A Kenyan Cloud School. Massive Open Online & Ongoing Courses for Blended and Lifelong Learning

William Jobe


This research describes the predicted outcomes of a Kenyan Cloud School (KCS), which is a MOOC that contains all courses taught at the secondary school level in Kenya. This MOOC will consist of online, ongoing subjects in both English and Kiswahili. The KCS subjects offer self-testing and peer assessment to maximize scalability, and digital badges to show progress and completion to recognize and validate non-formal learning. The KCS uses the Moodle LMS with responsive web design to increase ubiquitous access from any device. Access is free and open, and the KCS intends to be a contextualized open educational resource for formal secondary institutions to support blended learning and a free source of non-formal education for lifelong learning. The expected outcomes are that this effort will reduce secondary school dropout rates, improve test scores, become a quality resource for blended learning, as well as validate and recognize lifelong learning in Kenya.


MOOC; OER; ICT4E; Blended Learning; Lifelong Learning; Digital Badges

Full Text:



Abramovich, S., Schunn, C. & Higashi, R. M. (2013). Are Badges Useful in Education?: It Depends upon the Type of Badge and Expertise of Learner. Educational Technology Research and

Development, 61(2), 217–232. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-013-9289-2

Akker, J. van den. (1999). Principles and Methods of Development Research. In J. van den Akker, R. M. Branch, K. Gustafson, N. Nieveen, & T. Plomp (Eds.), Design Approaches and Tools in Education and Training (pp. 1–14). Springer Netherlands. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-


Akker, J. V. den, Gravemeijer, K., McKenney, S. & Nieveen, N. (2006). Educational Design Research. Taylor & Francis.

Butcher, N. (2011). A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). (A. Kanwar & S. Uvalić-Trumbić, Eds.). Retrieved from http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/Basic-Guide-To-OER.pdf

Carey, K. (2012, April 8). A Future Full of Badges. Chronicle of Higher Education, 58(32).

Clough, G., Jones, A. C., McAndrew, P. & Scanlon, E. (2009). Informal Learning Evidence in Online Communities of Mobile Device Enthusiasts. In M. Ally (Ed.), Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training (pp. 99–112). Athabasca University Press.

Colardyn, D., & Bjornavold, J. (2004). Validation of Formal, Non-Formal and Informal Learning: policy and practices in EU Member States1. European Journal of Education, 39(1), 69–89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0141-8211.2004.00167.x

Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. O’Shea (Eds.), New directions in educational technology (pp. 15–22). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-77750-9_2

Collins, A. (1999). The changing infrastructure of education research. In E. Condliffe Lagemann & L. Shulman (Eds.). Issues in education research, 289–198. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Communications Commission of Kenya. (2012). Quarterly Sector Statistics Report. Communications Commission of Kenya. Retrieved from http://www.cck.go.ke/resc/downloads/SECTOR_


Das, A. K. (2011). Emergence of open educational resources (OER) in India and its impact on lifelong learning. Library Hi Tech News, 28(5), 10–15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07419051111163848

De Waard, I., Abajian, S., Gallagher, M. S., Hogue, R., Keskin, N., Koutropoulos, A. & Rodriguez, O. C. (2011). Using mLearning and MOOCs to understand chaos, emergence, and complexity

in education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(7), 94–115. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1046/2026

De Waard, I., Koutropoulos, A., Hogue, R. J., Abajian, S. C., Keskin, N. Ö., Rodriguez, C. O., & Gallagher, M. S. (2012). Merging MOOC and mLearning for Increased Learner Interactions. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 4(4), 34–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/


Designed-based Research Collective. (2003). Design-Based Research: An Emerging Paradigm for Educational Inquiry. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 5–8. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/0013189X032001005

Edelson, D. C. (2002). Design Research: What We Learn When We Engage in Design. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 11(1), 105–121. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1466722

