Educator Development for ICT Framework
COURSE MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT
Materials developed for SchoolNet courses should adhere to guidelines
and quality assurance criteria. The Quality Standards Framework for South African Distance
Education Provision (Appendix M) should be interpreted for SchoolNet's programme within
the recommendations of this educator development framework. It is understood that the
Quality Standards Framework is just a framework and that context specific indicators
should be developed as part of SchoolNet's materials development process.
Specific interpretation should be made to accommodate the following for
the SchoolNet programme:
Planning and infrastructure
- Online security measures (login procedures etc), secure interaction spaces for different
- High reliability of technical infrastructure, including web portal.
- Centralised maintenance and administration, accessible to mentors.
Course structure and organisation
- The need for flexibility in:
- time and pace - educators should be able to join when it suits them best and should be
able to proceed at a pace that suits their circumstances. This should make
reasonable allowance for dormant periods, by process of negotiation with the mentors.
- location - educators at rural schools should not be disadvantaged, since one of the main
objectives of using the distance learning mode is to overcome limitations due to transport
- medium - use of multimedia should not be crucial to the understanding of a concept. All
materials should be on CD. Use of the Web should only be made for updates and essential
- access - educators in rural project schools should be assisted with access costs
provided they complete a course. Rates for support should be calculated once the school
becomes affiliated to a project. Where demand exists, alternatives to distance learning
should be open for negotiation.
- curriculum choices - these should be provided according to needs expressed by educators
embarking on a development paths in ICT in South Africa.
- Induction workshop should spell out technical requirements, implications and
responsibilities of course participation (learning contract).
- Clear explanation of course process.
- Clear course objectives, concepts and ideas, learning outcomes.
- Access to sufficient supplementary resources offline.
- Reference to enrichment resources (online and print, if applicable).
- Clear indication of course deadlines and expectations.
- Learners should receive complete, clear and appropriate information prior to course
- course outcomes
- applied outcomes and assessment criteria
- expectations regarding interaction
- portfolio requirements
- Learners should receive sufficient practical induction training with regard to use of
course materials and communication technologies.
- Learners should have access to immediate technical support throughout course.
- Learners have access to a mentor throughout course.
- Prompt and accurate response to learner queries.
- Mechanisms exists for learner feedback.
Course development - design principles
- Course materials and process determined by learning outcomes.
- Collaborative course development with accrediting / certification partners
- Course designed to engage learners in reflection practice and situated learning.
- Varying learning styles of learners taken into account.
- Materials developed within the South African curriculum framework.
- Materials should not be constraining in terms of hardware requirements e.g. multimedia
should not form a critical part of the materials.
- Materials developed according to design and delivery guidelines.
- Modules and courses designed with a consistent structure.
- Page design principles:
- Title and date on all pages
- Consistent look - SchoolNet logo included in design
- Important information on opening screen
- Stay focused on content
- Locally stored, limited size graphics
- Only relevant graphics
- Generous use of white space
- Each section heading has a title
- Standard fonts and sizes
- No more than 70% screen width for text
- Use relative hyperlinks to documents and images
- Use descriptive words for text links
- Link to the home page from every page
- Uniform navigation links throughout - appearance and location
- No more than 3 screens per page
- Include feedback and contacting mechanism
- Use multimedia only when essential and not when it is critical to understanding
- Use standard multimedia formats
Pedagogical principles and interactivity
- Opportunities for asynchronous interaction should be provided in the form of bulletin
board / forums and mailing lists. Threaded discussion forums should be available online.
- Opportunities for synchronous interaction should be provided in the form of logged chat
rooms or more efficient media.
- Learner interaction should be based on four methods:
- one-alone: information retrieval (from CD, hyperlinked to non-essential Web resources)
- one-one: e-mail
- one-many: mailing lists, bulletin board/forums
- many-many: mailing lists, chat rooms, bulletin board/forums
- Interaction should be logged and accessible to the mentor.
- Learner interaction with mentors/support offered in variety of ways.
- Clear assessment criteria.
- Clear skills development outcomes.
- Modular approach to courses and learning.
- Collaborative problem-solving approach taken where possible.
- Individual flexibility for learners, but not at the expense of group collaboration and
- Materials should enhance a feeling of community amongst course participants.
- Instructions should be clear and unambiguous.
- Accommodation of a variety of learning styles.
Mentorship and support
- Tele-mentorship as the main support and formative assessment structure of the programme.
- Mentors trained in the use of communication techniques and course materials.
- Technical assistance available to mentors during course.
- Mentors able to directly or indirectly influence / maintain course content during
- Mentor support and training is ongoing throughout course.
- Mentors have access to records of asynchronous and synchronous interactions of learners.
- Mentors have access to course administration details and are able to maintain these
indirectly or directly.
- Clear assessment criteria and methods exist.
- Assessment of course is integrated and continuous.
- Assessment of learners is integrated, formative and continuous.
- Assessment according to specific standards / outcomes.