Artefacts as Solutions to Problems in Practice Johannesson & Perjons (2012) Artefacts do not exist in isolation but are embedded in context
Problem centred approach Inference – what would a better artifact accomplish? Theory – course design and development – must aim at changing the real world ‘How to’ knowledge – use artifact to solve problem (pilot course) Metrics analysis knowledge – Observe how effective Disciplinary Knowledge – publish as OER & reflexive research
Many academic staff at higher education institutions are experiencing pressure to engage with using ICTs to support and enhance their teaching and learning, research, and academic administration. In 2013, building on a relationship that commenced in 2008, OER Africa and OUT collaboratively took stock of progress and identified current needs: 1. Support for the review and update of a variety of OUT institutional policies. 2. Development of a new open course for Academic Staff on Digital Fluency, comprising five modules: General Digital Literacy, Academic Integrity, Virtual Storage & Access, Working with OERs, and Learning Design for Online Delivery. 3. Support for the further enhancement of the OUT Digital Library Portal by: O Mounting a selection of OUT Courses to be made openly available O Preparation for OER publication of selected OUT courses on the ACDE repository. Deepening the understanding of how OER practices can support transformation of teaching and learning at OUT and the wider African academic community will involve close collaboration with OUT departments and services beyond IEMT. These include the Quality Assurance Bureau, the Library Electronic Portal staff, and champions within the OUT academic staff community. Working closely with these champions will serve to embed institutionally, the innovative changes in practice that are envisaged as a result of the reflexive participatory action research process.
In order to address this issue, OUT, in collaboration with Saide’s OER Africa initiative, has conceptualised a course on ‘Digital Fluency’ to be provided as an Open Educational Resource (OER) and made available for OdeL provision. The initial topics were crafted by eliciting requirements from OUT senior management and academic staff, in consultation with their Institute of Educational and Management Technologies (IEMT). Five constituent modules were identified: General Digital Literacy, Academic Integrity, Working with OERs, Learning Design for Online Provision, and Virtual Storage and Access.
A decision was taken to model shared educational beliefs in conceptualising, designing, developing, piloting, and implementing the course. This was evidenced by an inception ‘Learning Design in the Open’ workshop using the University of Leicester’s (2012) 7Cs OER Toolkit, facilitated by the OER Africa representative, at OUT in October 2013. The objectives in mind were threefold: firstly to explore the suitabiity of the methodology for the purpose of the Digital Fluency course design; secondly to workshop 2 draft modules (Virtual Storage and Access; General Digital Literacy) as examples in order to expand their concept and design; and thirdly to form the basis of a further draft module (Learning Design) by contextualising and adapting the methodology on the Moodle platform for propogation as an internal professional development workshop at OUT. With the shared vision of designing the course for wider access, further related activities include taking into account accessibility for hearing and visisually impaired learners, scalability, and exploring the use of open digital badges for providing modular credentials.
The inception workshop was well received and inspired the local OUT team to adopt the 7Cs methodology for further institutional learning design. All three objectives were acheived and the activity provided a foundation from which to engage further with the remaining design and development of the Digital Fluency course. 3 objectives of design and development process: to explore the suitability of the methodology for the purpose of the Digital Fluency course design; to workshop 2 draft modules (Virtual Storage and Access; General Digital Literacy) as examples in order to expand their concept and design; to form the basis of a further draft module (Learning Design) by contextualising and adapting the methodology on the Moodle platform for propagation as an internal professional development workshop at OUT Had to satisfy all internal OUT course development regulations and go through standard processes – review & approval. Quality Review and process revision. Institute of Educational and Management Technologies (IEMT) Take up by the ACDE for possible MOOC - proposed Digital Fluency Course for Academics - expressed support for propagating its delivery across several higher education institutions on the African Continent.
The intention is to pilot the course modules in association with other regional institutions. Possibility of ACDE MOOC Have not yet progressed to these 2 process stges
Mallinson dsrp approach for digital fluency
Design Science Research Process
as an approach to addressing
Digital Fluency for Academic staff at
Open University of Tanzania
24-25 June 2014
Design Science Research explored -
• Research Paradigm in which a designer answers
questions relevant to human problems via the
creation of innovative artifacts, thereby contributing
new knowledge to the body of scientific literature.
The designed artifact/s are both useful and
fundamental in understanding that problem.
• Principle: Knowledge and understanding of a design
problem and its solution are acquired in the building
and application of an artifact.
Hevner & Chatterjee (2010)
Objectives of a
• Respond to
Demonstration • Proof of
Evaluation • Collect
Peffers et al (2006)
• OER Africa support for Open Uni Tanzania (OUT)
– Aug 2013: took stock of progress & identified current needs
• Areas requiring support identified:
1. Review and update of a variety of OUT institutional
2. Further enhancement of the OUT Digital Library
3. Address challenges in moving from print based to
digital culture with the ODL context
Guidance / Capacity Development for Academic Staff
• Advancing General Digital Competencies
• Developing Specific Digital Competencies in a range of areas to be
In order to facilitate:
• Guidance to students to access and use supplementary materials
• Enhancement of blended and online teaching and learning
• Promotion of student engagement and interaction in the Distance
• Efficiencies in working with the new OUT administrative paperless
• Working with Open Educational Resources to change pedagogical
Design and Development
Artefact to be produced:
• ‘Digital Fluency’ course for Academics
• Five modules identified:
– Digital Literacy Fundamentals
– Academic Integrity
– Storage and Access of Digital Resources
– Working with OERs
– Learning Design and Development for Online Delivery
• Model shared educational beliefs in conceptualising, designing,
developing, piloting and implementing the course
• Used Learning Design 7C’s OERs (UL & OU UK) to workshop the
• For each module:
– Set up Evaluation Metrics for pilots
– Gather & Analyse Feedback from Facilitators & Students
• Publish as an OER
– Release whole course & modules using CC license
– Disseminate via appropriate portals & fora
• Share reflexive research via scholarly open access
• Hevner, A. and Chatterjee, S. (2010). Design research in Information Systems,
Integrated Series in Information Systems 22
• Johannesson, P. and Perjons, E. (2012). A Design Science Primer, CreateSpace
• Mallinson, B. (2013a). ‘OUT Next Steps Elaborated - September 2013’. OER Africa /
• Mallinson, B. (2013b). ‘OUT Trip Report - October 2013’. OER Africa / Saide.
• Mallinson, B. (2014). ‘Project plan for the OUT OER Digital Fluency course – April
2014’. OER Africa / Saide.
• Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Gengler, C., Rossi, M., Hui, W., Virtanen, V. and Bragge, J.,
(2006). ‘The Design Science Research Process: A Model for Producing and
Presenting Information Systems Research’. In: Proceedings of the first international
conference on design science research in information systems and technology.
(DESRIST). Claremont, CA.: CGU, pp.83-106.
• University of Leicester (2012). ‘The 7Cs of Learning Design Toolkit’. Institute of
Learning Innovation. [online] [Accessed 17 Apr. 2014]. Available at:
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