The focus of the M4D MOOC was on helping learners increase their awareness of important developments in technology, essential terminologies, and the critical processes for engaging and working with stakeholders in this sector.
Topics covered in M4D MOOC were:
- The extent of the use of mobile technologies in a development context.
- Terminology, techniques and methods in mobile computing and communications applied to development.
- Information and case studies on mobile devices and technologies in education, rural banking and finance and agricultural extension using cases from multiple regions of the world.
- Specific case studies where mobile computing and communication technology have been applied with some success in education, rural banking and agricultural extension.
- Policies to support the use of mobile technologies for development.
Course structure and technical requirements for participation
The course was structured around core topics and specialized modules related to human development.
Learners were encouraged to complete all topics and modules, with the expectation that a motivated learner would spend about four hours on average per week. Instructors and mentors were available throughout the course to discuss topics and issues online in both discussion forums and chat spaces.
As a MOOC-style course, there were no pre-requisites and access to the Internet was a requirement. Interested individuals could sign up for the course and learn any or all the topics, using desktop PC or laptop. Tablet and smartphone access was required, using devices running Android 2.2 and above, to participate in the M4D course.
Course delivery platform
The IITK team identified Sakai, an open source learning managements system (LMS) as the most suitable platform for use as an online classroom in the M4D course. Sakai was also mobile-enabled which provided additional flexibility and relevance to the topic, enabling interested learners to use tablets or smartphones to participate fully in the course.
Course materials and resources
All the learning materials were delivered as YouTube videos, and no video was longer than 25 minutes.
PowerPoint slides were used and scripts for many of the videos were made available as PDF documents. All these materials were released as OER. The team considered the provision of these materials for download to be consistent with the M4D team’s advocacy of OER for development. At the time of this report, the M4D course was also one of a minority of MOOCs to make content available as OER.
Two quizzes were provided, one at the end of main technology topics, and another towards the close of the course.