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Modelling Openness in Academic Professional Development: case study of developing the Digital Fluency course at Open University of Tanzania.

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Modelling Openness in Academic Professional Development: case study of developing the Digital Fluency course at Open University of Tanzania.

  1. 1. 1 Modelling Openness in Prof Dev: Case Study of developing the Digital Fluency course at Open University of Tanzania. Brenda Mallinson, OER Africa 8th March 2017.
  2. 2. 2  Collaborative agenda with 4 selected HEIs 1. build a deepened understanding of how OER practices can support transformation of T&L 2. ensure that such accumulated understanding is widely shared and incorporated into policy and advocacy http://www.oerafrica.org OER Africa current work
  3. 3. 3 Goals: (Aug 2014 - July 2017) • A comprehensive OER policy initiated that references / augments existing related institutional policies. √ • A Digital Fluency Course for Academics (comprising five modules) to be designed, developed, mounted online, and piloted. √(nearly) • Convert existing OUT courses to OER. √ (ongoing) • OER repository established for OUT & other OERs √ • Research Agenda defined and active √ (ongoing) Open University of Tanzania
  4. 4. 4 Digital Fluency Course Objectives Reuse / develop relevant OER for Guidance / Capacity Development for Academic Staff • Advancing general digital competencies • Developing specific competencies in a range of identified areas In order to facilitate: • Improved pedagogical practices • Enhancement of blended and online teaching and learning • Promotion of student engagement and interaction in the Distance Education context • Guidance to students to access and use supplementary materials • Efficiencies in working with the new OUT administrative paperless environment You must be the change you wish to see in the world – Mahatma Gandhi
  5. 5. 5 Wider OER OUT Support community Senior Management Creative Commons Quality Assurance Open Directorate Repositories OER Team OUT needs OUT IEMT support OER Africa support OUT Library services Digital Fluency course for Academic Staff (ODF 001)
  6. 6. 6 Modelling openness with respect to: Reviewing Design Process Materials development Pedagogical Approach Online Provision Licensing for Publication Openly Accessible 7Cs of Learning Design, Univ Leicester Use existing OER, where possible Use OSS - Moodle Creative Commons OUT Open Repository Reviews Internal @ OUT Tanzania HEIs SSA - ACDE Student centred, active
  7. 7. 7 5 Digital Fluency Modules (+1?) Mod 1 • Digital Fundamentals Mod 2 • Working with OER Mod 3 • Learning Design & Development for Online Provision Mod 4 • Academic Integrity in a Digital Age Mod 5 • Storage & Access of Digital Resources Mod 6? • Facilitating Online Learning (Saide existing OER)
  8. 8. 8 Module Name Identified Sub-topics 1. Digital Fundamentals  Basic Computing concepts and operations  Digital Resource Editing  Internet Fundamentals  Virtual Learning Environments  Multimedia Fundamentals 2. Working with OERs  OER Concepts  Creative Commons Licensing  Mixing, Adapting and Reusing OER  OER Production 3. Learning Design and Development for Online / Blended Provision  Models, frameworks and processes  Designing for learning  Digital development  Modes of provision  Basic learning analytics 4. Academic Integrity in a Digital Age  Introduction to academic Integrity  Intellectual property  Promoting academic integrity  Data and information privacy 5. Storage and Access of Digital Resources  The nature of digital resources  Storage of digital resources  Access to digital resources  Content management systems
  9. 9. 9 2013 • OER workshop • Digital Fluency course conceptualis ed • Learning Design Workshop 2014 • Roles assigned • Course & modules framework developed - 2 formats • Materials development Initiated • Facilitating Online Learning – capacity building course • Internal OUT content reviews 2015 • Module revisions • Language reviews • Module revisions • QA Reviews • Module Revisions • Pedagogical Review • Module revisions • Technology Alignment Reviews • Module Revisions 2016 • Copyright Clearance reviews • Module Revisions • Mount modules on Moodle • Pilot modules sequentially • Evaluation • Module Revisions 2017 • Final pilot modules • Evaluation • Module Revisions • Copy editing of text version • Copy changes to Moodle • CC Licenses • Publish as OER in 2 formats: text and Moodle backups • Mount in OUT Open Repository Highly Iterative Process …
  10. 10. 10 • 7Cs of Learning Design Toolkit (Univ. Leicester) • Detailed activity structure template (.doc) • Module development tracker (.xls) • Pedagogy - Technology alignment tracker (.xls) • Landing page & layering guidelines (LMS) • Copyright clearance guidelines • Online course evaluation instrument (Saide) Supplementary Development Artefacts
  11. 11. • Demographics – 9/10 had less than 10 years HE teaching experience (2 had none) – 9/10 had previously participated in an online course as lecturer or student; and 8/10 deemed this prior experience essential • Extent to which they believed DF modules contributed towards the OER Africa value statements? – Ranged from 90% to 100% • Level of support received from: – IEMT team, OER Africa, OUT institutional – Rated by 9/10 as good to considerable • Activities mostly employed in modules – Assimilative, communication, experiential • All respondents reported they were conscious of implementing new learning approaches and practices Reflections from Module developers (1)
