Mobile Technologies to Support Discussion Groups within in Distance Education in Developing Countries
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During the autumn project we explored how mobile technologies could be used to improve collaboration in distance education in developing countries. During this study we identified the importance of discussion groups. In this thesis continuing from the autumn project I traveled to Uganda and administered interview on the BED students in order to understand better how discussion groups are formed and managed, hence understanding better the activities technology can support. In this study we used different methods of data collection. Since we had already done a study in the previous semester we used some the information we hd gathered before to inform us about some aspect. We also used a questionnaire as earlier mentioned and observation since we were in Uganda during a face-to-face session. We presented the results which informed us and we characterised the discussion groups in two that is assignment discussion group and general discussion group giving the characteristics of each in detail. In the results presentation we grouped the chapter into major sub section that need support. We then anaylsed the data collected were we present it in form of scenarios without technology support. In this chapter we have different possibility when Markus whats to create group, join group, leave a group, etc. In here we identify some activities that need support e.g. group management, coordination, communication and collaboration. We then presented the services in the design chapter in use cases and described the different use cases. These use cases helped us to know the detail functionalities that we need to support. There after we developed demonstration prototype to demonstrate some of the functionalities of the design. Though we would have liked to have every thing on our demonstration prototype we just did a few services to demonstrate what we needed. We then evaluated our demonstrator aganist the scenarios we had earlier in the analysis by trying to see how the demonstrator solve some of the problems Markus encounted.