Browsing by Author "Mays, Tony"
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- ItemOpen AccessAccess to ICT Infrastructure and Devices in the South Pacific(2022-09) Naidu, Som; Bhartu, Dhiraj; Mays, TonyPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // The South Pacific region spreads over more than 30 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. The region comprises more than a dozen island nations ranging from small volcanic islands to even smaller coral atolls. Population masses in the island nations vary from around 2,000 in Tokelau to a little more than 800,000 in the Republic of Fiji. Access to information and communications technologies and internet connectivity in the region is varied. This project involves the design and conduct of a desktop study into access to ICT infrastructure, connectivity and devices and their use by students and teachers in the Pacific. Outcomes of this study will enable COL to make informed decisions about what access and delivery technologies to employ in the Partnership for Open Distance and Flexible Learning project in the Pacific. The study will address issues of access to hardware, software, connectivity and skills, as well as examples of ways in which teachers, institutions or Ministries have found ways to address the challenges in low bandwidth/limited access environments, especially in the nine developing countries of the Commonwealth in the region. // Paper ID 3503
- ItemOpen AccessAssessment and Evaluation for Gender Equity in ODL Provision in a Time of Generative AI(2023-09-08) Mays, Tony"Assessment and Evaluation for Gender Equity in ODL Provision in a Time of Generative AI" webinar in collaboration with Botswana Open University, presented by Dr Tony Mays, Education Specialist: Open Schooling, Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and moderated by Dr Tommie Hamaluba, Botswana Open University, 8 September 2023.
- ItemOpen AccessDeveloping a Community of Practice among Educators: A Case Study of the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) in South And Southern Africa(2004-07) Mays, TonyPCF3 // This paper will explore the ways in which a new in-service teacher development programme, the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE), has sought to develop a community of practice among educators in South and Southern Africa. // The NPDE is a contact-supported distance education programme which is aimed at the professional development of classroom-based educators who have received the equivalent of only one or two years of professional training. // The paper will consider the ways in which the NPDE qualification could and should have been able to make a significant contribution to developing a common vision of good teaching practice among education stakeholders at national, provincial, Higher Education Institution (HEI) and local school level through the manner in which the curriculum has been designed and is being delivered. The paper will attempt to evaluate the ways in which the potential for developing common understandings and practice has been realised in implementation. // The discussion will be structured in the following way: // • An overview of the NPDE programme and the Unisa curriculum in particular // • An evaluation of the NPDE design from the perspective of an epistemological framework for developing communities of practice // • Lessons of experience from the macro management level // • Lessons of experience from the meso level management/implementation interface // • Lessons of experience from the micro level: a limited analysis of the impact of the Unisa NPDE on the 2300+ classroom-based educators on the programme through a triangulation of data supplied from student evaluations, student responses to formal assessment and limited classroom observations. // • Conclusions and recommendations for building communities of practice among educators in South and Southern Africa.
- ItemOpen AccessDeveloping an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Course Catalogue for the Pacific(2022-09) Mays, TonyPCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // Open and distance learning (ODL) is an important channel for increasing education opportunities and outcomes. It is particularly relevant for the Pacific, given small dispersed remote populations and limited access to secondary and post-secondary opportunities in rural and outer island locations. Despite the importance of ODL to the region and the immediate need to build capacity, there has been limited investment. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the need for the Pacific to be well-prepared for non-contact teaching and learning approaches outside traditional classroom-based practices. This paper charts the development of an ODL course catalogue, as part of a wider initiative, to build capacity by assisting classroom-based teachers to locate professional development opportunities in and through ODL. The process began with the development of a concept note and an attempt to survey what training was already available in the region. This led to the development of a prototype which was subsequently reviewed through three different stakeholder lenses. The combined feedback from these reviews was then used to inform development of a request for proposals to create the fully fledged version of the ODL course catalogue. Based on this experience, and approached from a pragmatic perspective, the paper will identify some key principles for development work of this nature, particularly within the Pacific region. // Paper ID 0672
- ItemOpen AccessODeL Research: Beyond the Usual Suspects(2022-08) Mays, TonyInvited presentation to the August 2022 Unisa ODeL conference for the theme: Emerging Research Approaches in Education. When people think about ODeL, they tend to think about the different implications for teaching and learning, especially in relation to the move to online learning rather than, for example, the implications for ODeL research or for ODeL researchers. Research in ODeL must address must explore some issue and must also address some challenges which are unique to the field. In general, researchers should make use of a wider variety of research strategies from different fields of practice to explore distance education or open and distance learning provision. As COL has noted in several presentations, technology has become central both to what and how we teach but also to how we gather and interpret data. So, for both teaching and learning research in ODL, we need to address issues related to continually striving to bridge the digital divide, to ensure quality in all that we do, and to build the capacity of our staff both as teachers and as researchers.