Elimu Networks. (2013). Brief on Kenya Secondary School Curriculum. The Elimu Network. Retrieved July 11, 2013, from http://www.elimu.net/Secondary/Kenya/KCSE_Student/Choice of KCSE subjects.htm

Gikandi, J. W., Morrow, D. & Davis, N. E. (2011). Online formative assessment in higher education: A review of the literature. Computers & Education, 57(4), 2333–2351. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.06.004

Johnstone, S. (2005). Open Educational Resources Open content for higher education. UNESCO—The Virtual University and e-learning. Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://www.unesco.org/iiep/virtualuniversity/forumsfiche.php?queryforumspages_id=13-chapter2

Kanwar, A., Kodhandaraman, B. & Umar, A. (2010). Toward Sustainable Open Education Resources: A Perspective From the Global South. American Journal of Distance Education, 24(2), 65–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08923641003696588

Kenya ICT Board. (2011). Julisha Survey on Kenya ICT Market Overview 2011 | Open Kenya | Transparent Africa. Open Kenya. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from https://opendata.go.ke/


Kozinska, K., Kursun, E., Wilson, T., McAndrew, P., Scanlon, E., & Jones, A. (2010). Are open educational resources the future of e-learning? (Vol. 125, pp. 34–44). Presented at the 3rd

International Future-Learning Conference: Innovations in Learning for the Future, Istanbul, Turkey. Retrieved from http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/document.cfm?docid=13101

Kremer, M. (2003). Randomized Evaluations of Educational Programs in Developing Countries: Some Lessons. American Economic Review, 93(2), 102–106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2007). Mobile Usability in Educational Contexts: What have we learnt? The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8(2). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/356

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Williams, S. & Adams, A. (2013). The impact and reach of MOOCs: A developing countries’ perspective. eLearning Papers, 33(May 2013), 1–8. Retrieved from http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/en/download/file/fid/26956

Mackness, J., Mak Sui Fai, J. & Williams, A. D. (2010). The Ideals and Reality of Participating in a MOOC. In Handbook and abstracts for the seventh International Conference on Networked Learning 2010: a research based conference on networked learning in higher education and lifelong learning. University of Lancaster.

Marcotte, E. (2010). Responsive Web Design. A List a Part. Retrieved May 15, 2013, from http://alistapart.com/article/responsive-web-design

Matkin, G. W. (2012). The Opening of Higher Education. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 44(3), 6–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2012.672885

Mazoué, J. G. (2012). The deconstructed campus. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 24(2), 74–95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12528-012-9054-2

McAndrew, P., Santos, A., Lane, A., Godwin, S., Okada, A., Wilson, T., . . . Webb, R. (2009). Open- Learn Research Report 2006–2008. Milton Keynes, England: The Open University. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/17513/

McGreal, R., Kinuthia, W., Marshall, S. & McNamara, T. (Eds.). (2013). Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice. Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca


Mulder, F. (2008). A Golden Combi ?!—Open Educational Resources and Open, Flexible and Distance Learning—Summary of the Final Report from the International Council for Open and

Distance Learning. ICDE, 1–2.

Murphy, P. & Wolfenden, F. (2013). Developing a pedagogy of mutuality in a capability approach: Teachers’ experiences of using the Open Educational Resources (OER) of the teacher

education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme. International Journal of Educational Development, 33(3), 263–271. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2012.09.010

Mwanza-Simwami, D., McAndrew, P. & Madiba, M. (2008). Fostering open educational practices in cross-cultural contexts. In IST-Africa 2008 Conference Proceedings. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/11789/

Ngimwa, P. & Wilson, T. (2012). An empirical investigation of the emergent issues around OER adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(4), 398–413. http://dx.doi.


