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Week 6: Integrating OER into teacher education

Introduction

The focus of this week is working with your colleagues to integrate OER into teacher education programmes (pre-service) for preparing teacher/student trainees or in-service work for teachers’ continuous professional development. Where OER might be integrated is considered carefully, as well as the process involved to achieve this.

In this final week there are five activities, including a quiz that you need to undertake in order to formally complete the portfolio of participation and gain your statement of participation. Most important, however, is the plan you develop for taking forward the use of OER in your work as a teacher educator – this is a key output from your study on this MOOC.

1 Integrating OER

OER can be used to support the vision for teacher education that you articulated in Week 1. You do not have to change the whole curriculum or the system in which you work. As an individual, you can initiate change and use OER in your own practice as you have done in previous weeks.

However, simply using OER yourself is only the first step towards integrating OER into programmes. Integration involves embedding the principles behind participatory, activity pedagogy into programmes, as well as the systematic use of the approaches that have been introduced in this MOOC. You will need to work with colleagues to achieve this level of integration and overcome any perceived barriers to change. You will now analyse your context and identify opportunities, threats and challenges in bringing about change.

Activity 6.1: Learning opportunities

Timing: Allow approximately 1 hour
  1. Look at the PowerPoint file ‘Use of TESS-India OER’, which examines how OER might be integrated into teacher education programmes.
  2. Next read the case studies written by teacher educators about how they have integrated TESS-India OER into their programmes. These are in the document ‘Using TESS-India Teacher Development units in teacher education programmes’.
  3. Now think about the teacher education that you are involved with. If you are involved in pre-service or in-service courses do Part A; if you involved in supporting teachers in your school as a headteacher do Part B.

    Part A

    Think about how and where you could use TESS-India OER in the programme or modules you work on. Consider:

    • Which TESS-India OER might you use? (Don’t forget the videos and Key Resources.)
    • How will teachers access the TESS-India OER?
    • What support will pre-service teachers need to use the TESS-India OER?
    • Will you assess teachers’ engagement with the TESS-India OER and their developing practice? If so, how?

    Part B

    There are a number of OER to support school leaders develop their practice and to help them lead learning in their school. A good starting point is the OER ‘Transforming teaching-learning process: Leading improvements in teaching and learning in the secondary or elementary school’:

    There are two different OER depending on whether you are leading an elementary or a secondary school. 

    • Find the version of this school leadership OER that is appropriate to your situation. Either download the OER or print it. 
    • Try Activity 1, ‘How student-centred are your classrooms?’ and then look at the cycle to enable more student-centred learning. 
    • Do Activity 3 next and choose your focus. We suggest you also read Case study 1. 
    • Then start to plan what you will do to improve teaching and learning in your school by doing Activity 4. Case study 2 might give you some ideas here. It’s helpful to discuss your plan with a colleague – perhaps another headteacher or a friend in the community. You might also find it helpful to explore some of the other school leadership OER. 
  1. Now consider the challenges to integration. What do you think stands in the way? How might you, as an individual, help others to address those challenges? Note your ideas in your study notebook.
  2. Finally, discuss one of your ideas for use of the OER with a colleague. Explain how the teachers will access the OER, how you will support them in using the OER and any problems or challenges that you anticipate. How did your colleague respond – did they have other ideas that you could use? If so, add these to your notes. These notes will form the basis of the plan that you will develop in Activity 6.3.

2 Working with colleagues

Teachers working together
Figure 1

Integrating OER into programmes requires the cooperation and commitment of the people involved in organising and running the programme. To be successful, these individuals need to support the principles, values and goals of the OER.

Reflection point

Who might you work with when considering how to integrate OER into your teacher education programme or setting? Do you have colleagues who are also undertaking this MOOC? Which other agencies might be involved?

So, in order to achieve integration, you will need to work with your colleagues. Some of them might also be involved in this MOOC or might have worked with you on one or two of the assignments – in which case, you might start by comparing your responses to the various activities. However, many will not have heard of TESS-India or OER, and you need to think about how you can introduce your colleagues to them.

In Activity 6.2 you will be exploring how you can communicate the concept of OER and introduce the TESS-India OER to others in order to develop a sustained effort to move forward with OER integration.

Activity 6.2: Presenting to colleagues

Timing: Allow approximately 1.5 hours

[Reading matter icon] Note the opportunities that you have for talking with colleagues. These might be in regular, formal meetings at the BRCs, DIETs, SCERT or other institutions where you work or interact with people; or at informal professional development courses or informal gatherings during breaks in your own institution.

Based on the previous activities that you have completed, plan a short presentation that you could give to a group of colleagues who are unfamiliar with OER and in particular the TESS-India OER.

You should avoid a lecture-style presentation; instead, incorporate what you have learned about active learning to make your presentation interactive and engaging. For example, you could use questions, small pair work tasks, sorting activities or video, or you could get your colleagues to experience a TESS-India case study and activity. Your presentation should last no more than 40 minutes and should include the following elements:

  1. The aims of the OER and the key principles behind them.
  2. The key features of active learning and why this is important to education in India.
  3. The TESS-India OER available; use the Key Resources, video, teacher development and school leader OER.
  4. The role and importance of case studies, activities and video in the TESS-India OER.
  5. How you and your colleagues might use the TESS-India materials in your teaching, paying attention to how active learning can be modelled.

