ROER4D Sub-project 5 – Phase 2
The second phase of ROER4D continued some important explorations and studies that emanated from the activities and research outputs/ outcomes of the first phase.
One of the projects supported in the second phase was the SP-5 in India. In the first phase, the project studied “whether and how, a bottom-up approach, where Collaborative OER Adoption (COA) participants, ’embedded’ in a ‘professional learning community’ (PLC) of teachers, collaboratively and actively co-create contextual resources, can support effective OER models.” The project was located in Karnataka state, and the model developed through this research is referred to as the ‘PLC-OER’ model.
The second phase of the project aimed “to improve the quality of teacher professional development in the Indian public school system, by upscaling OER model based, professional learning communities of teachers, in two states”, and focused on three research areas identified at the end of the first phase, as follows:
PLC – OER interactions – Studying the virtual interactions within the PLC of teachers, to deepen understanding about the PLC-OER model.
OER use – Study the use of OER by the PLC teachers for professional development and in teaching
Upscaling of the OER model – Generalize and abstract elements of the PLC-OER model, through upscaling the model in two other states in India.
Mathematics teachers creating OER using Geogebra FOSS educational application, in a workshop in Hyderabad, Telangana
Outcomes of the project
PLC – OER interactions
ITfC did a content analyses of the interactions within the PLC, including those where the collaborative OER adoption (COA) teachers were a part of. These analyses provided useful inputs to our understanding of the PLC teacher’s interactions, how the PLC interacts with the COA group and engages in the activities of OER creation and sharing. The COA teachers played an important role in the PLC virtual interactions and in sharing OER with other PLC teachers. Gurumurthy presented a paper including this analysis at the National Conference on ICT in school education organized by the Regional Institute of Education (RIE)1, Ajmer in November 2017. These analyses also informed the preparation of a tool-kit for implementing a PLC program of OER adoption
The use of OER in Karnataka by the PLC teachers was studied through a survey of teachers, classroom observations and focus group discussions. The exposure to a variety of FOSS tools has made the PLC teachers comfortable in creating OER as well as accessing and adapting available OER for their classroom teaching. A majority of the teachers surveyed reported using their personal laptops, along with the school projector, to integrate OER in their teaching, in the absence of ICT Labs in their schools. While almost all the teachers in the survey reported using Mobile phones for accessing OER, they found laptop computers more amenable for creating OER and for supporting classroom transaction. The survey also highlighted that school head teachers play an important role in supporting (or discouraging) the use of ICT in teaching, and hence orientation and capacity building of head teachers is required to encourage ICT integration and OER adoption in schools.
PLC – OER tool-kit developed to support implementation of this TPD model by public education systems
Upscaling of the OER model
The PLC-OER model is being up-scaled in the Telangana state. The model is also being explored in few other states of India. Based on our experiences in phase 1 and 2, of developing PLC of teachers and initiating OER adoption processes, ITfC has developed the PLC-OER tool-kit. The aim of the tool-kit is to guide policy-makers and senior government officials in designing a similar program, using a model of collaborative OER adoption, embedded in professional learning communities of teachers in their own state’s public school system. The varying local contexts and priorities in the different states, where ITfC worked to initiate the PLC-OER model, have provided useful inputs for refining and maturing the model, which have informed the ‘tool-kit’. The tool-kit discusses the different components required to design and implement the PLC-OER model in the public education system.