:async: Mentor as Facilitator, Catalyst and Guide for Protege Development with Open Educational Practices (OEPr) in Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW) projects

Authors: Helen DeWaard, Rekha Chavhan, Sanjivani Mahale
Institutions: Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik. India
Countries: Canada, India

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Sustainable OER
Session Format: Presentation

Abstract

Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW) is a UNESCO funded, tuition-free, international online mentoring programme established to unlock the potential of open education in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through the use of open educational resources (OER). The OE4BW team matches individual project developers, who have a plan for an OER construction, with a mentor who can support their project to completion within a six-month time frame. This presentation is the result of several of these mentor/protégé partnerships from the 2019 and 2020 OE4BW cohort projects. The presenters are teacher educators - two are from India and one is from Canada.

The purpose of this presentation is to focus on the mentor’s role as facilitator, catalyst and guide for project development with an emphasis on open educational practices (OEPr). These are defined, following Cronin (2017), as collaborative pedagogies utilizing digital technologies and authentic learning encounters for “interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation, and empowerment of learners” (p. 18). In these OE4BW projects the teacher educators collaboratively select OEPr to support their ways of knowing, designing, planning, and assessing teaching and learning events (Cronin, 2016; Paskevicius, 2017).

Drawing from mentor/protégé conversations and reflections, and examining the experiences of mentoring in the development of online courses for Indian teacher education development, the presenters will illuminate how to facilitate professional relationships and professional learning beyond borders and boundaries. The presenters will share how the interactions and collaborations between projects, participants, and events occurred. Explicit knowledge-building for professional learning within a supportive mentoring relationship is explored.

The presenters explore various layers of relationships within OE4BW project structures from a ‘tiered’ approach, defined by roles of the 1) mentor 2) developer/protege 3) protege/mentor. Relationships extend outward to include the participants (students) of the projects developed. Strategically building spaces for conversations, such as google docs, MooKit, Moodle, Skype, Zoom, and What’s App will be presented. The issues and challenges of balancing synchronous with asynchronous communication is revealed in this presentation.

Keywords

Open educational practices, OEPr, Cross-cultural mentoring, Open education for a better world, OE4BW, Layers of relationships

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