Late last year, Saide’s byline “Enabling Open Successful Learning for All,” was put to the test when it was commissioned by the British Council to provide a solution for its ‘’Teaching for All’’ project that would ensure access to digital materials for pre-service (PRESET) and in-service (INSET) teachers with low or no internet connectivity. Saide’s Fatima Rahiman writes.
The project seeks to instill values of inclusivity in teachers and equip them with skills to teach inclusively in diverse classrooms through a blended learning offering.
Saide was engaged to adapt existing print materials previously developed by a consortium of partners (British Council as managing agent, UNISA and MIET AFRICA) with the Department of Basic Education as an associate partner. The materials will be used on a digital platform that will enable teachers to complete the blended learning programme through various routes.
The routes include self-study activities, face-to-face teacher training workshops integrated with universities’ PRESET and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses, and through professional learning communities (PLCs) in schools as part of the inclusive education training strategy for the provincial education departments.
It was also required that all the activities be organized for selection for SACE (South African Council for Educators) endorsement.
The materials include videos and a facilitator’s guide where, as part of the adaptation process, answer keys were extracted and inserted as reflection feedback for self-study activities. It focused on four topics
- Inclusive Education
- Learner Diversity
- Inclusive School Communities
- Inclusive Teaching and Learning
The adapted materials were made available on an offline digital learning management system (LMS), accessed via a USB or thumb drive for learners in remote areas with low, sporadic or no connectivity to access the course content.
In addition, the learning management system allows for importing and customizing the Teaching for All programme to their respective LMSs.
Saide opted to use Spoodle (Shared Portable Moodle), an offline version of Moodle, as an offline LMS that can be packaged and run from a USB drive. The Spoodle system was initially developed in 2016 and uses Moodle platform to address the challenge of disseminating content to learners in remote and low connectivity areas of Bhutan.
Spoodle is regularly updated with the current version 3.6 available for download on the developer’s site( Stephen Grono), to ensure compatibility with the growing vault of Moodle themes and plugins generously contributed by the global community of open source developers.
The project adopted a fully responsive Essential theme look-and-feel based on its customizable colour scheme that addressed the branding requirements. The theme also provides a dynamic slider frame on the Home page that showcases the striking Teaching for All project visuals.
Other resources used on the platform include the Book module for the content display, as well as the TAG plugin, allowing the selection of activities based on time allocation and mode of delivery. The free online Textfixer tool was also used to clean and convert the PDF text of the printed materials for online use.
The Teaching for All Blended Learning solution will be launched through a two-day workshop with educators and service providers. We look forward to the launch of the platform!