The OER Knowledge Cloud makes use of cookies. By continuing, you consent to this use. More information.
Using OERs to improve teacher quality: emerging findings from TESSA
Wolfenden, Freda · Umar, Abdurrahman · Aguti, Jessica · Gafar, Amani Abdel

PublishedOctober 2010
ConferenceSixth Pan Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning

Recent UNESCO EFA reports draw attention to the importance of teacher quality for improving pupil achievement in schools (UNESCO 2009, 2010). The TESSA international consortium (Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa) is developing a practical and scalable response. TESSA - Africa’s largest teacher education network, is focused on the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) to improve the quality of, and extend access to, school based teacher education at scale (Wolfenden, 2008).
Since 2006 the TESSA consortium has collaboratively produced an extensive bank of original highly structured OERs to support the development of teachers’ classroom practices. These activity-based TESSA OERs have been adapted and localised to a number of different cultural contexts and are now available in over 12 versions through the TESSA web space (
Through 2008-10 over 300,000 teachers across 10 countries in Sub Saharan Africa will engage with the TESSA OERs. Many of these teachers are on formal courses and programmes – Certificate, Diploma, BEd, but others use TESSA OERs to support informal learning in their school and district (Thakrar et al, 2009).
Information and data has been collected from TESSA consortium institutions (10) on the use of the TESSA OERs; research instruments include classroom observation, participant photograph and large scale surveys. Following analysis of this data we report on:
• the different models and methods of access, selection and integration of the TESSA OERs;
• factors that have influenced these;
• changes in teachers’ classroom practices (planning for teaching, range of teaching strategies employed, use of resources and reflective thinking) and motivation.
Particular dimensions will be illustrated through case studies from the Open University of Sudan and a range of institutions in Uganda.
The paper concludes by highlighting the implications of the findings on the use of the OERs for teacher education institutions and the TESSA consortium’s future plans and activities.

Keywords teacher professional development · teaching methods · case study

Export optionsBibTex · EndNote · Tagged XML · Google Scholar

Freda_Wolfenden[1].pdf · 49.6KB17 downloads

Viewed by 61 distinct readers


The evaluations below represent the judgements of our readers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cloud editors.

Click a star to be the first to rate this document


Harnessing Open Educational Resources to the challenges of teacher education in Sub-Saharan Africa
Thakrar, Jayshree; Wolfenden, Freda; Zinn, Denise
The challenges to teacher educators in sub-Saharan Africa are acute. This paper describes how the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) consortium is working within institutional and national policy systems to ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda; teacher professional development; Africa

OER adaptation and reuse across cultural contexts in sub Saharan Africa: lessons from the TESSA consortium
Wolfenden, Freda; Buckler, Alison; Keraro, Fred
Much is written of the potential of Open Educational Resources (OERs) to contribute to improvements in the quality of and access to education, particularly in environments such as Sub-Saharan Africa. But some of the ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda; teacher professional development; Africa

The TESSA OER Experience: Building sustainable models of production and user implementation
Wolfenden, Freda
This paper offers a review of the origins, design strategy and implementation plans of the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) research and development programme. The programme is working to develop new ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda; teacher professional development; Africa

Developing a pedagogy of mutuality in a capability approach: Teachers’ experiences of using the Open Educational Resources (OER) of the teacher education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) programme
Murphy, Patricia; Wolfenden, Freda
The TESSA (teacher education in sub Saharan Africa) programme aims to improve teacher education at scale by developing open educational resources (OER) that allow sustainable and locally managed pedagogical change in ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda; Africa

OER production and adaptation through networking across Sub–Saharan Africa: learning from TESSA
Wolfenden, Freda; Glennie, Jenny; Harley, Ken; Van Wyk, Trudi
Educational reforms, as driven by the Millennium Development Goals, envision schooling where all children and young people participate and have opportunities to succeed. To achieve this vision across Sub Saharan Africa ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda

Moving towards more participatory practice with Open Educational Resources: TESS-India Academic Review
Wolfenden, Freda; Adinolfi, Lina; Cross, Simon; Lee, Clare; et al.
The purpose of this academic review of TESS-India activity in three states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha) was to seek evidence for change brought about by TESS-India in teacher education in each of these states. The ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda

Teacher educators and OER in East Africa: Interrogating pedagogic change
Wolfenden, Freda; Auckloo, Pritee; Buckler, Alison; Cullen, Jane; et al.
This study examines the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in six teacher education institutions in three contrasting East African settings – Mauritius, Tanzania and Uganda – all of which had previous ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda

Extending the MOOC footprint: Supporting capacity building in India
Wolfenden, Freda; Cross, Simon; Henry, Fiona
This paper describes how we addressed the broader programme demands in the design and delivery of the TESS-India MOOC to attract over 10,000 registered participants and a completion rate of 51%. We draw on multiple ...
Match: Wolfenden, Freda

Transforming English language learning in rural classrooms: OERs, mobile technologies and scale
Power, Tom; Umar, Abdurrahman; Hedges, Claire
Through its “OERs for English Language Teaching (Pan-Commonwealth)” project, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is working in partnership with educational institutions throughout Africa and the Commonwealth to ...
Match: Umar, Abdurrahman

If content is king, why are OER still uncrowned? A developing world perspective’
Kanwar, Asha; Kodhandaraman, Balasubramanian; Umar, Abdurrahman
This presentation seeks to critically examine the experiences of the Commonwealth of Learning in the creation and dissemination of OER and to share the lessons learned. What are some of the key components of ...
Match: Umar, Abdurrahman