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Abstract : The TOETOE project
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17 March 2011
The TOETOE project
SCORE Fellow, University of Durham
The TOETOE project (Technology for Open Education – Training with Open E-resources) with SCORE is currently identifying gaps in the literature and evidence base pertaining to the development of training resources for language teachers working in two growing areas: lecturers of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the HE sector and volunteer English language teachers engaged in capacity building and instructional design with NGOs in under-resourced communities. On-going design-based research for the TOETOE project includes the development of training modules and in-depth workshops for language teachers involved in the participatory design of OER collections to be evaluated for impact in two upcoming pilot studies. The EAP research participants include teaching practitioners and pre-sessional international students at Durham University's English Language Centre. The NGO research participants consist of volunteers serving Durham University's Project Sri Lanka, with undergraduate students from the School of Education, along with a further group of volunteers working for the Burma Education Partnership, a local northeast charity. Both groups of volunteers are currently receiving OER training at Durham University before departing this summer to work in South East Asia with local language teachers and students in Sri Lankan state schools and along the Thai-Burmese border in refugee camp and migrant schools. Coaching of participating teachers in both contexts will continue to be provided by the principal investigator, Alannah Fitzgerald, (and a further SCORE fellow, Gabriel Reedy, at Kings College, London), for the duration of the pilot studies.
I just noticed that the draft version of my abstract has been uploaded here and not my final version. A little bit different, as follows:
The TOETOE project (Technology for Open Education – Training with Open E-resources) is currently looking at the perceived impact of OER that are being used and developed by language teachers working in two growing areas: lecturers of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in the HE sector and volunteer English language teachers engaged with NGOs in under-resourced communities.
Two pilot studies will identify the perceived impact, or lack thereof, for designing new OER and/or for re-purposing existing OER with both growth areas in language teaching and learning.
The EAP teaching community currently lack OER that employ corpus-driven and discipline-specific discourse approaches to the design of instructional media for EAP. TOETOE is developing learning support for EAP practitioners, enabling them to design new OER using academic texts published as open-access articles, along with using open tools, for example, open-source concordancers and open corpora. It is estimated that such OER for EAP will achieve greater impact, as currently there is a shortfall in the existence of these types of EAP training resources with very few proprietary ones available on the market.
The volunteer English teaching community like the EAP teaching community also need training for resourcing and engaging with existing OER that are relevant to their subject area but are unaware of due to a lack of exposure on current OER practices. The TOETOE project includes the development of training modules and in-depth workshops for volunteer English language teachers involved in the participatory design of OER collections for curriculum development in under-resourced communities. In particular, to achieve greater impact, the focus is on re-purposing and re-mixing relevant OER to fit local contexts of language teaching and learning in developing countries to ensure methodological appropriateness, cultural sensitivity and local ownership of re-vamped OER.
Needs analyses and sustained monitoring of the OER as the collections continue to grow and stabilize will occur at the pre- and post-design stages and will include further iterations based on evaluations of their perceived effectiveness after initial implementation in teaching. Coaching of participating teachers in both areas of language teaching will continue to be provided by the principle investigator, Alannah Fitzgerald, for the duration of the pilot studies.
15:19 on 22 March 2011