WOU offers in-house training on designing learning materials

An in-house training workshop on course development was held at the main campus today for 13 academic and academic support staff of Wawasan Open University as part of the ODL Core Competency Certificate Programme (ODL-OCCP).

The participants undergo training.

The participants undergo training.

The workshop on “Module 3: Designing Learning Materials and Use of Resources” was conducted by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-OCL) Prof. Mohandas Menon and Prof. Phalachandra Bhandigadi from the School of Education, Languages and Communications.

Prof Phala discussed a few potential problems that could arise in the course modules prepared by the course writers, such as missing content in course units and too much copy-and-paste from various web references.

Prof Phalachandra highlights some potential problems in course modules.

Prof Phalachandra highlights some potential problems in course modules.

He highlighted the role of the Course Coordinator (CC) in managing the course writer, Instructional Designer and the External Course Assessor. “At times, the course writer misses or adds points to the course material while developing a unit but this is not reflected in the course blueprint. The CC must re-look at the course blueprint when all the five units are completed, and try to match them.” He suggested that courses can be developed using Open Educational Resources (OER) materials.

Prof Phala stated that the course writer and course coordinator must ensure that the student workload is rightly reflected in the hours allotted in the course guide, and if not, the course guide must be modified appropriately. He added, “The section objective, unit objective and course objective must match with the learning outcome. Test the activities to see if they have any relationship with the objectives.”

Prof Mohandas Menon elaborates on Instructional Design.

Prof Mohandas Menon elaborates on Instructional Design.

Prof Menon meanwhile spoke on the importance of effective instructional design for the entire course and for self-learning materials in the open distance learning (ODL) mode.

“We must design materials based on learning principles underlying different theoretical frameworks. Learning principles underlying these frameworks could be built into the learning materials, and these may include expected learning outcomes, checking your progress, activities leading to discussion and collaborative reflective practice, self-check questions and exercises, etc. which increases the self-learning potential of the learning materials,” he said.

Participants identify a few learning devices.

Participants identify a few learning devices.

The session on ‘instructional design’ also provided hands on experience to the participants in identifying suitable learning devices that can be integrated to the learning materials in order to increase learner-learner interactivity and learner-material interactivity.

Part 2 of the Module 3 in-house training comprised the Pre-Symposium workshop on ‘OER Integration/Use in Course Development” held on 23-24 June 2014.