  12. 12. • Successes / Enjoyed – Training participants from other HEIs – Interesting – look forward to making improvements – Improved knowledge of finding and using OERs – Improved collaboration between learners & facilitators • Challenges – Participation declined as pilot progressed – Facilitation skills need to be developed • Important aspects – Support from course manager – Reliable availability of Internet – Flexible access – Incorporate more multimedia to enhance the modules – Relevant - should be compulsory for all new staff at OUT Reflections from Module developers (2)
  13. 13. Enabling environment: • OUT as an Open & Distance HEI – Move to openness was embraced – Willingness to institutionalise / integrate OER – OSS LMS already being used – Embraced all capacity building • Senior Management – Collaboratively defined project goals – Fully supported all proposed activities – Interested in regular progress reports • OER Team established – Potential for sustainability • Module Developers – Keen to develop new skills and knowledge What OER Africa Learned (1) 13319234--Stock-Vector
  14. 14. Inhibitors: • Embraced pedagogical change in theory – BUT difficult to effect in practice – Old correspondence mode of delivery deeply entrenched – More substantial support for change needed over time • Prolonged design & development time – Hard to sustain interest over time – Constant reminders / reinforcement needed • Staff challenges – Time constraints to engage outside regular duties – Developer secondments disrupted flow of work – National & Institutional pressures What OER Africa Learned (2)
  15. 15. 15 Current Status of DF Modules  Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 Piloted  Module 5 pilot starting on 6h march  Responding to evaluation & feedback  Final copy editing to begin By mid 2017:  Publication of revised modules as OER in at least 2 formats under CC license.  Share development tools  Provide a professional development course for African academics to enhance Teaching and Learning  Encourage further OER use by African institutions  Accessed through OUT Open Institutional Repository OER will be reused if they are deemed to be contextually relevant
  16. 16. 16 How did we fair in aspects of openness? Reviewing Design Process Materials development Pedagogical Approach Online Provision Licensing for Publication Openly Accessible Open focus needed continuous reinforcement More training on searching for OER Moodle already being used CC BY achieved OUT Open Repository established Reviews (Too) many iterations needed Concentrated effort required
  17. 17. • Increased Integration of OER in QA processes at OUT • Study Materials development being redesigned for OER – Learning Materials Development Policy (new name) currently under revision – Materials Developers Workshop & Guidelines Booklet under revision – New OER Policy states that all new OUT courses developed should be OER – Converting to OER materials used as criteria for promotion in assessing teaching effectiveness (scheme of service of OUT, 2016) • Continued Institutional support – To move from OER ‘projects’ to institutionalisation – OER Policy Implementation Plan formulated Going Forward …
  18. 18. 18 Thank you! brendam@saide.org.za http://www.slideshare.net/brenda6 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Editor's Notes

  • In 2013, OER Africa determined that its best course of action, over the next 5 years, would be to support a small selection of HEIs which are committed to transforming teaching and learning practices, in the context of the information society, through Action Research and Critical Practice, to build evidence that OER practices can both lead to and support transformation, and can be successfully mainstreamed and institutionalized.
    Accordingly, OER Africa embarked upon an Institutional Integration of OER Practice project using a Participatory Action Research approach through which we are supporting pedagogical transformation in particular institutions with a view to identifying key supporting and inhibiting factors to sustaining such changes. Our proposed approach is informed by an understanding that supporting significant change in this way requires sustained engagement and support over an extended period and that, while some critical success factors will be generic, others will be institutionally specific.
    OER Africa believes that hands-on practice at institutional level will generate action-research and the advocacy required to understand institutional transformation and generate a model for harnessing OER to improve both the content and the delivery of higher education in Africa.
  • OUT – ODL model established in 1992. Now over 40,000 students, with 30 regional centres. Move to use technology rather than old correspondence mode, further move to use OER – benefits seen by senior management. Several senior staff members have engaged in OER Projects such as TESSA, AVU, and Ministry of Education, TZ. The Digital Fluency modules will also be disseminated via the OUT Open repository (amongst other appropriate repositories, such as the ACDE) when they are ready for publication as OER.
  • it is recognised that more than ‘literacy’ is needed in today’s academic environment in order to take full advantage of the affordances of using ICTs for the full range of teaching and learning, research, and administrative duties and blended modes of provision.
    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).
  • A highly participatory action approach was agreed upon and adopted, with some restructuring taking place as the work progressed in line with the approach. Stakeholders were identied from the outset and incuded personnel from the IEMT, IT Department, Quality Assurance Unit, and from the Library services who played multiple roles. The intention was to model shared open education beliefs at each stage of development using existing OER where ever available.
    The motivation for developing this course was to build the capacity of academic staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) to become confident in selecting and competently using appropriate digital and online technologies in an informed manner within their work environment. The objectives were to advance general digital competencies of academic staff, and to develop specific digital competencies in a range of identified areas. The outcome is for staff to have developed an ability to comfortably and ethically use digital technologies incorporating a variety of media types, both on- and off-line, in order to support teaching and learning, research, and academic administrative duties.
  • Publishing in at least 2 formats, making development tools available
    Reuse, Redistribute, Revise, Remix, Retain
  • Module titles.
    The aim of the course is to progress beyond the conventional notion of digital or computer literacy towards supporting staff to become ‘fluent’ in the digital workplace. The notion of fluency is often associated with language or numeracy skills development – we now also recognize its importance in preparing to engage in a digital world. The move from literacy to fluency encompasses effective and ethical online communication, critical interpretation, quality resource creation and curation, knowledge co-construction, and an understanding of using all of these abilities to open up education – with all of these becoming increasingly standard and effortless over time. The initial conception of a soution was verified and fleshed out in consultation with academic staff at OUT via a needs survey. The developers believe that the 5 resulting module topics identified would support staff in their journey towards the identified goals and needs (OUT, 2016).
  • Module outlines: Each module has been developed using innovative learning design methodologies and open educational resources, while still adhering to the regular OUT institutional processes. The modules are in 2 forms: a word document (primary institutional source) and a Moodle course (OUT eLMS).
    An internal OUT sub-project coordinator was appointed and a host Faculty for the course was deicded upon with the Digital Fluency course being officially assigned a code of ODF001. Teams of 2 persons (personnel from the IEMT and/or the IT Department) were assigned the task of designing each module. In addition, internal OUT module reviewers were also assigned to each module at an early stage. The OER Africa institutional lead provided ongoing external roject support. Module sub-topics were identified for development using existing OER where available. Although there was an attempt at standardisation, some modules comprised 4 sub-topics while others evolved into addressing 5 sub-topics.
  • The open approach was evidenced by an inception ‘Learning Design in the Open’ workshop using elements of the University of Leicester’s (2012) ‘7Cs of Learning Design Toolkit’ attended by all prospective module developers. The objectives in mind were threefold: firstly to explore the suitabiity of the methodology for the purpose of the Digital Fluency course modules 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 inform a further draft module (Learning Design and Development for Online Provision) by contextualising and adapting the methodology on the Moodle platform for propogation as an internal professional development workshop at OUT. 7Cs activities (University of Leicester, 2012) used included developing module descriptions, reflecting on the pedagogical model, considering course features, creating a course map, analysing activity profiles, clarifying learning outcomes, developing storyboards, using and reusing OERs, developing sample activities, and developing an action plan for completing the 5 modules.
  • Every template / guidelines etc that we found useful will be shared with the OERs when published.
    Links to existing resources used provided on slide.
  • Module Developers’ Survey
  • Module Developers’ Survey
  • Change is difficult even when a conducive environment is present.
  • We should have spent more time securing fundamentals with respect to the open approach, and that may have resulted in less time spent overall in constantly reviewing and revising.
  • Current status as at Feb 2017. Grant ends in July 2017
  • Publishing in at least 2 formats, making development tools available.
    Reuse, Redistribute, Revise, Remix, Retain – I think we achieved all of these.
  • Need for OER advocacy remains high – once one goes past a small group of knowledgeable people, awareness drops rapidly. However, in collaboration with COL, there is much work currently being shared at OUT.
    Conversely, resistance to engaging with OER is declining – more groups expressing interesting in both sharing under open licences and integrating OERs into courses. Growing focus on harnessing OERs to improve quality – quality concerns remain but negative perceptions of OER as ‘poor quality’ are reducing
    Technology take-up in universities: access is expanding, but relatively slowly compared to other parts of the world.

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