The reputation and effectiveness of distance education (DE) systems is often perceived as being worse than the reputation and effectiveness of ‘campus-based’ education systems. At the same time higher participation rates in higher education support the social and economic development of countries; and to increase the participation rate quickly can best be done through using DE rather than building more universities. This is the case for Myanmar where DE provision already accounts for 60% of all higher education students but is based on traditional knowledge focused curricula that is not being taught using modern pedagogies and educational technologies. This paper reports on one part of a large scale international development project (Transformation through Innovation in Distance Education or TIDE1) working with at least 30 universities involved in Myanmar’s unique DE provision. At the heart of TIDE is a professional development programme for over 300 academic and support staff from these 30 or more universities where they are learning about and practicing modern pedagogy and technology enhanced learning through engagement with open educational resources (OER). Thus participants are being both students, studying OER (as online courses), and, as course developers, reviewing, reworking, revising and creating de novo OER (as online or print/AV based courses). These OER are focused on the domain of Environment and Sustainable Development to help in the reform of curricula but also to give participants valuable experience in developing and reflecting on their professional skills which they in turn can help colleagues to also develop and reflect on.
Lane, Andy and Gregson, Jon (2019). Fostering innovations in pedagogical practices: transforming distance education through a professional development programme using OERs. In: Pan Commonwealth Forum 9 (PCF9), 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland.