AVU Capacity Enhancement Program – ACEP
The ACEP has been fully implemented and has trained 133 academics with a 72% completion rate.
What is the ACEP
The ACEP 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 ACEP 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 ACEP’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 ACEP has five main activities:
1. Workshop I. The first series of workshops were held in February 2008 in Dakar Senegal. 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 required 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 ACEP program was built around institutional projects that focused on the implementation of ODeL at each institution. Each participating institution prepared an Institutional Project Proposal. Although a few institutions had similar projects, all projects were unique.
4. Workshop II: The last series of workshops were convened in February 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal for the Anglophone and Francophone groups respectively. The over-riding goals of the workshop were threefold: (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 ACEP at the institutional level, the AVU integrated a fourth activity into the program. This activity requires the beneficiaries of the original ACEP to train a number of academics at their respective institutions. This activity is under preparations in the PIs.
The ACEP was designed to develop the set of skills that the Partner Institutions will require to develop and deliver their own Open, Distance and eLearning programs. 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.
ACEP has three streams: Materials development for ODeL programs; Delivery and Technology of ODeL programs; and Governance, Management and Financing of ODeL programs. Similar to Phase I, the ACEP program will be delivered to at least 6 staff from each Partner Institution through workshops and an online professional development program. The program will be delivered through the AVU infrastructure.
It will involve a series of workshops on curriculum conceptualization, curriculum design, content development, as well as a parallel process of quality assurance. The Quality Assurance Framework developed in phase I is being revised and adapted to this project. Professional networks in each subject matter will be established to ensure continued engagement beyond the project life and also ensure the modules are constantly updated to including emerging issues.
The ACEP will also undertake a collaborative approach with academic staff from targeted Partner Institutions to improve existing curricula as well ICT integration in (i) Teacher Education Program in Maths and Sciences which may require additional modules based on the new PIs needs; and (ii) Computer Science. This process will be undertaken in a consortium structure with subject matter experts from the participating institutions. The AVU will also develop and deliver new programs in (i) Peace and Conflict Programs; and (ii) Computer Science.