Rapporteur Report: Approaches to continuing professional development for open education

Lelliott and Moore share the approach of OER Africa to continuing professional development (CPD). This modular and flexible approach was designed to address traditional CPD at African higher education institutions which is often isolated from their teaching environment. Looking to facilitate academics in engaging with new trends they piloted stand-alone multi-media rich learning pathways (LP) at African universities which incorporated existing OERs, were accessible, short, and modular, and which would provide automated feedback. The modules include:

  • Finding Open Content (also available in Spanish & French)

  • Adapting Open Content

  • Publishing Using Open Access

  • Design for Learning I & II

  • Communicate Research Findings

All of the Learning Pathways are available at Learning Pathways: Open Education Online Tutorials.

The LPs were also piloted using various delivery strategies, including both self instruction and semi-facilitated strategies in a learning management system, as a self- and semi-facilitated study, and as facilitated MOOC-type courses across multiple institutions. There were pros and cons to the various strategies as some provided data and feedback and allowed facilitators to assess learning, while others prioritized maximum flexibility for the learner.

Their initial findings reveal some trends including a high-level of engagement and flexible learning, however, due to presumed time constraints and potential lack of incentives or rewards, they discovered that educators are less likely to seek these out or complete them without a CPD context that encourages them to do so.

These flexible, modular, multi-modal OER learning pathways provide good examples for others looking to scale CPD in their own context. Additional findings from this project will be useful for all who develop, facilitate, or assess OER professional development.

Lelliott and Moore’s interactive presentation enabled conference attendees to experience the LPs for themselves and to provide feedback to the presenters in the form of a survey/quiz.