideas of their colleagues” (Cape Town Open Education Declaration, 2007). Further significance of the chapter lies in presenting an original piece of work contributing to academic debate under the theme of scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education (Subotzky & Prinsloo, 2011). Potentially useful content, with interest value for the intended audience, particularly facilitators, include examples of practice relating to the themes of student support in ODeL for increasing retention and success in courses with massive participation at higher institutions of learning (Firmin, Schiorring, Whitmer, Willett, Collins and Sujitparapitaya, 2014; Jona & Naidu, 2014; Subotzky & Prinsloo, 2011), the assessment of students and using Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate teaching and learning (Libbrecht & Goosen, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Online Learning or E-Learning: Learning that takes place via the internet, using a variety of devices to access the web.

Connectivism: A theoretical framework for understanding learning, the latter taking place when knowledge is stimulated through a cyclical process, started when students connect to a socially networked environment to find and share new information.

ICTs for Development (ICT4D): An academic field constructed of building blocks, providing complementary perspectives from information systems, as well as development management.

Plagiarism: Failure to acknowledge the work of others.

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs): Any devices used for creating and/or capturing, storing, processing, managing, as well as any dissemination/transmission/transfer and/or display of data and information by using digital means.

Massive(ly) Open Online Courses (MOOCs): MOOCs are characterized by their massive enrollment figures in terms of number of students, who have open access to the online content of these courses.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): Those African countries located towards the south of the Sahara Desert.

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