Technology-enhanced learning has the potential to increase effectiveness and efficiency of continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities for teachers and school leaders. It enables cost and time efficiency, allows flexible and personalised learning that gives a learner the ownership of his/her own learning. Rwanda Vision 2020 positions ICT at the heart of transformation across all sectors. In the education sector, ICT has been adopted as one of the strategic levers for addressing key challenges of access to education, quality, equity and relevance of education and training, and management efficiency.
But how can technology-enhanced learning be integrated into CPD programmes for teachers and school leaders in Rwanda? eLearning Africa invited VVOB to the 14th International Conference and Exhibition on ICT for Education, Training and Skills Development to present about “Blending the continuous professional development of school leaders in Rwanda”.
Blending CPD programmes for teachers and school leaders
In the framework of its Multi-year programme, “Leading, Teaching and Learning Together”, VVOB works closely with the University of Rwanda-College of Education (UR-CE) and Rwanda Education Board (REB). VVOB and UR-CE together facilitate a CPD certificate programme in Educational Mentorship and Coaching and a CPD diploma programme in Effective School Leadership in primary and secondary schools in 17 districts. These CPD programmes are designed to improve educational services being delivered to school leaders and teachers to advance the implementation of the competence-based curriculum. In secondary education, the CPD training programmes are being offered as part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching initiative.
To ensure a cost-effective delivery and a wider reach of the CPD training programmes, VVOB is collaborating with UR-CE and REB to redevelop the programmes into a blended learning mode.
Following the Analysis-Design-Development-Implementation-Evaluation (ADDIE) instructional design model, steps are now being made to offer the CPD programmes for school leaders in blended modalities: online self-paced learning coupled with face-to-face sessions.
The analysis of learner characteristics showed a limited digital literacy in a technology-challenged environment. There is a significant imbalance between self-perceived competences and actual performance of the learners. The content of the CPD programme has been analysed and mapped for online learning suitability, based on a literature review. Two units of the CPD programme for school leaders were selected for online delivery as they provide theoretical, unequivocal content without needing synchronous interaction. Furthermore, the analysis of trainer needs showed mixed results in terms of limited digital literacy among trainers.
The analysis led to design of the CPD programme with a Flipped Learning approach. This will reduce the amount of face-to-face sessions, from eight sessions to six sessions—25 percent of course contents will be delivered online. As the analysis of learner characteristics has shown limited digital literacy, preparing learners before an online learning session takes place as necessary.
During development, interactive learning activities were developed into ‘Moodle’ learning management system, including alternatives for contexts of limited connectivity. Course content is validated by course creators and other stakeholders to ensure they reach learning objectives. A preparatory digital literacy course (Digital Literacy for Online Learning) was developed for learners, while an eTutoring course was prepared to build trainers’ capacity in facilitating online learning.
After the development phase, the implementation phase started, in which 450 head teachers and deputy head teachers enrolled in the first cohort of the CPD training programme on Effective School Leadership took the preparatory courses. The CPD training programme on Effective School Leadership is rolled out in three cohorts of school leaders and will eventually reach more than 1300 head teachers and deputy head teachers in secondary education. Online course delivery is moderated by the same trainers who facilitate the face-to-face workshops, which enhances their capacity development.
Findings go through a rigorous evaluation process looking into relevance, effectiveness and efficiency.
Integrating ICT will transform the professional capacity development of school leaders and reduce costs of delivery and allow school leaders to learn at their own pace, while giving them more ownership in their own learning.
Download our concept note on integrating ICT in continuous professional development of teachers and school leaders here.
You can also read a related blog post: 'Transforming capacity development of school leaders in Rwanda through ICT'.