Use some of the resources from the MOOC and the TESS-India website to help you in preparing your presentation. 

Make arrangements to share your presentation with your colleagues, either at one of your regular meetings or as a special event. You might also take this opportunity to share the material that you developed in Week 4 when you used TESS-India OER in your own work.

Optional activity

You could also get others involved by setting up a special interest group or a support group in your institution or local area. You could do this by producing a leaflet, or setting up and advertising a Facebook page. Meetings could be an opportunity to share and learn from experiences, make plans for future use of the materials or writing OER to support the teacher educators in the area.

3 Developing a plan for integration

Reflection point

Revisit your vision for teacher education that you wrote about in Week 1. Has your vision changed? How? Why? Keep your vision in mind as you develop your plan for integrating TESS-India OER in your work with teachers in Activity 6.3.

3.1 Making it happen

Writing plans is always the easiest part of any change; making them happen can be much more difficult. If you are working in the Indian education system, then your starting point for change will be the relevant institution such as the SCERT, DIET or university. In other contexts you will be working with different organisations and institutions, but you still need to consider these – without the endorsement and involvement of the institutions, it will not be possible to achieve systemic, sustainable change.

In the next activity you consider how you might go about initiating these changes and the actions you might take.

Activity 6.3: Taking forward your plans

Timing: Allow approximately 1 hour

Using your ideas from Activity 6.1 decide on the actions you will need to take to incorporate OER into your teacher education programmes. These will depend on your role and context, but you will need to plan the following: 

  • Which institutions will be involved?
  • Who will you need to talk to about the integration of the OER? (This will usually be the senior staff in the institution or organisation.) 
  • Who will you work with to integrate the OER?
  • Which OER will you use?
  • How will you evaluate the outcomes of integration of the OER?
  • What other actions will you include in your plan? This might include developing a timeline for completing key goals.

[Reading matter icon] Record your answers to the questions in your notebook to help you develop your plan. Talk to colleagues and draft a plan. Over the next few weeks try to take forward these actions to incorporate OER into your teacher education activity.

4 Reviewing your learning

The intention of this MOOC was to take you on a professional learning journey to explore how OER can support improvements in teaching. The starting point was the aspiration that student-centred teaching and learning should become routine in Indian classrooms to lead to better learning outcomes for students. OER provide tools to help teachers develop these teaching and learning processes in their classrooms and teacher educators have a key role in mediating and facilitating the use of OER by teachers.

  • In Week 1 you articulated your vision for learning. You were introduced to OER in general and the principles underpinning the TESS-India programme.
  • Week 2 introduced TESS-India’s Key Resources and helped you to recognise what active learning looks like in practice, and the skills that teachers need to implement active learning in their classrooms.
  • In Week 3, you focused on your role as a teacher educator and how you might use video with teachers and student teachers.
  • Week 4 provided the opportunity to look at TESS-India OER in depth, to explore and start to use the OER to model active learning in your own teaching and encouraged you to make an action plan for your own professional development.
  • In Week 5 you considered OERs and how these can be used to meet learning needs.
  • In Week 6, you looked at how you might involve colleagues in order to incorporate TESS-India OER and put more emphasis on active learning in your teacher education programme.

Activity 6.4: Assignment 6 – Course quiz

Timing: Allow approximately 30 minutes

Now test your understanding of the key ideas in this MOOC by trying the final quiz  (16 questions). This is part of your portfolio of participation.

Activity 6.5: Course reflection

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

You have nearly completed this MOOC – congratulations! We hope that this has inspired you to incorporate the pedagogical practices explored in your work with teachers through using OER. 

This final task invites you to reflect on what you have learned and identify how you will take this work forward; a professional completion of the MOOC. 

[Reading matter icon] First, think back over the last six weeks. Write down a few sentences to capture the three most significant things that you have learned through this MOOC. These might relate to student-centred, participatory teaching, OER or your own professional development. 

Finally, note the three most important actions you will take or changes you will make in relation to your work with teachers as you go forward. 

5 Moving forward

OER have the potential to support teachers and teacher educators who want to transform education and the experience of students in schools. TESS-India OER are designed to encourage teachers to move towards more active teaching and learning approaches in their classrooms.

As teachers enact the practice in the TESS-India OER and come to know their students and value what they bring to the classroom, they will start to innovate; meanwhile, students will learn more, enjoy their learning and become lifelong learners. But teachers need support in order to access and use the OER, and to persist with changes in their classroom practices. Change is brought about by practitioners like you, acting as advocates and collaborating with colleagues.

Hopefully this MOOC is just the start of a change process in which you and your colleagues develop your expertise with OER to drive forward improvements in teaching and learning for all students.

Now that you have completed this MOOC, you may want to complete the post-course survey.

You can also return to the homepage to see your progress on your portfolio of participation.

When you have completed all the activities you will receive an email with details of how to download your certificate, which is called a ‘Statement of Participation’. 

References

National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) (2009) National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE). New Delhi: NCERT. Available from: http://www.teindia.nic.in/ files/ national_curriculu-for-teacher-education-2009.pdf (accessed 28 October 2015).

Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated, this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence.

Specific content from the TESS-India OER, including images from the TESS-India video resources, are made available under this licence unless otherwise stated.

The TESS-India project is led by The Open University, UK and is funded by UK AID from the UK government.