Ngugi, C. N. (2011). OER in Africa’s higher education institutions. Distance Education, 32(2), 277–287. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.584853

Olcott Jr, D. (2013). New Pathways to Learning: Leveraging the Use of OERs to Support Non-formal Education. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal (RUSC), 10(1), 327–344. http://dx.doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v10i1.1562

Pappano, L. (2012, November 2). Massive Open Online Courses Are Multiplying at a Rapid Pace. The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/


Park, Y. (2011). A pedagogical framework for mobile learning: Categorizing educational applications of mobile technologies into four types. The International Review of Research in Open and

Distance Learning, 12(2), 78–102. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/791

Petrides, L. & Jimes, C. (2008). Building Open Educational Resources from the Ground Up: South Africa’s Free High School Science Texts. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, JIME

Special Issue: Researching open content in education, 1–16.

Rivard, R. (2013, April 26). The world is not flat. Inside Higher Ed, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/25/moocs-may-eye-world-market-does-world-want-them

Sapire, I. & Reed, Y. (2011). Collaborative design and use of open educational resources: a case study of a mathematics teacher education project in South Africa. Distance Education, 32, 195–211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.584847

Shirky, C. (2012). Napster, Udacity and the Academy. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2012/11/napster-udacity-and-the-academy/

Singh, M. (2012). UNESCO GUIDELINES for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning. PLA Inside Out: An International Journal

on Theory, Research and Practice in Prior Learning Assessment, 1(2). Retrieved from http://plainsideout.org/index.php/home/article/view/39

Surman, M. (2011). Mozilla Launches Open Badges Project. The Mozilla Blog. Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2011/09/15/openbadges/

Thakrar, J., Wolfenden, F. & Zinn, D. (2009). Harnessing Open Educational Resources to the Challenges of Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa. The International Review of Research in

Open and Distance Learning, 10(4). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/705

Traxler, J. & Leach, J. (2006). Innovative and Sustainable Mobile Learning in Africa. In Fourth IEEE International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education, 2006.

WMUTE ’06 (pp. 98–102). Presented at the Fourth IEEE International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education, 2006. WMUTE ’06. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/WMTE.2006.261354

Traxler, J. (2007). Defining, Discussing and Evaluating Mobile Learning: The moving finger writes and having writ . . . Current State of Mobile Learning. International Review on Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8(2), 9–24. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/346

Umar, A., Kodhandarama, B. & Kanwar, A. (2013). Can Open Educational Resources thrive in closed educational systems? Some reflections on OER in developing countries. In Commonwealth of Learning, Athabasca University (pp. 193–206). Retrieved from https://oerknowledgecloud.org/


Unwin, T. (2012). Education. In G. Sadowsky (Ed.), Accelerating Development Using the Web: Empowering Poor and Marginalized Populations (pp. 119–130). California: World Wide Web

Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation.

Wang, F. & Hannafin, M. J. (2005). Design-Based Research and Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments. Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4), 5–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02504682

Weller, M. & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and Elearning (EURODL), 2013(1). Retrieved from http://www.eurodl.org/?article=559

Werquin, P. (2012). The missing link to connect education and employment: recognition of non-formal and informal learning outcomes. Journal of Education and Work, 25(3), 259–278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2012.687574

Wilson, T. (2008). New Ways of Mediating Learning: Investigating the implications of adopting open educational resources for tertiary education at an institution in the United Kingdom as compared to one in South Africa. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning,

(1). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/485

Wolfenden, F., Buckler, A. & Keraro, F. (2010). OER adaptation and reuse across cultural contexts in sub Saharan Africa: lessons from the TESSA consortium. Presented at the OER10,

Cambridge, UK. Retrieved from http://ucel.ac.uk/oer10/index.html

Wolfenden, F. J. (2008). The TESSA OER Experience: Building sustainable models of production and user implementation. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2008(1). Retrieved from http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/jime/article/view/2008-3

World Bank. (2013, May 20). Africa Development Indicators 2012/13. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/13504

Young, J. R. (2012). “Badges” Earned Online Pose Challenge to Traditional College Diplomas. Education Digest, 78(2), 48–52.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.5.4.86


  • There are currently no refbacks.