Capitalisation cours en lignePDF

Capitalisation cours en lignePDF

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Online courses as a strategy for information dissemination, the experience of Modus Operandi's Post-Conflict Politics course 1. Information dissemination strategies2. Actors in online course creation, Modus Operandi and The Network University3. Building Blocks4. A comparison among two course development processes5. ConclusionModus Operandi, Grenoble, 27 mai 2009claske@modop.orgwww.netuni.nl/demos/pcp1. Information dissemination strategiesOnline courses are one option for information dissemination among many: Dissemination methods-publication-video or film-resource sites -online coursesModus Operandi has chosen online courses as a key strategy in the dissemination of its research findings because it provides a good balance between on the one hand the number of people that can be reached and on the other hand the interaction that can be established between the providers and readers of the information. Moreover this method is less costly than organising face-to-face meetings. Comparisons among dissemination methods:Modop's interest in organising online courses: The primary motivation for Modop to invest a considerable amount of time in the creation of its online course on “Post-conflict politics” is because this method allows a dual learning process where our theory and collection of experiences serve others in their professional vocation while their field experience feeds back into our analytical model. Feeding into research The experience ...

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Online courses as a strategy for
information dissemination,
the experience of Modus Operandi's Post-
Conflict Politics course
1.
Information dissemination strategies
2.
Actors in online course creation, Modus Operandi and The Network
University
3.
Building Blocks
4.
A comparison among two course development processes
5.
Conclusion
Modus Operandi, Grenoble, 27 mai 2009
claske@modop.org
www.netuni.nl/demos/pcp
1.
Information dissemination strategies
Online courses are one option for information dissemination among many:
Dissemination methods
-publication
-video or film
-resource sites
-online courses
Modus Operandi has chosen online courses as a key strategy in the dissemination of its research
findings because it provides a good balance between on the one hand the number of people that can be
reached and on the other hand the interaction that can be established between the providers and
readers of the information. Moreover this method is less costly than organising face-to-face meetings.
Comparisons among dissemination methods:
Modop's interest in organising online courses:
The primary motivation for Modop to invest a considerable amount of time in the creation of its
online course on “Post-conflict politics” is because this method allows a dual learning process where
our theory and collection of experiences serve others in their professional vocation while their field
experience feeds back into our analytical model.
Feeding into research
The experience and comments participants share in assignments and during discussions serve
Modop as research material. Modus Operandi is for example interested in the influence of
beliefs on governance practice. One participant, working in Haiti, commented in an
assignment on the influence of voodoo in the legitimisation of political leaders. This
experience serves as testimony and is an indication that our analysis based on African
experiences is relevant for other geographical areas. A selection of assignments has been
published on the Irénées website as
fiches expérience.
Feedback on the analytical framework
In its online discussion forum Modus Operandi tests certain hypotheses and as a
consequence, answers fine tune our theoretical framework. A participant underlined for
example the role of media in the legitimation of actors in a peace process. An issue we have
afterwards introduced in our approach to actors that take part in peace processes and their
impact on the durability of a peace process.
« Ripple effect », engagement with policy makers
The majority of our participants are professionals working for international organisations.
Our analysis engages with those making and implementing politics and we hope it influences
their actions.
Creation of a worldwide network
Online exchange has resulted in multiple physical encounters, like a meeting with a program
officer at the Cambodia Development and Research Institute as potential partners and a
participant from Bolivia who consequently participated in the international research
conference « post-crisis State Transformation, rethinking the foundations of the State ».
Contacts from the courses also serve as internship addresses for students from Modop's
different masters courses.
Advantages of online courses for students
Beyond advantages for Modop, online courses provide also a number of advantages for it students in
comparison with classroom education. Experience shows that students suffer from less inhibitions to
share their opinions. Two recent experiments with a group of students debating in classroom and in an
online learning environment both demonstrated that in the online environment debates were more
dynamic and students' participation higher. Moreover a course certificate after completion serves as
valorisation
of time spent on learning through internet and enables professionals to read content in
depth.
2.
