Section

1
Designing at scale, adapting locally
Next Section Section 2: Collaborative learning through peer and expert interactions

Teachers’ professional learning needs are diverse, complex, dynamic, and related to the educational settings in which they teach. Too frequently, however, teachers are required to engage in TPD where the learning outcomes are not relevant to their professional learning priorities or where they are unable to participate fully for various reasons. For instance, travel to a teachers’ training location may be problematic because it is unsafe or there is a lack of transport, or teachers may not feel comfortable in the language of the TPD offered. ICTs offer the potential to adapt large-scale TPD programs to improve accessibility and to meet the professional needs of individual teachers or sub-groups of teachers. The programs highlighted in this section demonstrate different forms of adaptation to move towards the goal of inclusive participation for all teachers. Perhaps most exciting are those programs where the teachers who will participate in and benefit from the professional development activities are directly involved in this adaptation or localization process.

Both the TESS-India (see Profile 1) and TESSA (see Profile 2) programs utilize open licenses for their content resource banks. This enables their resources to be adapted easily for different contexts and learning needs. In TESS-India, the original co-created content (text and video) was localized through translation and adaptation by educators in each of the seven Indian states participating in the program. Thus, teachers in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, were able to study TESS-India OER in Hindi with geographical, cultural, and curriculum references relevant to their state context and activities authentic to the conditions and priorities of their classrooms (Wolfenden & Adinolfi, 2019). Further modifications to the TESS-India OER have been made at sub-state level to cater to the needs of specific groups of teachers. Similarly in TESSA, there are 10 localized country versions of the OER that have been further adapted for specific in-country programs.

These two programs also take into account the ICTs available to teachers. The OER are made available in multiple formats for online, offline (including through memory cards in teachers’ own phones), and print format. Moreover, the OER have been designed such that teachers or teacher educators can select OER that meet specific professional needs. They are empowered to construct their own learning journey with the resources (Wolfenden et al., 2017).

The Computadores para Educar (CPE) program in Colombia (see Profile 3) is offered in partnership with universities in each region of the country. Each university adapts the core model for their context. For example, where connectivity is good, teachers participate through the CPE Moodle platform; where there is little or no connectivity, an offline mobile app is used. Similarly, the blend of virtual and face-to-face classes varies across the regions.

Meanwhile, the Tu Clase, Tu País (TCTP) platform (see Section 3, Profile 11) has been extensively adapted for provision across Latin America through working with national delivery partners, often ministries of education, who develop local content; select, train, and manage tutors; and facilitate local learning communities. For example, the TCTP platform in Argentina provides two-month, open access TPD programs for En Formación Continua (EnFoCo). 1 Here, good connectivity enables synchronous sessions to be offered for up to 100 participants. This facility, however, is yet to be made available for teachers in remote areas. In Colombia, the TCTP platform forms the basis of courses for the Espacio Maestro initiative. Formative assessment plays an important  role in this program including “co-assessment” of micro-practices by the teacher and an assigned tutor.

  1. Further information is available at
    http://www.inet.edu.ar/index.php/32954-2/cursos-de-capacitacion-enfoco-etp/

Profile

1
Teacher Education through School-based Support India (TESS-India)

location

Asia (India)

years of implementation

2012 to 2019

funder/s

UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Implementer/s

The Open University, UK • Government of India • Indian state governments • Save the Children India

scale

Approx. 1 million teachers in 7 states: Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal • 50,000 MOOC participants. • Over 3 million downloads of TESS-India video OER from YouTube.

Introduction


TESS-India aims to strengthen and transform professional development and classroom practice in India. The program provides an innovative, practical, and scalable approach to pre- and in-service teacher education, with an emphasis on inclusive, participatory, and child-centered pedagogy.

At the center of TESS-India is a toolkit of almost 200 freely available open educational resources (OER) in multiple languages (Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, and Odia) and designed to be adapted to the context of use. TESS-India OER include teacher development and school leadership units, professionally filmed videos of classroom teaching, and principles of practice. They are the product of a collaboration between more than 200 Indian and UK educational experts.

Key features of the TESS-India OER model


  • The TESS-India OER all follow a template that includes learning outcomes for the teacher; activities for the teacher to carry out (usually in their classroom with their students); case studies illustrating how teachers in different contexts have undertaken the activities and the actions they take in response to student questions and developing understandings; reflection prompts known as “pause for thought” and a narrative that explains how the approaches in the activities support student learning. Each OER represents 12 to 15 teacher study hours including classroom practice.
  • The OER are available in multiple languages, versions, and formats. Many teachers access the OER through their own mobile phones.
  • The OER toolkit is infinitely adaptable and flexible for use in different cultural and environmental contexts. The OER can be joined in multiple ways; there is not one linear pathway through the OER.
  • The OER can be studied in multiple ways: as stand alone mini-courses; as part of a formal TPD program; in pre-service practicum modules in diploma or Bachelor of Education programs; in pre-service pedagogy modules; in face-to-face sessions; in distance learning programs, and so on.
  • Teachers are encouraged to discuss their experiences with the activities with their peers in appropriate forums: cluster or block meetings; seminars, lectures or tutorials; and with mentors and coaches. These discussions may be in-person or through social media platforms.

