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Photo Credit: Lisa Hammershaimb

Online communications of multi-site blended learning in Toronto, Canada and refugee camps in Dadaab, Kenya

Presentation at 27th International Council for Open and Distance Education, October 16-19, 2017,  Toronto, CA

This presentation provides an analysis of the online course communications of learners in a international multi-site blended learning course in which the online component is shared across all classmates, but the face-to-face components of the course are split with students in Toronto meeting face to face but separately from the Kenyan based students meeting in one of two refugee camps.  The sources of data are Moodle forum posts, and WhatsAppchats of learners enrolled in the York University course Education and International Development EDUC 3711 in June 2017.  The analysis reveals the expression of social presence as defined by the Community of Inquiry Framework and the development of learning networks as identified through social network analysis.  The uniqueness of this cohort is that the face-to-face component of the course is split between two distinctively different contexts, Canadian based students living in Toronto area, and Kenyan based students living in the fragile context of one of two refugee camps in Dadaab.  The deployment of the course bilaterally across these two contexts mirrors the content of the course on international development and how education changes the world.  The experience from delivering this single York course will be analyzed with the aim to contribute to the knowledge on which better courses may be designed for higher education in emergencies.

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