Developing a Mobile Digital Badge System for a Resource Constrained Environment

2017-02-22T23:31:51Z (GMT) by Christopher Salerno
South Africa’s educational system is currently facing certain challenges that prevent learners from fully engaging in classes, which is particularly evident within rural areas. In order to counter the low levels of engagement, Teacher Professional Development Programmes have been introduced, where facilitators train teachers to use specific teaching strategies and introduce them to using ICT in classrooms. A badge system was used in this research as incentive to encourage participation.<br> <br>    Current digital badging systems require that both the learners receiving the badges and the facilitators issuing them to be online, which poses a challenge within resource constrained environments due to the lack of connectivity. The focus of this thesis is on the design and development of an artefact in the form of a mobile application to support in-service Teacher Professional Development in Cofimvaba.<br> <br>    This research project carried out a rigorous literature review study and also engaged three project expert interviews, in order to provide an understanding of the requirements for the development of the badge issuing and receiving applications. The applications were designed and developed using design science principles. Applications were then tested by low English literate, non-ICT confident users in the resource constrained environment of Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. The interpretive research method was used to ascertain the requirements of building the mobile badge applications within resource constrained environments through a qualitative methodology. An inductive approach was used to analyse the data that was collected. The requirements needed to develop the mobile badge system within a resource constrained environment are presented at the end of Chapter 7. Prototypes of the applications of the badge system that were developed are presented in Chapters 4, and 6 of the study, while Chapter 5 discuss the results of the usability tests and measured a number of performance and self-reported metrics regarding the offline badge ecosystem.