The course instructors provided a clear set of aims and objectives for the course when it was first advertised to students through the Commonwealth of Learning, and using social media promotional techniques in networks that would attract participation in the developing world.
The following seven text sections outline the course aims as stated by the course development team (Commonwealth of Learning, 2013a) and are directly cited from the website, Mobiles for Development: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and retrieved from http://m4d.colfinder.org.
Mobile devices, phones as well as tablet computers have been spreading fast across the globe. The spread of mobile phones in developing countries has been increased dramatically. More people have access to cell phones today than to clean water.
Mobile communication and computing technologies have much potential to contribute to human development. This is already felt in some measure in learning. There are reports of new advantages and benefits in other sectors such as agriculture and food production, and rural credit and finance. This course is about important concepts and practices in mobile technologies that are relevant to learning and education, agricultural extension and rural credit and finance.
Outcome for Learners
At the end of the course, learners will be able to recognize frequently used terminology, and identify techniques and methods in mobile computing and communications that are relevant to development. Learners will also be able to recount key use cases and successes, and recognize common policy requirements for the support of mobiles for development. This course is taught in English.
Who Should Attend This Course
This course would be of particular benefit to:
- Teacher educators
- Administrators in ODL organizations
- Banking personnel in loan appraisal, and rural and agricultural credit
- Managers of micro-finance organizations and community banks
- Agricultural extension personnel in public and private sector
- Civil servants with interest in e-Governance
- Mobile tech developers
- Students in ICT for development courses
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) will jointly issue certificates of participation to learners upon successful completion of the course.
Requirements for participation
This course is open and free to any learner. There are no pre-requisites. Any interested individual may register and participate.
Commitment and support
The expected commitment of learners is 4 hours/week on average. Instructors and mentors will be available online through the duration of the course to discuss topics and issues.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur is a premier research university that is pioneering a number of advances in mobile technologies and their applications. Notable developments in this area include the vKVK, a platform that connects KVKs with farmers through Internet and mobile technology, and the Digital Mandi initiative linking farmers and markets. IITK is also a pioneer in offering MOOCs.
Commonwealth of Learning, an inter-governmental organization in the Commonwealth family, is globally known for its efforts and advocacy to improve access to learning at all levels. COL and partners in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been making use of mobile technologies to help disadvantaged communities access learning and credit services.