MOOCs for in-service teachers: The case of Uganda and lessons for Africa
Kalema, Billy Mathias
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In recent times, computers and internet have penetrated secondary schools in Africa but with greater attention to students’ computer literacy than teachers. At the same time, previous studies on digital literacy of teachers are unsustainable and mainly skewed on pre-service teachers than in-service teachers. These realities point to the need to investigate and implement effective and sustainable initiatives for improving digital literacy and online life-long learning for in-service teachers in Africa. This paper therefore presents a specialised MOOC platform known as TEP (Teachers’ E-learning Portal) for digital literacy and online life-long learning for in-service teachers in Uganda. TEP is built for environments with inadequate access to computers, internet and technical assistance. As such, TEP is accessible online or offline, managed by accredited local universities in collaboration with beneficiary secondary schools, and runs on existing resources in schools (technical personnel, computers and internet). Results from initial implementation of a computer literacy MOOC through TEP indicate that irrespective of age, when teachers are adequately supported internally by their schools and externally by a university, can improve their digital literacy and subsequently engage in online life-long learning. In addition, the results both in terms of high percentage of teacher participants’ completions (89%) and high volume of educational e-content generated, confirm TEP as an effective, attractive, and self-sustainable MOOC platform for in-service teachers’ in resource constraint environments. The paper finishes with an analysis of the relevance of TEP to Africa.