The AVU is now implementing a second phase of the Multinational Project which builds on the first phase by extending the benefits to more countries. The overall objective of the AVU Multinational Project II is to continue to strengthen the capacity of the AVU and a network of 27 institutions to develop, deliver and manage quality ICT integrated programs in 21 African countries. The project has the following activities:
- establishment and upgrading of distance and eLearning infrastructure
- development and improvement of programs for elearning in: Teacher Education with focus on mathematics and sciences; Computer Science; and Peace and Conflict Resolution.
- promotion and development of Open Education Resources (OERs)
- training of trainers in elearning methodologies
- gender Mainstreaming mainly by awarding scholarships to female students in mathematics and science disciplines
- research and development with a focus on Mobile Learning
- technical assistance to countries on distance and elearning policies and strategies
The 21 countries benefiting from the AVU Multinational Project Phase II will include: nine (9) Francophone African Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal; three (3) Lusophone African Countries: Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique; and nine (9) Anglophone African Countries: Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tanzania.
Teacher Education Program (TEP)
In order to enhance its quality service and collaboration with its Partner Institutions AVU organized in May 2013 a curriculum design workshop with 150 delegates from 26 African countries. AVU engaged experts to go through the curriculum and worked on modules which resulted in modules with no changes, minor changes and with major changes. The authoring workshop was used to train the SMEs on module creation process, tools and guidelines. The TEP program is divided in phase A, B, C and New Phase. AVU worked with the administration of the Partner Institutions for the identification of the Subject Matter Experts who have since then carried on the work of authoring process and these authors went through training in form of workshop. Apart from the authoring process this program has peer review process. AVU has under this program of Teacher Education authors and Peer Reviewers who are experts in ICT, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Professional Development courses in education. SMEs under the guidance of coordinators have been able to author and Peer review modules from these different fields in the 3 languages that is English, French and Portuguese. Several of the modules have been authored and are now under peer review. Coordinators have been of great help in the work of coordinating the authoring work and peer review. AVU received a total of 31 drafts modules for the program from the experts of different fields.
ACSP (Applied Computer Sciences Program)
In May 2013, AVU organized a workshop that brought together faculty and administrative representatives from 18 universities across 16 African countries. The workshop embarked on ACSP project and proposed a comprehensive curriculum and the development of 54 modules.
However, AVU Multinational Support Project, Phase II saw the allocation 81 Junior Modules and 63 Senior Modules to Subject Matter Experts from 18 universities from 16 countries across Africa. These modules have been developed in 3 different languages that is, English, French and Portuguese. AVU has received 42 completed modules, 16 modules nearing completion and 23 modules under development process. Out of 42 modules developed in the 3 different languages, 16 modules are in English, 10 modules in French and 16 modules in Portuguese. For the modules nearing completion there are 3 modules in English, 8 modules in French and 5 modules in Portuguese. Out of 23 under review 8 modules are in English, 8 modules in French and 5 modules in Portuguese. AVU has managed through ET&LR Unit to have 51.9% of modules completed in the 3 different languages, 19.7% of modules nearing completion in the different languages and 28.4% of modules under development process. And the senior modules almost 100% under process. This work has been made possible with the help of Coordinators engaged by AVU to coordinate the process of content development and review. The completed modules have been sent to Peer Reviewers for review.
The ODeLPD is an initiative targeted at enabling AVU’s Partner Institutions (PIs) to design, develop, deliver and manage their own Open Distance and e-Learning programs (ODeL). This program is achieved through the implementation of a series of workshops and Professional Development Programs, which are conceptualized, developed and implemented as a comprehensive strategy. The ODeLPD aims at creating a critical mass of skilled ODeL professionals, as well as a vibrant ODeL community of practice in Africa and it is hoped that with it, the PIs are able to create high quality ODeL curricula, courses and content that can be shared and updated by the whole community of practice within the AVU consortium of PIs.
The ODeLPD’s objectives were that the participants would:
• Understand ODeL programs from design to delivery;
• Work effectively in multidisciplinary teams on issues related to ODeL program development, delivery and management;
• Develop ODeL projects integrated within their respective culture and institutional context;
• Participate in a community of practice focused on the respective roles and responsibilities of three specialist streams: Governance, Technology Development and Support, and Materials Development and Instructional Design.
The ODeLPD has five main activities:
1. Workshop I. The first workshops was held in November 2013 in Nairobi Kenya. This workshop was very intensive and participatory. Various aspects of Open and Distance e-Learning were explored in large group settings as well as in the specialist streams. Topics covered included planning, technologies, professional development and instructional design. The overarching goal of this workshop was to build a supportive community of practice that focused on participant needs as they refine and implement their institutional projects.
2. Professional Development Program (PDP): The PDP program contains 13 modules and requires the participation of members from all three streams of focus: governance, management and financing; materials development and instructional design; and program delivery and technology. Within the PDP program, specialized monitoring and exercises for each stream were provided to the participants.
3. Institutional Projects: The ODeLPD program is built around institutional projects that focuses on the implementation of ODeL at each institution. Each participating institution will prepare an Institutional Project Proposal.
4. Workshop II: The over-riding goals of the workshop is: (i) to create a sustainable community of practice among individual participants; (ii) to promote and create partnerships across participating institutions; and (iii) to provide practical, hands-on training in the use of various open source tools essential to designing, developing, supporting and maintaining an ODeL system.
5. Cascade Training: To ensure the continuity of the ODeLPD at the institutional level, the AVU integrated a fourth activity into the program. This activity requires the beneficiaries of the original ODeLPD to train a number of academics at their respective institutions. This activity will be prepared by the PIs.