Actors in online course creation : Modus Operandi and The Network
University
For the development of its online courses, Modus Operandi (Modop) has entered a strategic
partnership with The Network University (TNU). While Modus Operandi is an independent research
and training organisation based in Grenoble, it focuses on the content while the Network University
provides the technical know-how while being committed to the content. Modop focuses on issues such
as conflict transformation, political legitimacy and management of natural resources. Its main activities
concern the development of pedagogical material and the creation of opportunities for the cross-
fertilisation of ideas.
The Network University is an organisation based in Amsterdam that offers opportunities for learning,
capacity building and provides innovative services for social transformation. It develops its own
courses on issues of social relevance in the global context; It assists in conceptual and content
development, action research, and policy development on various themes with the ultimate aim to
contribute to social change and it further provides expertise in e-learning and e-tools for development
and social transformation. TNU has over 10 years experience with developing online courses for a wide
variety of organisations. The majority of them are non-governmental or academic organisations
interested in diverse issues related to development. Examples are Unicef, Wageningen University, Dutch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Inwent (GTZ Germany), MSTCDC (Training Center for Development
Cooperation), Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation Programme (CBDC) and
Noragric. A list of topics can be found in appendix 1.
In this partnership TNU makes available the Online Learning Environment that it has developed. The
most recent course that has been realised is on « Post-Conflict Policies: State and Society relations »,
which is an adaptation of the research findings of a project on « Processes of transition and State
reform in Post-crisis situations », financed by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer since 2004. In this
document we intend to share some of this experience as well as the wider experience of the Network
University with regard to the creation of online courses.
3.
Building blocks
Once the technical decisions have been made, the process of course development focuses on content
creation and exists of the following steps:
-
Consultation
Process (for whom?, by whom?, what for? The outcome is the rough
framework of the course content)
-
Content Development
Process (collective brainstorm, selection of key issues, writing
content)
-
Adaptation of text
to online format (from linear to layered content, adapted to different
learning modes)
-
Pilot
course and evaluation
Strategic decisions in course creation
In line with TNU pedagogy, Modop's approach towards online courses focuses on collaborative
learning through intensive moderation. Some principle choices in the creation of the « Post-conflict
politics: state and society » course can be found below:
Interaction requires active coaching
The moderator spends per active participant roughly 2 hours on individual coaching in the form
of giving feedback on assignments, discussing questions and encouraging participants. On top
of individual interaction, the course coach spends roughly 20 hours on moderating the
discussions, writing the conclusions, sending participants updates about the start of each week,
the planning of each week and reminders about deadlines. To achieve an interactive 4-week
course with 30 participants, couching time is roughly 100 hours. In Modop's experience the
relationships that are established between participant and coach are more intense than in
classical teaching since interactions and feedback are more personalised.
Participants pay
Modop's online courses are not free. It is our policy to demand fees for participation. Our
experience that the drop-out rate among those who participate for free is many times higher
than those that invested financially in the course. The amount is negotiable according to the
financial possibilities of the participant. Most demands for financial assistance for participation
come from students and NGO's in low-income countries. The costs (in terms of time) of
running an online course are in most cases not covered with the income from participation fees.
Taking into account slow connections
The design of the course takes into account that many of our participants are from countries
with very basic internet connections. Therefore the site has not integrated video, has a limited
number of graphs and pictures and does not require special extensions such as flash.
Documents in PDF
format for example are already an obstacle for numerous participants.
All course text is downloadable for students who can only be connected for small amounts of
time. It has happened in the past that four participants from DR Congo followed the course
from an Internet café.
"Learning Community"
The coaches have a specific expertise in post-conflict politics, but are not experts in all
domains and regions. A number of external experts is therefore involved in moderating debates
or in reviewing assignments. An example from the November 2008 course is Bryan Watters'
exchange with participants during the online discussion forum about his experience as Deputee
Commander of the British Army in Iraq and Kosovo. Through these debates, group-
assignments and direct messages participants are encouraged to learn from each other. The list
of participant profiles is a first step to identify in what way other people can be a resource.
Group work
Assignments exist of a combination between individual and group assignments. The coach
facilitates in forming small groups of 2-3 persons, based on participants' professional profile
and topical interest. This requires extra attention for co-operation and extra effort, as
participants will be co-operating from different countries and sometimes different time zones,
but if participants have matching levels, this proofs to be an enriching experience. An recent
example are the multiple phone calls between a student from the Kofi Annan Institute for
Conflict Transformation at the University of Liberia with a project Office Coordinator at the
OSCE office in Albania.
