Thursday, 31 August 2017

Developing advanced ICT Skills Courses as Open Educational Resources

The University of Mauritius through the Centre for Innovative and Lifelong Learning, has entered in a contribution agreement with the Commonwealth of Learning for the developing of 4 advanced ICT courses which will be released as OERs and which will be used in our existing programmes and also offered as stand-alone modules to improve the employability of youth and mainly women in the ICT sector. 

The four online modules to be developed are as follows:

1. Digital Marketing
2. Internet of Things
3. Computer Forensics and Security
4. Big Data Analytics and R Programming

The project takes on board the Centre for Information Technology and Systems (CITS), the Faculty of ICDT of the UoM and the CILL as the coordinating body. The total project value is about CAD 50000 with a contribution of the Commonwealth of Learning to the tune of approx. CAD 22000. 

This project further strengthens the ongoing partnership of the University of Mauritius and the Commonwealth of Learning. The contact person for the COL in this project is Dr Sanjaya Mishra.  

Two workshops on course writing will also be organised during the project where coursewriters, instructional designers, educational technologies and web developers will meet to discuss about the design and development process, to ensure the highest quality of learning materials are released as open educational resources. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Australia-Africa Universities Network Funding 2017

After the successful implementation of the first funded project from the AAUN on the rapid elearning methodology, we were a bit disappointed not to have secured another project when the announcements were made in February 2017. But we had hope when the AAUN announced, that it had earmarked another 'three excellent' projects for funding in case they received additional funds. Here it is, yesterday the email restored the happiness back in the team when we were announced that our application has finally been successful! We thank the AAUN for their continued support to the University of Mauritius initiatives. It is the second AAUN project where the University of Mauritius is in the leading role. 

A summary of our project proposal is provided below:

We intend to conduct three workshops over a 1 year period with 20 educators who are interested to act as change agents to engage into a grass-root level transformation of their respective school environment. Innovation in Education and capacity building of educators in ICTs and Leadership form important elements of the knowledge society. The research team will engage into a discussion of the best educational philosophy and pedagogical model to run the capacity-building workshops to ensure transfer and acquisition of actionable skills and competencies. Once the educators are identified, we will conduct a training needs analysis with them along the themes proposed to refine our curriculum and strategy. The aim is to develop a tailor-made but adaptable and efficient continuous professional development model that can be later replicated and scaled up and applied in other developing country contexts. The approach will be a blend of online interaction, face-to-face meetings, and distributed work environment so that contact with the participants is maintained throughout the project. From the research perspective, this will take the form of an action-research project where the researchers will be mainly acting as coach, guide and critical observers. Through the online environment the educators will interact with the project partners to have access to their expertise and to engage in rich social exchanges. They will be requested to keep an online journal to regularly document and share progress made and issues encountered at school level so that collective strategies can be elaborated and tested. We expect that these change agents will be equipped with leadership skills and futures thinking skills to better influence school-based policy making to improve the overall school environment, and by extension progress towards a sustainable KS development initiative.