ICTs for non-formal education in rural Thailand

Sudarat Intarat, Sumalee Chanchalor, Elizabeth Murphy


Non-formal education (NFE) has a role to play in the education of marginalised groups such as out-of-school adults. NFE is based in the discourse of lifelong learning with its agenda of economic growth and active citizenship. This discourse requires moving beyond traditional conceptualisations of primary, secondary and tertiary education to conceptualise lifelong learning as formal, non-formal and informal. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can potentially support NFE, but not enough is known about this potential. This study investigated ICT use in NFE in rural Thailand. The study compared collaboration, content knowledge and satisfaction in a Career Education course between students learning face-to-face (F2F) versus students learning F2F with desktop computers (F2F+DT). We compared the same variables in an English in Daily Life course between students learning F2F versus students learning F2F with mobile phones (F2F+M). Comparisons of the F2F and F2F+DT modes revealed no significant difference in content knowledge, in students’ perceptions of collaboration or in satisfaction. Comparison of the F2F and F2F+M modes revealed content knowledge and satisfaction were higher for the F2F+M mode but there was no significant difference for collaboration. Comparisons of F2F+DT with F2F+M revealed no significant difference for content knowledge or for satisfaction. The F2F+M mode was significantly higher for perceptions of collaboration.


Non-formal education;Community learning centres;ICTs; Lifelong learning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3165