Target Group
Target groups can be defined relatively wide as participants can go into depth in subjects of
their choice as a result of the layered content. In a first instance though we have focused on
professionals from international organisations and NGO leaders. Recently we have
experimented with combining this group with masters students to create an exchange between
field experience and theoretical training.
As a result of these choices, the conflict transformation courses exist of the following course tool
- Course Text
- Assignments
- Discussion Forum
- Glossary
- Call Centre
- Participant Profiles
- Backpack (collection of background documents)
4.
A comparison of two course development processes
To give some idea of the process of creating an online course, we compare two courses that TNU and
Modop created in 2002 and 2008. The first is «Gender and Conflict Transformation » (GCT) and
« Post-Conflict politics: State and Society » (PCP). Both courses run on the software developed by The
Network University.
Development processes of both courses were similar. Some differences are to be found in the reason
why the course were created (learner's needs versus dissemination of research findings as starting
point) and the number of organisations involved in the process of writing.
With regard to the « Gender and Conflict Transformation » course, a need had been identified to
increase the understanding about the interaction between gender and conflict. Upon consultation with
various gender, peace and/or development organisations, the target group and their learning needs
were easily defined. The creation of content was a joint effort by five leading NGO's on the subject,
each with field research and training experience and who had extensive networks with NGO's in
coutries affected by conflict. The entire process lasted 18 months and was funded by the Dutch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This institutional arrangement led to a slightly different orientation than
the « Post-Conflict Politics » course: a larger focus on capacity building and accessibility for women and
NGO's.
The content of the « Post-Conflict Politics » course was already available as a result of previous
research and seminars. These results had already been adapted to university education. The first step
existed therefore in defining a target group and defining their learning needs to make sure these
matched. The core of the development process consisted of translating academic and conceptual
writing into concise and practical language, accessible to a variety of professionals (from NGO's,
international organisations, governments and students). The duration of the course development
process was shorter than the « Gender and Conflict Transformation »course, since less authors were
involved and content was adapted rather than developed from scratch.
Overview of two content development process
Despite the different process the end results are similar. Demo versions of the courses can be found on
www.netuni.nl/demos
5.
Conclusion
TNU and Modop's online courses are very effective in creating exchange among a commited group or
participants. Further development of the course environment should look at how to effectively feed the
results of previous courses into the content without loosing the coherence and logic of the content and
without making texts too long. It furthermore should work on a search function in the database of
assignments that have been submitted over the years.
We think this experience can be relevant for other partners of the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation
(FPH) as a strategy in information dissemination and as a result of a capitalisation process. The online
learning environment which The Network University has developed might also be used by FPH's other
partners. Modus Operandi can facilitate in exploring this option.
Learning how to create an online course
Since experiencing is an important part in learning, The Network University (TNU) felt that the best
way to learn how to make an online course was by doing one. It therefore developed in 2003 the online
course « How to create an online course? ». It exists of four parts. The first focuses on the decisions
and questions that arise during the preparation of an online course. The second discusses how to
develop content that is most conducive to online learning. The third looks at means to create online
interaction among participants and the last part points out the wider implications of using e-learning as
a tool for networking and institutional strategy. This course can be followed on demand. A demo can
be found at www.netuni.nl/demos
Appendix 1 Examples of TNU courses:
Conflict Transformation
Transforming Civil Conflicts
Post Conflict Politics: State and Society relations (in cooperation with Modus Operandi)
Youth and Conflict
Gender and Conflict Transformation (developed by Claske Dijkema)
Capacity building in Development:
MSTCDC: NGO Management
MS TCDC: Monitoring and Evaluation
UNICEF: Complex Human Emergencies
I
NWENT: Gender mainstreaming (developed by Claske Dijkema)
INWENT: Conflict management (co-developed by Claske Dijkema)
European Science Foundation: Eco-sanitation in indiaEthical questions in relation to
development
Distance Learning Education of Soil Science of Europe
Dynamics of the Water Sector
Generation Challenge Programme: Genetic resource policies and the Freedom to operate
Socially Responsible Investment
Others
Mapping the Future
Knowledge Management