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Exploring Modes of Education Provision in the African Context


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Knowledge Resources Conference
30-31 July 2014

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Exploring Modes of Education Provision in the African Context

  1. 1. Exploring Online & Blended Modes of Distance Education Provision in the African context Brenda Mallinson Online and eLearning Conference Johannesburg, South Africa 30-31 July 2014
  2. 2. Outline Converging education provision environment Exploring continua of additional modalities Enhanced environment variables Visual representation / positioning Concluding Remarks
  3. 3. The emerging Networked School environment
  4. 4. Traditional School Connected School Networked School • Schools perceived as physical sites of learning • Face-to-face instruction regarded as the ‘norm’ - and distance education accepted as ‘second best’ • Schools as autonomous units, catering for all the needs of their students. • Schools remain as physical sites of learning, with emerging models of connectivity between and among school sites. • e-enabled opportunities for learning embraced in traditional settings. • Schools as collaborating units, negotiating areas of collaboration. • Networks of schools and learners – accepted models of differentiation between places to learn and sources of learning and instruction. • Schools as nodes on a network – integrally connected as consumers and contributors. • Ubiquitous presence: complete integration of physical/virtual nature of school. The Nature of a School • Technology appropriated in an additive manner. • Schools/teachers are the ones in charge of use. • Online environments used for resource location – the ‘online encyclopaedia’ • Technology appropriated to create new learning and teaching opportunities. • Student access and use a priority. • Online learning environments appropriated for use as: o Intranets in schools: student: resources /support & parent: portal. o Extranets (e.g. LMS) • Student appropriation of technology – input as to what, where, when, and how it is it used. • Online environments initiated and/or managed by learners utilizing existing and emerging social networking. The Nature of a School ---> Technology Adapted from Wenmoth (2010)
  5. 5. Layer Examples & Notes Institutional Strategy Size and shape influenced by online / blended / face-to-face / distance delivery mix, market opportunities and constraints Programme Design Articulation between courses, fostering graduate attributes. Ensure congruence and alignment and identify where Ed Tech can support this layer. Curriculum Design Course design enabled by appropriate learning technologies Learning Design Integrating educational technology effectively in lesson planning and teaching and learning interactions e.g. ALL course materials could be online, but assignments, assessment & activities can be on- or off-line Academic Staff Prof Dev Seminars, workshops, conferences, show & tell, mentoring and training Student Digital Literacies Computer and information literacy Student & Academic Support Helpdesks, support documentation, application training; Guides; just-in-time support; planned learner/staff support - e.g. short 1-2 hr sessions; Software Applications Institutional LMS, multimedia content, classroom response systems, simulations, interactive tutorials, communication tools, social media Access Device Smartphone, tablets, laptops, PCs NB: If and how to provide? Personal and/or lab usage Network Wired & wireless networks; Refer to Institutional ICT plan: Infrastructure & access Physical Lecture theatres, seminar rooms, labs, social learning spaces, libraries; Refer to Institutional plan - ensure integration of all known Ed Tech needs. Educational Technology Stack (adapted from Marquard, S. 2013)
  6. 6. Continuum of educational provision From purely face-to-face (contact) tuition through to education solely at a distance. As for face-to-face education, there are many variations of distance provision.
  7. 7. DE delivery using the WWW Types of e-learning using the World Wide Web (WWW) are commonly referred to as: web-supported, web-dependent, and fully online. These can also be represented using a continuum: An expanded definition of e-learning includes the use of ALL digital resources, systems, hardware devices, and electronic communication in the support of education
  8. 8. Moving to a second dimension No digital support Digitally Supported Internet-supported Internet-dependent Fully online Offline Online Face to face (F2F) Mixed Mode Distance Education On Campus Off campus Spatial or geographic distribution of teachers and learners Extent of ICT support
  9. 9. A D C B Fully Offline Internet Supported Internet Dependent Fully Online Campus-based Hybrid / Blended Remote E Digitally Supported Mode of ProvisionOff-line--><-----------Online-----------> B ? ?
  10. 10. Characterising Modes of Delivery Structural Aspects Teaching and Learning Elements to be aligned Pedagogical Approach (Young & Chamberlin 2006) Course Title / sub-discipline & level Objectives Independent Learning (low level of mediation) ranging to Interactive Learning (high level of mediation) Target Audience Course materials Location of Target Audience Learning Support Expected level of learning support required Level of interaction / engagement Balance of synchronous vs asynchronous engagement Level of temporal flexibility Size of Annual Enrolments Assessment & more … Transactional Distance • course structure • instructional dialogue • learner autonomy
  11. 11. Making the most of the changed environment • Dimensions – Spatial separation (geographically distributed) – Determining extent of digital ICT support – Temporal (asynchronous & synchronous) • Human Dimension – Establish online/offline presence – teachers & learners – Promote engagement & interaction – Define appropriate level of mediation – Class size - small virtual/physical groups
  12. 12. Course flow • Synchronous flow: students do all of their work at the same time as everybody else. • Asynchronous flow: students do everything at their own pace and have no deadlines to consider. • *Semi-synchronous flow: students do some parts of the course at their own pace and do other parts of the course on a fixed schedule. – Instructors release course materials on a fixed schedule, student can work on it anytime after – Live events, such as live Q&A sessions with the instructors, happen at a fixed date and time. Students can also watch archived versions. – Assessments are due by a fixed deadline. *Google CourseBuilder-
  13. 13. Anderson, T. (2008:61) The Theory and Practice of Online Learning Athabasca University Press. (2nd Ed.) A Model of Online Learning Collaborative and Community Modes of Online Learning
  14. 14. Third dimension: level of interaction Laurillard (2002) • meaningful learning requires active student[learner] engagement including interactions between students and content, students and other students, students and faculty and, when appropriate, students and workplaces and/or communities Issue of scalability
  15. 15. B
  16. 16. Concluding Remarks • Blended mode – An infinite number of ways to blend • Influencing factors – Learner demographics – Class size – Pedagogical approach • Dimensions – Spatial separation (geographic) – Temporal (asynchronous & semi/synchronous) – Determining extent of digital support (ICTs) – Human / Interaction Re-examine core assumptions for the changing environment
  17. 17. Final Thoughts The way in which we use digital technology models particular values for our students and places particular kinds of demands both on them and on their teachers. Therefore, we need to make conscious choices to use suitable digital technologies in appropriate ways taking cognisance of both our learning purposes and the technology profile of our target learners and teachers. Principles: • Embrace the opportunities afforded by ICTs while preserving pedagogical integrity • Promote the opening of education using appropriate supporting ICTs • Use ICTs to support (not drive) the teaching and learning process • Be adaptive to change and mindful of context when utilising supporting ICTs • Build capacity to promote sustainability in changing learning environments
  18. 18. Thank You Brenda Mallinson SlideShare: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.