ICT in Education/Change Projects/2015B Rwanda ICTs to empower the teaching
Title of the change project :ICTs to empower the teaching and learning in large classes, cases of crosscutting modules in social sciences
Change agent :MUGABE Leon
Name of the organization :The University of Rwanda, College of Education
Started date :August 2015
Status (finished/ongoing) :Ongoing
1. Background of the project (problem):Higher learning institutions are currently facing an unprecedented phenomenon of large classes where teachers are being challenged by large sizes of classes which threaten the quality of teaching and learning. This phenomenon did not spare the UR-College of Education. For example, in the 2013/2014 academic year, the Faculty of Education had 40 teachers entitled to teach all cross cutting educational modules to 6640 registered students of the college irrespective of study discipline and study level. This produced an average of 160 students per teacher. In the same academic year, 270 students were taught English by one teacher in a single class made of students from combinations of EDE (English Drama Education), ELE (English Literature Education), FEE (French English Education), KEE (Kinyarwanda English Education), and SEE ( Swahili English Education)(Mugabe:2014). Teaching large classes yields a number of difficulties depending on the number of teachers allocated to such classes as well as the teaching support resources. Among the difficulties, Thaher (2004); Carpenter, (2006); Cuseo (2007); Kerr (2011) and Bethany (2012) noted the limited students’ engagement in the learning process, classroom management, and student’s assessment as well as teaching and learning resources. Teachers often resort to different strategies and methods to overcome the challenges but often neglect the use of ICT (Information communication Technologies) which is becoming an outstanding tool to alleviate the huge task of managing large classes especially in large introductory courses. Cuseo (2007); Kerr (2011) Mahadeo (2012) presented ICTs as the most powerful and modern tool to manage large classes either in teaching, assessing, facilitating access to teaching and learning materials as well as extra-classroom communication. This was also the view of Cuseo (2007) who supported the use of ICT in large lass assessment by using online course-management systems which can allow students opportunities for online discussions, frequent practice accompanied by automated assessment automated grading, and immediate feedback-delivered via automated messages that are customized or tailored to specific student answers. It is in this context of large classes and the use of ICT to manage them that we, the applicants, want to take benefit from SIDA: ICT and Pedagogical Development 2015 B and support other teachers and students who are being challenged by teaching and learning in large class settings at the UR-College of Education
2. Objectives :This project aims to improve the level of ICT expertise among social science teachers and students who attend large classes at the UR-College of education by equipping them with adequate skills to utilize internet and intranet resources in improving teaching and learning practices.
3. Stakeholders : Stake holders in this project are teachers and students who attend large social sciences classes (Education, Entrepreneurship, English, Communications skills). Specific attention will be put on classes of more than 100 students in a single class.
4. List of Activities : -Developing an ICT skill development program for large social science classes at the UR-College of Education -Identifying the already exiting ICT facilities at the UR-College of Education and issue recommendations on how they can effectively be used in cases of large classes -Identifying the missing but needed ICT facilities for social science classes and recommend them to the UR-CE management for provision -Developing intranet sites as platforms for teachers and students to share teaching resources, ideas and support each other through group learning and discussion forums. -Organizing training sessions on how to create internet and intranet links that teachers and students can use to exchange information in and out of the classroom.
5. Expected result ; •Teachers and students will be informed of the potentials of ICT in the management large social science classes. •The space and time will no longer be a barrier between teachers and students since they will be able to communicate anytime any where using internet, intranet and other social media (Facebook, tweeter, e-mail, etc) •The money spent on hard copies of handouts and assignments will be significantly reduced