- ItemOpen AccessOER-Enabled Online Micro-Courses for Teachers - Remixing for Resilience in the South Pacific(2022-09) Mays, Tony; Mackintosh, WaynePCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // Open, distance and flexible learning (ODFL) is a key strategy for building resilient education systems in the Pacific, given the difficulty of providing more traditional campus-based learning for widely distributed and culturally diverse learners. However, few of the teachers currently in-service have received training in or through ODFL. It is therefore necessary to make such training available in ways that both model and build such capacity in cost-effective and scalable ways. This paper explores the rationale for and design of an open learning ecosystem as exemplified in a micro-course called Digital Skills for OER Sharing (DS4OERS), which is the first of several courses that have been developed or are in development under the Pacific Partnership for Open, Distance and Flexible Learning led by the Commonwealth of Learning. The platform and course were designed to be as open and flexible as possible and use was made of digital badging both to encourage active learning and to allow for multiple exit and re-entry points. Moreover, the pedagogical approach and technologies deployed were designed for remix to build resilience for professional development solutions in the region. Feedback from participants in the first mediated iteration of the course offered to 1560 teachers will be shared as will core learnings which have influenced subsequent design and implementation. Published as OER using free and open source software digital learning environment, the course was remixed and deployed by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture in Samoa demonstrating the potential for scaling professional development using open online micro-courses. // Paper ID 5682
- ItemOpen AccessOpen Schooling in the Commonwealth: Learning from Practice(2023-03) Mays, TonyInvited presentation by Dr Tony Mays, COL Education Specialist: Open Schooling, to the March 2023 World Education Summit, Learning 3.0: Empowering and Enabling Education, 20-23 March 2023. There are large numbers of out-of-school children and youths not in employment education or training. Open schooling, using open and distance learning methods and OER, can provide a more flexible route back into education for these learners.
- ItemOpen AccessPromoting OER in the Caribbean COL’s Key Activities Since 2019(2022-12-14) Mays, TonyInvited presentation by Dr Tony Mays, COL Education Specialist: Open Schooling, to the 14 December 2022 UNESCO Regional Consultation Meeting on COL’s promotion of OER in the Caribbean. Many countries have large and growing numbers of NEETs. Traditional schooling cannot meet the needs of these learners so open schooling approaches are needed. This can help make schooling systems more resilient when physical schools need to close and learning needs to be managed digitally. A key value-add for open education provision is the development and sharing of curriculum-based OER. COL has therefore promoted OER quite extensively in the Caribbean and will continue to do so.
- ItemOpen AccessPromoting Open Schooling for Girls and Young Mothers(2022-11) Mays, TonyPresentation made to selected open schooling partners in Africa during a regional visit in November 2022. In many countries girls face challenges to accessing and remaining in school. Open schooling, using ODL methods and OER, can provide a more flexible means for these learners to access or re-access schooling as a pre-cursor to further study, employment or self-employment.
- ItemOpen AccessReforming Open Universities: An International Perspective(2019-11-16) Kanwar, Asha; Mays, TonyDelivered by Professor Asha Kanwar at the 40th anniversary celebration of Zhejiang Open University, Zhejiang, China.
- ItemOpen AccessReimagining the Open University in the Digital Era(2019-04-23) Kanwar, Asha; Mays, TonyPresented by Professor Asha Kanwar, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning at the Roundtable of Vice Chancellors of Open Universities in Asia and Africa 23 to 24 April 2019. Co-written with Dr Tony Mays, Education Specialist: Open Schooling, COL.
- ItemOpen AccessStructured Access to Curated Open Educational Resources Aligned to National School Curricula: An Experiment in the Commonwealth Member States in the Pacific Region(2022-09) Muthu, Madhan; Mays, TonyPCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // We have been witnessing a global experiment in delivering emergency remote teaching using distance learning, internet, web and related technologies, since the World Health Organization announced its assessment that ‘Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic’ on 11 March 2020. // The shift to digital has made more teachers and institutions realise the importance of structured access to open educational resources (OER) – learning materials having open licenses. However, availability of OER in a structured way alone, though important, may not increase the use and re-use by teachers and learners. Research evidence suggests that OER use is maximized when they are contextualised for local needs. A survey conducted by COL and the OER Foundation in 2020 highlighted the need for curated OER aligned to national and institutional curricula. // Since much before this unprecedented situation, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has been promoting the use of open and distance learning (ODL) to help build more resilient education systems. With a view to helping teachers and learners in the Commonwealth member states in the Pacific region have access to curated OER collections aligned to their national curriculum, COL and PACFOLD with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand created a platform using EPrints – open-source software developed by the University of Southampton. The platform hosts nationally-defined OER collections with the flexibility of having choices of access points based on the local curriculum taxonomy. At the same time, by defining individual OERs in the collections using structured metadata schema, the national level collections ensure metadata level interoperability. // This paper presents the preliminary findings from a pragmatic attempt to support engagement with OER in the Commonwealth member states in the Pacific region. It also provides insight into the underpinning principles and architecture of the platform, the choices of access points associated with the OER collections, and the metadata schema used to define the collections. The authors of this paper discuss how teachers in the region can use or adapt the OER in the collections in their teaching, and share OER developed by them with all possible users as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving to remote, blended and/or online teaching. The authors also present the case of the Ministry of Education in Fiji which has started using the platform to organise a collection based on its national curriculum framework. // Paper ID 7674
- ItemOpen AccessTowards a Framework for Open Schooling(2023-05-29) Mays, TonyInvited presentation by Dr Tony Mays, COL Education Specialist: Open Schooling, to a consultative meeting about the establishment of an open school by UNISA, South Africa on 29 November, 2023. Presentations were also made by Bangladesh Open University Open School and by Saide.