Development of learning resources- focusing on faculty members
The program, Bachelor of Education (Arts), constituted four subject areas for this pilot project and also the subject combination as required by Teachers Service Commission. The total numbers of modules that cover the four subject areas (Kiswahili, History, Geography and Religious studies) are eighty two. The project only accommodated forty units. However, there was a need to treat the project as a special case and as such required to have a cohort of lecturers and students from year one to graduation to allow for proper assessment of the pilot project. The project later allowed for development forty two extra units and capacity building for those lecturers who were involved in content development and had not been trained in the past.
During the development of modules the lecturers were provided with following resources during materials Development:
(i) In the first and second phase, fifteen lecturers were issued with Laptops similar to the ones used by the students with a safaricom post-paid modem for internet access off campus during preparation and teaching of the module.
(ii) A faculty assistant ( students recruited from Kenyatta university and trained) who assisted the lecturer in research, editing, and testing materials
(iii) Access to KENET e-learning platform for the project.
(iv) ODL template ( English and Kiswahili version ) for materials development
(v) Studio for recording audio and video content
(vi) Support from KENET technical Staff
Material development was done in three phases. Futuristic Limited, the instructional design consultant, was involved in the development of the first six modules as part of the contract. The first six modules were identified and reviewed, and this formed the first phase of the material development exercise. The six course units were developed with the facilitation of Futuristic Ltd and the multimedia and interactive ODL teaching materials distributed in DVD, moodle and cheap laptops for testing purposes in September 2009.
As a part of material deployment process two experts on instructional design technology from South Africa and North America (see discussion in section 2.1) were invited to instructional design technology conference and they made presentations, on various aspects:
1. Trends in intelligent applications of instructional technology in North and South Africa
2. Organization of the instructional design functions in South African Universities and North America
3. Faculty and institutional motivation for using instructional design technology in teaching and learning in South African Universities and North America
4. Infrastructure needs for intelligence use of instructional technology in teaching and learning in South African Universities and North America
In the second phase a total of nineteen modules were developed. The twenty five modules developed in the first two phases were for first and second year second semester courses which were loaded on the netbooks the students were provided. The other fifty seven modules were developed in the third phase.
A total of eighty two modules have been developed and uploaded on the e-learning platform (http://elmarsabit.kenet.or.ke ) which is hosted by KENET. Included in the payments for enhancing materials to have multimedia interactive content is the cost of translating the ODL template from English to Kiswahili and the cost of reviewing.