Presenter: Tim Coughlan, IET, The Open University
Title: Pathways for Learning: Rapid response open programmes for African educators moving to teach online
Abstract: The Pathways for Learning project has run two free professional development programmes for academic staff from across the African continent. Each of the programmes combined study of an existing open course with supplementary activities including a range of webinars and interactive events, alongside use of platforms created by IET.
The programmes ran over six weeks between 13th July and 20th August 2020 and began only a month after GCRF funding was approved for the project. This rapid deployment of these programmes, which offered a wide variety of opportunities for engagement, was achieved with the participation of many colleagues from IET, WELS and our African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) partners, who led events, facilitated forums and online groups, and provided input into the programme design.
Data collected through surveys, interviews and engagement with the various platforms suggests that the programmes were effective in increasing knowledge and confidence with online learning. Further findings highlight shifts and challenges for educators, learners and HEIs, both in their immediate responses to the pandemic and their longer term strategies for online teaching. These experiences also provide a means to reflect on how we can devise and deliver teaching at scale in a timely fashion by drawing on a variety of expertise and existing resources.
Presenter bio: https://iet.open.ac.uk/people/tim.coughlan