Learning4Content/Workshops/Face-to-Face schedule/L4C35/Workshop Report
WikiEducator – Content4Learning (L4C) Workshop
Belize Workshop Report
University of Belize - Faculty of Education & Arts
The University of Belize, working in close collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning, co-sponsored a two-day WikiEducator workshop at the University’s main campus in the City of Belmopan on January 8th and 9th, 2009. Workshop participants comprised of faculty members from UB’s Faculty of Education and Arts. The main objectives of this workshop were as follows:
- Familiarize participants with Open Educational Resources while building capacity to develop and produce learning resources
- introduce workshop participants to the wiki concept and assist them to develop wiki skills that can readily be used in developing courses for distance delivery
- build strategy for growth and sustainability of e-learning community at UB as well as become future WikiAmbassadors;
The workshop was facilitated by Ms Maud Hyde and Ms Shawn Rhaburn assisted by Mrs Felicianna Flores and Dr Aliene Harrison. Twenty nine participants signed up and attended the workshop.
Day one targeted wiki skills necessary for participants to attain Apprentice Level 1 certification and day two targeted skills required to attain Apprentice Level 2 certification. The day’s schedule was designed to allow participants ample time to practice new skills. Two computer labs were utilized to enable each participant to work at his/her own station. By the end of the workshop most participants had successfully acquired wiki skills to be certified Apprentice Level 2 as is evident from the User Page of workshop participants. Apart from acquiring and practicing wiki skills, participants were encouraged to hold lively discussions on issues relating to free content, wikis and WikiEducator.
Although workshop participants displayed a range of IT competency from basic to advance, everyone approached the various activities with enthusiasm. Most were able to master the skills targeted to complete much of the workshop requirements. During the course of the workshop some technical difficulties were experienced due to networking but this did not discourage participants in anyway.
Most participants viewed the workshop experience as exciting and very rewarding. They were able to envision and demonstrate how the new skills they were acquiring could immediately be put to use in digitizing content from the courses they teach, as well as how content could be adapted for distance delivery. Most participants expressed their willingness to participate in free content sharing, authoring and editing.
As mentioned earlier, twenty nine participants signed up and attended the workshop. However, twenty-seven participants attended day one of the workshop and twenty-six attended day two attended day two’s session. Due to emergencies with some participants a total of only twenty three attended both sessions. Those that did not attend both sessions will work with Mrs. Feliciana Torres to continue their upgrade to WikiEducator Apprentice Level II by the end of January, 2009.
All participants received certification ranging from WikiNeighbour to WikiApprentice Level II. Six participants received WikiNeighbour status, four received WikiEducator Level 1 certification and nineteen participants received WikiEducator Level II certification. At the completion of the workshop, participants were asked to complete a 15-question survey based on their evaluation of the workshop. The responses mostly indicated their satisfaction with the workshop and appreciation for the new skills they had acquired over the two days. Some suggestions were made for improvement, such as more time for practice and more individual assistance from facilitators but most expressed general satisfaction with the coverage of the workshop.
The participants who accomplished WikiEducator Apprentice Level II will be developing free, open source, pedagogical content for their students, and has intentions of signing up for advance online WikiEducator courses. For most participants this was their first time building a web page and uploading and producing content online. Participants were also encouraged to join the University of Belize WikiCaribbean google group, an available medium by which the community would be able to maintain communication after the workshop.
Although participants expressed much satisfaction with the workshop and expressed commitment to continue practicing wiki skills, it was generally felt that a follow-up workshop would benefit participants well. Participants were therefore encouraged to sign up for the on-going on-line WikiEducator workshops at their convenience. Now that they have acquired basic skills the on-line workshop would be much easier to manage.
The University of Belize wishes to thanks COL for assisting us to conduct this valuable workshop by contributing financially and providing on-line support for the workshop. We wish to express sincere appreciation to COL’s Dr Wayne Mackintosh for supporting the delivery of this workshop in Belize and Ms Patricia Schlicht for her continued support and on-line mentoring, Dr Angel Cal and Dr Wilma Wright of the University of Belize for assisting in making the workshop happen, all the facilitators and Ms Jennifer Tatum for her tireless assistance rendered to the workshop team. Most of all we wish to thank all the participants who with their willingness and enthusiasm made the two days entirely worthwhile.