Saide work in progress: Piloting an innovative short course for professional development for university senior managers

Tony Lelliott

Matrix of the Moodle course

As part of a collaboration with the AAU, OER Africa developed a short online course for senior managers to think about how to develop CPD for their staff. The course was uploaded to the Saide Moodle LMS platform, and piloted with six university managers in October 2022, over a period of about three weeks. The 16 units of study can be accessed in a non-linear fashion (see image, below). Each unit was informed by a specific piece of research, they are all structured in the same way and underpinned by the following learning design principles.  The participants were encouraged to first engage with the unit readings or video and ‘think’ broadly about the unit’s CPD issue; there was also ‘guided reflection’ developed by the course authors and an opportunity to interact with course peers (via a forum). Finally, they were encouraged to ‘do’: to contextualise the course lessons specifically for their own institution. 

Initially, 21 people showed interest in the course, but only seven attended at least one session run on Zoom. Although the number of active participants was fewer than anticipated, their interactions on the LMS platform provided some useful feedback on the course. They found the videos helpful and illuminating, and the discussion forums useful to learn from others and better understand the content.  

The intention of OER Africa going forward is to identify a specific cohort of senior managers and run a second pilot with a larger number of participants, to obtain feedback so as to improve the course and make it more generally available.