Wawasan Open University has signed an agreement with the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) to run the OER-based eLearning course entirely online for educators – from schools, teacher training institutions and universities – in Malaysia in January 2015.
The agreement dated today was signed by WOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye and Mr R Thyagarajan, Head of Administration & Finance, CEMCA, New Delhi. It is in line with CEMCA’s objectives to assist higher education institutions adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) based eLearning to improve the quality of education and to train teachers.
As the first phase of the project, WOU jointly with CEMCA developed the OER-based eLearning course last year and subsequently offered it on a trial basis. The final set of materials is available as OER with a Creative Commons-With Attribution-Share Alike (CC BY SA) license. Through this present agreement, CEMCA confirms its support to WOU in the reuse of the OER-based eLearning modules for developing and offering the three-month course for educators starting in January 2015.
WOU is entrusted to provide technical and tutoring support for all the five modules during the offering of the course. As such, WOU will organise a training workshop on 16-18 October for capacity building of a selected group of WOU academics on online facilitation. CEMCA will undertake to provide the assistance of an expert, Prof Som Naidu of Australia, to conduct this training on online facilitation in Penang.
“We currently have four resource persons, Jasmine, Vighnarajah, Deehbanjli and Prakash, and we need at least another 10 by January. We will train them on how to give learner support and tutorial online. For each Unit within a Module, the facilitator must set questions and tasks for students to respond to. All these must be managed online,” said Prof Mohandas Menon, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-OCL) and Acting Director of WOU’s Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (PACE). He said that running of this course is expected to provide adequate experience within WOU to evolve a sustainable business model to offer more courses online.
WOU shall also develop a course site in the learning management system (LMS) platform, which will be called Wawasan4PACE.As noted in the agreement, CEMCA has contributed RM38,000 to WOU to run the five modules of the online course, under the CC BY SA licence. The agreement will continue until 10 June 2015.
This CEMCA-sponsored online course is an activity under the external agencies supported courses (EASC) model, which is one of the five models of training activities planned for the reactivated WOU-PACE programme.