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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 15, No. 2 (2019) open journal systems 

Online Education in Emerging Knowledge Economies: Exploring factors of motivation, de-motivation and potential facilitators; and studying the effects of demographic variables

Ekta Sinha
Kenneth Bagarukayo

In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education, which is the fourth Sustainable Development Goal, has seen some major transformations with the advent of digital technologies. Education is now increasingly being imparted through these digital technologies as well. In the past few years, researchers have paid considerable attention to studying this changing educational landscape. However, there exists two major gaps. First, the existing literature highlights the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in imparting quality education by exploring characteristics of ICTs such as: portability, connectivity and usability but fails to explore learners’ perception towards online education. Second, the changing educational landscape resulting from the use of ICTs has often been reported with regard to developed economies, giving little consideration to emerging knowledge economies. The present study overcomes these two gaps by exploring the motivators; de-motivators; as well as potential facilitators of online education, from the perspective of learners in emerging knowledge economies. Further, it attempts to understand individual differences with respect to country, gender, age, employment status and educational qualification towards the enrolment, preference and awareness related to online education. The study presents an in-depth comparative analysis of two emerging knowledge economies: India and Uganda and has been undertaken in two phases. In the first phase in-depth interviews were conducted with 51 learners to explore the motivators, de-motivators, and potential facilitators of online education. Data thus collected was checked for content validity through an extensive literature review. In the second phase, a structured questionnaire was administered to 252 respondents, drawn from a population of participants pursuing or having an intention to pursue online education in both countries. The present work provides better insights for further facilitation and improvement of online education in emerging knowledge economies. Mann-Whitney U-Tests and Kruskal-Wallis tests were undertaken to establish statistical validity. The paper concludes with some suggestions and recommendations on how to overcome barriers and factors which de-motivate learners from pursuing online education in order to achieve the desired Sustainable Development Goals.

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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556