Webinar: Open Distance and eLearning policy development and subsequent OEP

Before we take a break in August, it is an honour to host Dr Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, Professor of Education, Open and eLearning at Euclid University, as our next webinar speaker. Bernard was one of the first GO-GN researchers to graduate; when I looked again at his membership application from years ago I noticed he said he wanted to contribute to and learn from “those members’ research and teaching practices and policies that help opening up higher education to people in need”. He’s now doing immense work to promote OEP in Rwandan institutions. Join us on Wednesday, July 18th at 15.00 BST, if you can.

Bernard has written a brief background to his talk, as follows:

Open Distance and eLearning policy development and subsequent open educational practices

Emerged in 2011, platform-based Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) raised awareness of the potential of open courses in capacity building across settings. Institutions in diverse settings develop open courses while others adapt these course for wider impact. At country and institutional levels, different policies have been developed. In Rwanda, for instance, two key enabling national policies are in place: 1) the ICT in Education Policy and 2) the Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) Policy. These policies informed some institutional ODeL policies. A good example is the University of Rwanda whose ODeL policy and its implementation strategic plan were developed in the light of the national policies and, on their part, informed the development of a methodology for ODeL capacity building. A national framework for MOOCs and OER is currently under development. These policy developments triggered the reaction of local institutions and development partners. Rwanda Education Board has recently requested all organisations involved in teacher capacity building to enhance their training with learning technologies. The Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB Education Development) had already started the process of re-developing its teacher and school leader professional development courses into a blended learning mode (online learning coupled with some face-to-face sessions). To prepare trainees and trainers for online learning and related support, this organisation is also adapting diverse open courses into open eLearning capacity building derivative courses: 1) Digital Literacy for Online Learning which is being developed as a mash up of three courses (one from Rwanda Education Board and two others from the UK Open University) and 2) eTutoring that is being developed as a derivative of the Euclid University’s Supporting ODeL Learners course. All of the courses that are adapted were released under an open licence and many of them were accessed via the OpenupEd portal. This presentation details how different policies and related implementation strategic plans enabled the emergence of open educational practices among Rwandan institutions and development partners, and how these practices are building on open courses to contribute to achieving different strategic objectives in open, distance and eLearning development.


Bernard Nkuyubwatsi is a Professor of Education, Open and eLearning at Euclid University and a Programme Leader for the Euclid PhD in Instructional Design and Online Learning and MSc. in Instructional Design, Open and Distance Education. He is also the founder of, and Lead Developer at, ODeL Footprints, Coordinator of Online Learning at the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB Education Development) and an editor in the Cogent Education journal (Taylor & Francis. Routledge Group); the section of ICT in Education. Within the framework of the UNESCO Korean Funds in Trust project known as ICT Transforming Education in Africa, Bernard led a team of international consultants in the development of 1) the University of Rwanda’s ODeL policy implementation strategic plan and 2) a methodology for ODeL capacity building for the University of Rwanda staff. He holds a PhD in Education/eLearning and Learning Technologies from the University of Leicester and an MA in Online and Distance Education from the UK Open University. His research interests include ODeL, eLearning capacity building, MOOCs, OER, open scholarship, digital scholarship, digital education, digital literacy, heutagogy, transformative research, lifelong learning and ODeL policy.

This webinar took place on Wednesday, July 18th at 15.00 BST.

A recording is publicly available under a CC-BY license on our YouTube channel.


Featured image by Benny Jackson on Unsplash

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