The Open University (OU) has launched a study with global research partner, Edtech Hub, to investigate the impact of technology on teaching in Bangladesh. Part of EdTech’s first research portfolio, the OU’s 3Mpower is one of 13 projects, which represents the largest investment in primary research on EdTech’s use in low- and middle-income countries.
In 2016, the Bangladesh Government developed MuktoPaath, a unique e-Learning platform in Bangla for skills development over multiple sectors. Users learn online or offline from experts, policy makers and academics without any language barrier and at an affordable cost.
Mobile Learning for Empowerment of Marginalised Mathematics Educators or 3Mpower, pronounced ’empower’, will fill a significant gap in global evidence by researching MuktoPaath’s online professional development programmes for teachers of numeracy. In collaboration with the Institute of Education and Research at Dhaka University, this two-and-a-half-year project will focus on how the platform is used to professionally develop maths teachers at scale. Research will examine how these programmes shape teaching and learning, and the cost effectiveness.
The larger £5.5 million-portfolio of research by EdTech Hub aims to help decision-makers choose EdTech interventions to support children, teachers and school communities. It’s designed to address some of the most pressing topics in EdTech today including data for decisions, digital personalised learning, girls’ education, participation and messaging. Using EdTech Hub’s local reach capabilities, the studies will cover Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.
“The use of technology for teacher development is a rapidly growing research field, yet there are significant gaps in evidence around its use in marginalised rural schools and its impact on teaching quality and learning outcomes. 3MPower will address these evidence gaps as part of the OU’s ongoing commitment to research societal challenges and global development.”
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with The Open University, as one of the studies in our research portfolio,” says EdTech Hub Executive Director, Verna Lalbeharie. “The evidence generated by this study, we hope, will inform key, future education decisions, and influence the design, development and implementation of EdTech solutions for our world’s most vulnerable learners.”
The EdTech Hub research portfolio will be conducted over the next two to three years and is supported by the FCDO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank.