Massive Open Online Courses: Awareness, Adoption, Benefits and Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an emerging learning platform aimed at infinite participation and access through the Internet. Recently, MOOC is globally becoming a key instrument in digitally mediated learning and teaching, due to its ability to provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among participants and instructors. Despite its global acceptance, countries in sub-Saharan Africa suffer some drawbacks within the context of awareness and adoption. Kano state is one of the cities in SubSaharan Africa with high population where MOOCs participation is significantly needed. Therefore, the rationale of this study is to appraise the level of awareness, perceived benefits and challenges of MOOCs adoption among University students of Kano State, Nigeria. The study was conducted in form of a survey using structured questionnaire administered to three hundred (300) randomly selected respondents. Finding from the study revealed a variation in the level of awareness among IT and non IT inclined students. The investigation of MOOC benefits indicates improved learning performance and effectiveness among study samples. The study further revealed user unfriendliness, inadequate Internet connectivity, power instability and cost of enrolments as factors influencing slow adoption of MOOC. The evidence from the study suggests that, awareness and adoption of MOOCs can be enhanced through establishment of hubs, provision of national accredited curriculum and subsidized cost of enrollments.