Under Phase II, the ACEP will be delivered through a set of workshops and an online professional development program for 6 academics form each of the beneficiary participating institutions. Graduates are expected to carry out cascade training.
The Peace Management & Conflict Resolution Program
The peace management and conflict resolution course is an interdisciplinary course whose aim is to introduce learners from a variety of backgrounds to the analysis of conflict, violence, and peace. The specific purpose of the course is to help you identify and use tools that can guide you in working towards a more sustainable and durable peace by strengthening and solidifying the existing peace in your community.
The course consists of four modules.
Module one introduces you to some of the key concepts associated with the work of peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Key concepts explored in this module include conflict, violence, peace, and negative and positive peace.
Module two explores some of the practical approaches that are used in understanding a conflict. Any effective action directed towards dealing with a conflict depends on systematic and insightful analysis of the conflict situation. This module therefore discusses the meaning of conflict analysis and explores key components including profile, causes, actors and dynamics of a conflict.
Module three introduces you to the concepts of Conflict Resolution and Transformation and Management and clarifies the conceptual differences among these terms. The module also identifies methods and strategies used in conflict resolution and transformation and in particular explores the mediation and negotiation processes as key tools of conflict resolution and management.
Module four of this course explores the meaning of peacebuilding and management and discusses the concept of conflict sensitivity and why this is an important principle of the process of peacebuilding and management. Later in the module, the various strategies that are useful for peacebuilding and management and supporting structures for a durable peace are discussed. In particular, the issues of governance and peoples’ participation and inclusion in peace process as some of the key approaches that can bring about sustainable peace are explored.
The modules each consist of three units. Each unit has an outline including the expected learning goals. As you go through each unit, you will come across questions, points to note that should help you in reflecting on the content covered in the unit. At the end of each unit, a summary is provided to help you synthesize what you have covered to review the key learning points and reinforce your learning and even that of others.
A wide range of self-assessment instruments, specific reflection exercises and skill–building exercises that include questions, responses and helpful ways to communicate effectively have also been provided. The exercises are structured with the intention of being easy to follow. Where appropriate, we have provided suggested responses to give you an opportunity to measure your progress. It is important that you try to carry out the activities in each unit. References for further reading are provided at the end of each unit.
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
Discuss and explain the concept of conflict and different types of conflicts.
2. Trace and explain some of the causes of conflict such as power, identity, culture, and resources among others.
3. Define and explain the concepts of conflict resolution, conflict transformation, and conflict management.
4. Identify and describe various types of tools commonly used in conflict analysis.
5. Identify and discuss three dimensions of peacebuilding and management.
6. Explain the importance of using gender and youth lenses in peacebuilding and conflict resolution
The Program is composed by the following modules :
Module 1 – Introduction to Peace Management
Module 2 – Conflict Mapping and Analysis
Module 3 – Conflict Resolution and Transformation
Module 4 – Peace Management and Preservation
The Program will be delivered as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC*) in English, French and Portuguese. It will also later be available as a self-learning course.
It will be a one month course with each module being delivered in one week with a workload of 4-6hours.
This course will not be certified by AVU, but a certificate of completion can be printed.
Research and Development
Within the AVU Research and development agenda the activities are :
a). The publication of an Online Journal focused on research and practice on ODeL
AVU is welcoming papers that will go through a peer reviewing process to be selected and published.
b). The organization of the AVU International Conference
The first one was held in November 2013 in Nairobi, and the second one was held on July 2nd and 3rd 2015. The 3rd International Conference of AVU will be held in July 2016.
c) Research on mobile learning
AVU is setting up a mobile lab to conduct research on mobile learning (mLearning). AVU is very interested in the use of mobile devices for teaching and learning.
Open, Distance & eLearning Centres
The AVU has established New Centres, Standard ODeL Centres and AVU Centres during this phase.
Purpose of Centres
The purpose of ODeL Centres is to act as physical hubs for the creation, organization and sharing of knowledge as well as the development, delivery and management of ODeL Programs at AVU Partner Institutions.
The main functions of the Centres are:
A training facility for PI staff in the use of ICT in the development, delivery and management of Open, Distance and E-Learning (ODeL)
A delivery point for the current and future ODeL programs (e.g. the Teacher Education Program)
A physical location where staff are able to conduct research and participate in collaborative work in ODeL
A revenue generating facility in order to guarantee long-term sustainability
a. New ODeL Centers
To date 9 new centers have been set up and functioning out of the twelve (12) New ODeL Centers. Work is ongoing at the remaining centers and will be completed in due time. The AVU New ODeL Center which falls under this activity is being implemented separately as it requires goods and services that are unique to the needs of the AVU.
b. Standard ODeL Centers
The fourteen Standard ODeL Centers are the centers that were installed during the phase I of the project and needed to be updated to the standards of the New Centers.
The resultant model of implementation of these upgrade centers was the development of a Standard ODeL Center with goods that are uniform across all PIs but which respond to the specific needs of each center. (ii) The procurement process has been finalized and a firm has been identified as the supplier of the goods related to these centers. Currently goods are being shipped to PIs for installation. These centers will be implemented jointly with the PI and will therefore increase the contribution of the counterpart fund ‘in kind’ for the fourteen PIs. The AVU ‘upgrade ODeL Center’ in the Dakar office forms the fifteenth (15th) center whose implementation is being undertaken separately from the PIs’ as mentioned in paragraph.