Guidelines for the use of open education resources in open distance learning for teacher professional development in Gabon
Ndoutoume Mendene, J.L.
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During the first twenty years after independence, the Gabonese government settled the issues related to education in Gabon with the help of France, its former coloniser. Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) was established to ensure the training of teachers. Before then there was not sufficient opportunity in Gabon for teachers to enhance their pedagogical knowledge and content knowledge. Teacher professional development (TPD) was not on the forefront of educational change and very few TPD initiatives have been presented in Gabon in recent years. Moreover, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is still untapped and unexploited, and distance learning (ODL) was implemented in only one course which phased out in 2004. As a result, no research, guidelines or policies exist pertaining to implementation of TPD through ODL in Gabon. The purpose of this study was to create guidelines for the use of open education resources in open distance learning for teacher professional development in Gabon. The research aimed through Stoner’s life phases of learning technology integration to ascertain: (i) how the existing TPD curriculum in Gabonese educational system fits with the course objectives in Gabon as stipulated in policies; (ii) what are the appropriate OERs in ODL which can be used as LT for TPD in Gabon; and (iii) how can OERs be used in the design integration of ODL for the TPD of Gabonese teachers. A purposeful sample was used to understand the existing TPD curriculum in Gabon and how OERs could contribute towards teaching English as a foreign language. A qualitative bounded case study with design research was the appropriate research design and methodology for this research. The design research included two iterative cycles: (i) a pilot workshop at the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University to test the selection of the OERs and establish the design principles and technology innovations, and (ii) a training workshop with English Foreign Language (EFL) lecturers, technology experts, and pre-service teachers at the teacher training college (ENS) in Libreville. The data were analysed by means of a constant comparative method in Atlas.ti™. The findings of the first iterative cycle enabled me to re-design the workshop for Gabon, to adapt the OERs, and change the structure of the workshop. The findings from the training workshop in Gabon (second iterative cycle) were conceptualised as design principles and technology innovations. Thereafter the design principles were re-organised as five themes: ODL, TPD, ICT, Education system, and OERs, which were then structured as guidelines for the use of OERs in ODL for TPD in Gabon. The guidelines could benefit and support the Gabonese Education System, policy makers and academic institutions, lecturers, preservice and in-service teachers in their quest to implement, integrate and use OERs in ODL for TPD in Gabon.
- Education