Seven DL4D research grants approved

Seven research grants to academic institutions in China, Hong Kong SAR, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka have been approved as part of the Digital Learning for Development (DL4D) Network, co-funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and administered by the Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED) in the Philippines.

The seven grantees were selected from among 27 institutions that submitted research proposals under a call released in September 2015.

DL4D Network Principal Investigator Prof. Cher Ping Lim of the Hong Kong Institute of Education expressed enthusiasm for the Network’s initial line up of grantees. “It is indeed exciting to work with a group of top digital learning researchers in Asia. With these seven research projects, we hope to initiate a region-wide network of researchers, practitioners, learners, policymakers and other stakeholders that harnesses north-south and south-south collaborations to produce and use rigorous research in digital learning by and for developing countries,” he said.

Grantees will examine the impacts on educational equity, quality and efficiency, as well as the potential for sustainability and scaling up, of localized digital learning interventions in developing countries in Asia in the form of Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, Digital Game-Based Learning, Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Learning Analytics.

“DL4D reflects the kind of demand-driven research IDRC wants to support: systematic investigations of concrete solutions to locally-identified development problems.”

Matthew Smith, Senior Program Officer at IDRC

Grant research projects are expected to run for 12 months.

View the list of grantees below.


Title: MOOCs as an Alternative for Teacher Professional Development: Examining Persistent Teacher-Learners in One Chinese MOOC

  • Principal Investigator: Qiong Wang, Peking University, China
  • Co-investigator: Bodong Chen, University of Minnesota, USA
  • Research Site: Beijing, China

Title: MOOC for Higher Education in Nepal

  • Principal Investigator: Manoj Shakya, Kathmandu University, Nepal
  • Co-investigators: Sushil Shrestha and Rajesh Manandhar, Kathmandu University, Nepal
  • Research Site: Nepal (nationwide)

Digital Game-Based Learning

Title: Investigating the Impact of Game-Based Learning Using Tablets in Learning Mathematics for Primary School Students in Pakistan

  • Principal Investigator: Muhammad Muddassir Malik, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan
  • Co-investigators: Farzana Ahmad and Salma Siddiqui, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan
  • Research Site: Islamabad, Pakistan

Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Title: Examining the Effects of ABRACADABRA, a Web-Based Literacy Program on Primary School Students in Rural China

  • Principal Investigator: Alan Cheung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • Co-investigators: Barley Mak and Sunny Guo, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; Phil Abrami and Anne Wade, Concordia University, Canada
  • Research Site: Hunan, China

Title: A Localized Problem-Based Tutor for O/L Mathematics in Sri Lanka

  • Principal Investigator: Gihan Dias, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
  • Co-investigator: Surangika Ranathunga, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
  • Research Site: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Learning Analytics

Title: Micro-Climate Studies in a STEM-Based Curriculum Using Open Source Hardware and Software

  • Principal Investigator: Kenneth Lim
  • Co-investigator: Ari Widodo, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Indonesia
  • Research Site: Bandung, Indonesia

Title: Developing a Student Support System for Undergraduate Students in Distance Education Through Learning Analytics

  • Principal Investigator: Charisse Reyes, University of the Philippines Open University, Philippines
  • Co-investigators: Patricia B. Arinto, Sheila R. Bonito, and Rhonna Marie R. Vereña, University of the Philippines Open University, Philippines
  • Research Site: Los Baños, Philippines

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