TESS-India also created a free MOOC for teachers and teacher educators on “Enhancing Teacher Education through OER,” which was implemented in three iterative versions between 2015 and 2017. Over 50,000 registered for the MOOC, with 55% completing the course and achieving the pass Certificate.

Key features of the TESS-India MOOC model


  • The MOOC is a six-week course on Open edX and also available through OpenLearnCreate.
  • Available in English, Hindi, and Odia.
  • Access was mainly through smart phones, tablets, and projected by facilitators in some face-to-face classes for group study.
  • Formal support was provided through the scaffolded activities, course forums (in different languages), and regular face-to-face classes organized by the participating state governments. Classes were led by facilitators who had completed a previous version of the MOOC.
  • Informal support occurred via social messaging platforms initiated by the facilitators or participants themselves.
  • Assessment included quizzes and two peer assessments. Successful completion also required contributions to the course forums and led to a Certificate of Completion.

TESS-India OER Model


TESS-India MOOC Model



TESS-India OER Model
Teacher Education through School-based Support India (TESS-India)
TESS-India MOOC Model
Teacher Education through School-based Support India (TESS-India)

Sources

 

Ahjua, S., & Das, D. (2018). Formative evaluation of TESS India. The Open University, UK.

Cross, S., Adinolfi, L., & Wolfenden, F. (2019). TESS-India: An approach to supporting teacher development and improving classroom practice. The Open University, UK.

The Open University. (n.d.). TESS-India (Teacher Education through School-based Support).

TESS-India. (2017). TESS-India. (Teacher Education through School-based Support).

Wolfenden, F., Adinolfi, L., Cross, S., Lee, C., Paranjpe, S., & Safford, K. (2017). Moving towards more participatory practice with Open Educational Resources: TESS-India Academic Review. The Open University, UK.

Wolfenden, F. (2015). TESSS-India OER: Collaborative practices to improve teacher education. Indian Journal of Teacher Education, 1(3), 33-48.

Profile

2
Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA)

location

Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Togo)

years of implementation

2005 to present

funder/s

Various philanthropic trusts • Commonwealth of Learning • national governments

Implementer/s

The Open University, UK • national governments • national universities and associated Colleges of Education • nongovernmental organizations

scale

TESSA OER used by over 300,000 teachers

Introduction


TESSA is a network of teachers and teacher educators across Sub-Saharan Africa. At the heart of the network is a bank of open educational resources (OER) linked to the school curriculum and designed to support teachers and teacher educators in developing active approaches to learning.

Co-created by university lecturers, African education experts, and educators from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), TESSA OER are for primary school teachers in literacy, numeracy, Life Skills, Science, and Social Studies and Arts; and for secondary school Science teachers. The OER are accompanied by guidance for teachers and teacher educators on different ways to use the OER in programs and independent study.

Key features of the TESSA OER model


  • Three-dimensional localization of OER as appropriate for contexts of use and to meet professional learning needs: content, format, selection of OER
  • OER available in four different languages on the TESSA website—Arabic, English, French, and Kiswahili—adapted for specific country contexts with local geographic and cultural examples and appropriate curriculum alignment. In addition, because these materials are also available in generic versions in English and French, they are also applicable for multiple contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • All TESSA OER follow a template and center on a series of activities that teachers can carry out in their classrooms and which are designed to be used flexibly according to local needs. Handbooks for teachers and teacher educators help them to integrate and effectively use the resources in their classrooms and in courses.
  • TESSA OER can be used by any teacher or teacher educator. They are often integrated into pre-service teacher training programs to enhance and strengthen these programs or into government training programs. They are also used independently by practicing teachers to help develop personal professional skills and enliven their lessons.
  • TESSA OER have been adapted for local contexts and programs such as pre-service diploma and Bachelor of Education programs (on-campus and distance learning) in universities and Colleges of Education, in-service programs (e.g., face-to-face, online, upgrading programs, national capacity building programs, NGO-led programs), and by individual schools and teachers.

TESSA also has a MOOC that was developed as a strategy for supporting and enhancing OER access and use. Delivery included facilitated face-to-face classes to address participants’ access and support issues.

According to evaluations of the program (Harley & Barasa, 2012), there has been considerable engagement with TESSA OER, noting that where internet access is stable, flexible, and affordable, OER uptake is high. TESSA has been integrated or used in a wide range of programs reaching over 300,000 teachers.

TESSA OER Model



TESSA OER Model
Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA)

Sources


Harley, K., & Barasa, F. S. (2012). TESSA: a formative evaluation report. Open University, UK.

Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA). (n.d.). About us.

Wolfenden, F. Umar, A., Aguti, J., & Abdel Gafar, A. (2010, November 24-28). Using OERs to improve teacher quality: Emerging findings from TESSA [Paper presentation]. In Sixth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, Kochi, India.

Profile

3
Computadores para Educar (CPE)

location

Latin America (Colombia)

years of implementation

2011 to present

funder/s

Government of Colombia

Implementer/s

Government of Colombia

scale

9,000 teachers in 12 departments in 200 municipalities had access to the program in 2019