Expanding Access to Education in Africa

Concurrent Session 4

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

How do we provide access to high quality educational content to Africa and the world?  Learn about a project at the University of Virginia (UVA) known as the African Scholarship Cohort (ASC) which has reached 1,000 learners in 24 African countries.  Brainstorm ways to reach everyone.


Director of Online Learning Programs at U.Va. She is responsible for managing production for U.Va.'s partnership with Coursera. Her graduate work was done at Stanford University in Learning, Design and Technology. She also holds a degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. For the past seventeen years, she has been successfully delivering enterprise technology projects for various companies including Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard, eBay and Intuit. She joined U.Va. in 2011 to lead the LSP community, a community for computing professionals at U.Va.

Extended Abstract

How do we provide access to high quality educational content to Africa and other emerging economies?  This session will discuss a project at the University of Virginia (UVA) that has leveraged open educational resources (OER) and massive open online courses (MOOCs) in partnership with Distance Education of Africa (DEAfrica) to reach over 1,000 learners in 24 countries in Africa.  With the limitation of providing western educational content that is mostly asynchronous, best practices will be discussed for marketing and enrolling students into educational programs, identifying mentors and leveraging social media tools to create and support online community, and creating resources for localized learning, sharing and troubleshooting.   Data from nine online courses that were provided for free in a program at UVA called the African Scholarship Cohort (ASC) over the last three years will be discussed.  Participants will discuss their experiences with OER, MOOCs, and emerging economies.  Together the participants and session presenter will work in small teams to define ideas for how to improve programs such as these in order to provide more people in the world better access to educational content.