International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science (IJMECS)

ISSN: 2075-0161 (Print), ISSN: 2075-017X (Online)

Published By: MECS Press

IJMECS Vol.10, No.11, Nov. 2018

An Online Collaborative Discussion Platform for Bridging a Technological Reliance Gap in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania

Full Text (PDF, 447KB), PP.29-35

Views:156   Downloads:14


Linus John, Anael E. Sam

Index Terms

Online Discussion Platform;online Asynchronous Discussion Forum;Online Discussion Group;Web-Based Application;E-Learning


Currently, the online discussion forums have become the focal point for e-learning in many Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs); this is due to the ubiquitous of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, significant rate and fast growing technology adoption and use in many fields including education. However, developing countries, such as Tanzania, are experiencing technical adoption difficulties, such as limited access to computers, problems with Internet connections as well as the technological reliance gap between tutors and learners; these affect the use of technology in Teaching and Learning (T/L). This study aims to use an Online Discussion Platform (onlineDP) to bridge the technological reliance gap between the tutors and learners in HLIs in Tanzania. In this study, the literature review and qualitative research methods were conducted to develop the prototype of the platform. The UMBC semantic similarity service was used to develop the contents filter used to reduce the number of duplicate discussion questions. The application was mainly developed using Laravel Pre-processor (PHP) framework and My Structured Query Language (MySQL) database. The result is the web-based application prototype that enhances the collaborative learning environment in HLIs in Tanzania. The technologies to be used for T/L, should consider both sides of tutors and learners as well as the theoretical framework for their implementations.

Cite This Paper

Linus John, Anael E. Sam, " An Online Collaborative Discussion Platform for Bridging a Technological Reliance Gap in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania", International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science(IJMECS), Vol.10, No.11, pp. 29-35, 2018.DOI: 10.5815/ijmecs.2018.11.04


[1]J. S. Mtebe and C. Raphael, “A decade of technology enhanced learning at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Challenges, achievements, and opportunities,” Int. J. Educ. Dev. using Inf. Commun. Technol. (IJEDICT), 2017, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 103-115 A, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 103–115, 2017.

[2]T. K. H. Adeli and H. K. H. Kang, Software Engineering, Business Continuity, and Education, vol. 257. 2011.

[3]E. N. O’Reilly, “Developing technology needs assessments for educational programs: An analysis of eight key indicators,” Int. J. Educ. Dev. using Inf. Commun. Technol., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 129–143, 2016.

[4]G. Mozhaeva, A. Feshchenko, and I. Kulikov, “E-learning in the Evaluation of Students and Teachers: LMS or Social Networks?” Procedia - Soc. Behav. Sci., vol. 152, pp. 127–130, Oct. 2014.

[5]H. Meishar-Tal, G. Kurtz, and E. Pieterse, “Facebook groups as LMS: A case study,” Int. Rev. Res. Open Distance Learn., vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 33–48, 2012.

[6]P. A. Tess, “The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual)-A literature review,” Comput. Human Behav., vol. 29, no. 5, pp. A60–A68, 2013.

[7]T. Bates, “Expectations and goals for e-learning,” 2009. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 10-Oct-2018].

[8]E. Dobozy and P. Reynolds, “From LMS to VLE or from supermarkets to airports: Classifying elearning platforms using metaphors,” Proc. 5th Int. LAMS Conf. 2010, pp. 92–103, 2010.

[9]A. Simsek, “Interview with Tony Bates on the Aspects and Prospects of Online Learning,” Contemp. Educ. Technol., vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 88–94, 2011.

[10]P. Venter, M. J. V. Rensburg, and A. Davis, “Drivers of Learning Management System Use in a South African Open and Distance Learning Institution,” Australas. J. Educ. Technol., vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 183–198, 2012.

[11]E. Bagarukayo and K. Billy, “Evaluation of elearning usage in South African universities: A critical review Billy Kalema,” Int. J. Educ. Dev. using Inf. Commun. Technol. (IJEDICT), 2015, Vol. 11, Issue 2, pp. 168-183, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 168–183, 2015.

[12]URT, “National Basic Education Statistics in Tanzania (BEST),” 2016.

[13]S. S. Yeni Murdani Istoroyekti and M. Hum, “ISSUES CHALLENGING UNIVERSITIES: A CASE OF,” Ahmad Dahlan J. English Stud., vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 51–62, 2016.

[14]L. Han, A. Kashyap, T. Finin, J. Mayfield, and J. Weese, “UMBC_EBIQUITY-CORE: Semantic Textual Similarity Systems,” Proc. 2nd Jt. Conf. Lex. Comput. Semant., vol. 1, pp. 44–52, 2013.

[15]URT, Tanzania Cybercrimes Act, 2015, vol. 96, no. 14. 2015, pp. 25–26.

[16]K. E. Kendall and J. E. Kendall, Systems Analysis and Design, Ninth Edit. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2011.

[17]I. Sommerville, Software Engineering. 2010.

[18]“Web-Based Application.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 28-Jul-2018].

[19]“Bootstrap.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Jul-2017].

[20]J. Spurlock, Bootstrap: Responsive Web Development, First Edit. New York: O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2013.

[21]R. F. Olanrewaju, T. Islam, and N. Ali, “Advanced Computer and Communication Engineering Technology,” vol. 315, 2015, pp. 399–410.

[22]M. Kalelkar, P. Churi, and D. Kalelkar, “Implementation of Model-View-Controller Architecture Pattern for Business Intelligence Architecture,” Int. J. Comput. Appl., vol. 102, no. 12, pp. 975–8887, 2014.

[23]D. P. Pop and A. Altar, “Designing an MVC model for rapid web application development,” Procedia Eng., vol. 69, pp. 1172–1179, 2014.

[24]“Laravel.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Jul-2018].

[25]S. McCool, Laravel Starter - The definitive introduction to the Laravel PHP web development framework, no. Book, Whole. 2012.

[26]M. R. J. Qureshi and F. Sabir, “a Comparison of Model View Controller and Model View Presenter.,” Sci. Int., vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 7–9, 2013.

[27]N. Mduma, “An Integrated Mobile Application for Enhancing Management of Nutrition Information in Arusha,” Int. J. Comput. Sci. Inf. Secur., vol. 13, no. 7, pp. 34–38, 2015.

[28]B. Schwartz, P. Zaitsev, and V. Tkachenk, High Performance MySQL, Third Edit. Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol: O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2012.

[29]“Blade Templates.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Oct-2018].

[30]“Font Awesome.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-Oct-2018].