This program was piloted with support from the Innovation for Education Fund, a partnership between the Governments of Rwanda and the UK, managed by Cambridge Education
The project ‘eTeacher Training at Teacher Training Colleges’ aims to increase the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the pedagogical practice of teacher trainers at Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) and teachers at a selected secondary schools. In the longer term, it is envisioned that this will lead to (i) higher capacity for e-teacher training in Rwanda, (ii) increased ICT skills among TTC tutors and secondary school teachers, (iii) change in teaching practices in TTC and secondary classrooms and (iv) more student-active learning in secondary schools.
The main activity is the implementation of an eTeacher training course. The e-teacher training course uses a blended approach combining individual learning through an internet-based programme using a Moodle platform (Moodle is a free and open-source learning platform using the Internet), with additional support and peer learning from 11 e-tutors (teacher trainers trained for this role by the project). The peer learning element is further strengthened through the development of an online community of practice using the same Moodle platform as well as Facebook. The focus of the course is strongly on classroom application, i.e. the actual use of new teaching practices and different technologies in the classroom and on the reflection on this classroom application.
The innovation targets in-service teacher training through the professional development of TTC tutors in five TTCs in Rwanda. Consideration is also given to the potential for eTeacher training in in-service training through a pilot implementation in one secondary school.
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CEI approaches in action
11 e-tutors and 84 teacher trainers involved in the program
- REB to analyse its budget and assess the budgetary space to spread the intervention to all TTCs and optionally secondary schools in Rwanda. This analysis will need to take the opportunity costs into account and assess the implications for alternative use of the same resources
- REB to decide on whether to (i) replicate the programme in other TTCs only or (ii) to expand the programme to secondary schools as well
- REB to identify ways to ensure full internet access in all TTCs
- REB and MKFC to jointly assess opportunities for an ongoing MKFC role in a scale up programme
- Through the TPD Technical Working Group and the Pre-Service Teacher Training Task Force, reflect on wider systemic opportunities such as integrating open and distance learning in pre-service and teacher professional development, including the integration of (aspects of) the programme in teacher training curricula
Monitoring & Evaluation
The innovation was evaluated based on five treatment TTCs and one control TTC, and one treatment secondary school. The methods were both qualitative and quantitative and included systematic classroom observation of classroom practice, interviews and focus group discussions with TTC and school teachers and future e-tutors, and analysis of the eTeacher training course results, questionnaires and web statistics.
The final evaluation showed that 66% of teacher trainers and 96% of teachers completed the e-teacher training course. The use of technology in the classroom increased significantly from the baseline in all the TTCs and the secondary school. ICT was used in 13 of 16 lessons observed (compared with 2 in 20 in the baseline) and 70% of teacher trainers reported that they used ICT at least twice a week (as compared with 48% in the baseline). There was also some improvement in the TTC use of student-active teaching.
The pedagogical adoption of ICT by teachers is a complex process influenced by many factors of both contextual and individual nature: contextual factors such as infrastructure and ease of access to technology, perceived technical and pedagogical support and organisational factors; the teachers’ approaches to teaching and learning and attitudes to teaching with technology.
The study was well conducted and the combination of qualitative and quantitative data is put to good use to substantiate the results and hence the conclusions. The validity and reliability of the instruments, particularly for the classroom observation, were not established.