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MOOCS’ Potential for Democratizing Education: An Analysis from the Perspective of Access to Technology

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 299)

Abstract

MOOCs can be considered the fifth generation of distance education and can potentially provide access to quality education to students with disadvantaged background in developing countries. However, ensuring that MOOCs provide access to education to these students involves ensuring access to the necessary ICT infrastructure. The question is then whether the access to technology is truly democratic, especially in those countries. The aim of this study is then to assess the potential for democratization of quality education provided by MOOCs, considering the perspective of access to technology. To reach this objective, data obtained from 4.784 students from 27 universities in 9 Southern Hemisphere countries were analyzed. Results show that the potential for democratization of education provided by the MOOCs is limited by access barriers to technology, so that to fully realize their potential, governmental actions are necessary to democratize access to technology and promote the reduction of the digital skill gap.

Keywords

  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Higher education
  • Digital divide
  • ICT access policies

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Correspondence to Valéria F. Moura .

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Moura, V.F., Souza, C.A., Oliveira Neto, J.D., Viana, A.B.N. (2017). MOOCS’ Potential for Democratizing Education: An Analysis from the Perspective of Access to Technology. In: Themistocleous, M., Morabito, V. (eds) Information Systems. EMCIS 2017. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 299. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-65930-5_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-65930-5_12

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