Keeping Learning Open during Covid-19 and beyond through Innovative Learning Design: A Case Study of the University of Namibia

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations // The infusion of technology into Open and Distance Learning (ODL) practices was nothing new at the University of Namibia (UNAM) during the emergence of Covid-19. The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) (previously the Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning (CODeL) at UNAM, focuses on leading learning innovations and was tasked with developing innovative approaches during the Covid-19 pandemic’s lockdown period, which remain relevant beyond the pandemic. // This study examined how CILT as an academic support Centre in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) supported efforts of various Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), to keep student learning of all modes of study (face-to-face, online, ODL) open, during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was achieved through the creation and implementation of a Rapid Development Process (RDP) as part of learning design capacity development initiatives and a Creative Commons ascribed resource website, focusing on Learning Design and Digital Assessment resources. The RDP resources were workshopped with various Namibian Universities and an African University. As part of the methodology, the study adopted a single case study research design and used a structured workshop evaluation survey and secondary sources as data collection instruments. // The findings of the study reveal overall satisfaction with the RDP workshop approach and topics covered, as well as its relevance to Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of participants. Most of the participants indicated that they only started to engage in online teaching and online assessment activities because of institutional strategies that were forced by Covid-19. // The study concludes that the RDP workshops were well-structured and had a positive impact as the learning experiences gained can be practiced in participants’ institutional contexts and as part of the new norm in HEIs. // Paper ID 9219

Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Learning Design,Professional Development,Innovation,Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL),Open Learning