The sixteenth session that I am blogging here at SITE 2017 related to K-12 Online and Blended Learning is:
Contributing the National Open Education Resources Repository for K-12 Teachers
Presider: Sheila F Baker, University of Houston-Clear Lake, United States
The main goal of this presentation has five folds: it, first, intends to provide an insight about the context, goal and structure of a national open education resources (OER) repository for K-12 teachers and learners in Turkey; second, it presents details of there projects developed by a local district of the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) with the aim of facilitating local teachers’ contribution to the national OER repository; third, it aims to collect audiences comments on how to improve these three projects and, fourth, their recommendations of new projects for teachers’ contribution to OER movement; fifth, it hopes to establish a community of practice among those who are interested in ‘OER for and by teachers’. Although it may sound like a country specific presentation, it is actually not. Those who are interested in OER in K-12 Settings and digitizing teachers experiences in teaching might benefit from this presentation.
The project was based around the UNESCO definition for open education, and the project itself was inspired – if you will – by the UNESCO Declaration of 2012. Interestingly, while there are a lot open education initiatives within higher education, there are few K-12 focused initiatives. In Turkey, Tubitak – which is essentially their version of the national science foundation – began a program three years ago called Tubitak 5000 to create open education resources for K-12. The first two years were largely unsuccessful, but this third year is looking more promising. Then there is also the EBA program – which is an OER portal. The EBA is basically the e-content version of the FATIH initiative.
This presentation focused on three projects that the university completed for the Ministry to help build the OER materials within the FATIH system. The first was a series of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as professional development for the teachers about how to use the infrastructure that was being deployed as a part of the FATIH initiative, as well as pedagogical topics related to the effective use of those tools. The MOOCs tend to be quite short and direct, that were based on a competency-based learning model and also had actual instructors to guide the teachers through the MOOC. The university provides a certification for each MOOC that is recognized by the Ministry. At present, there are 10 MOOCs that are almost ready to be deployed – initially to the teachers in a single province, and then nationally after this initial pilot. There were 60 teachers that volunteered to be a part of the initiative, and as a part of the project management plan there are approximately 35 of those teachers that have been formally brought on to the team as project managers, evaluators, designers, and trainees.
The second project was the creation of a video-based OER that was aligned to the different curriculum standards. It is hoped that these videos will be used by teachers, using the FATIH infrastructure, to allow them to flip their classroom or have access to curricular materials when the tools were not available at the local level (e.g., a school that doesn’t have appropriate lab equipment could use the videos in place of a wet lab). This project has a similar project management team that includes about a dozen and a half teachers.
The third project is lesson scenarios, which essentially are resources that provide best practices on how to use the available OER content that teachers have access to in the country – including modeling these best practices in real life contexts. These resources are going to be specific to each content areas, and designed to encourage a flipped classroom model. The project management team for this initiative include 10 teachers for project management, content area team leaders, quality control reviewers, and train the trainer teachers.
At present, all three of these initiatives have been under developed. The implementation will likely start at the beginning of the next school year. To date, the project team have found that teachers appear to be very motivated and willing to learn (even though there is no compensation for their involvement). There has been strong support from the administration (i.e., Provisional Directorate) for most of the project. Finally, systematics thinking – focused on the technology, the specific processes, and the human resources – is needed to ensure the sustainability of the project.