As a result of a surge in demand for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in teacher training and professional development, many education and teacher training institutional stakeholders are aiming to integrate ODL into their respective programmes to address the challenge of limited resources, geographical barriers and the ever-changing educational landscape.
With continuing support from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Tamale College of Education (TACE) in Ghana organised a workshop on ODL and technology-enabled learning (TEL). The workshop, held from 9 – 12 May 2023, provided a platform to raise awareness and share insights on the institutional needs for the effective implementation of ODL. The workshop also created an opportunity for reflection on the necessary knowledge and skills needed to enhance teaching practices among staff through the integration of ODL and TEL. A total of 40 participants attended the training.
Dr Sulemana Iddrisu, Principal of TACE, opened the workshop by emphasising technology’s crucial role in ensuring continuity of learning even during crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that knowledge gained from the workshop would significantly enhance the quality of teaching at the college.
The workshop covered various themes, including a general introduction to ODL and TEL, effective teaching and assessment strategies using ODL, online communication and collaboration tools, as well as the role of open educational resources (OER). In addition, participants engaged in interactive sessions, hands-on activities and discussions on planning for ODL implementation.
COL Education Specialist, Teacher Education, Dr Betty Ogange, commented, “This workshop underscores the importance of equipping institutions with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively integrate ODL into their programmes, ensuring inclusive and accessible education for all.”
COL is working with various teacher education institutions to develop institutional policies and strategies for implementing ODL and TEL for both pre-service and in-service programmes. Through such collaborations, partner institutions can better harness the full potential of ODL methodologies to not only address the challenge of teacher shortfall but also improve the quality of teachers trained.