Effectiveness of Multimodal Microlearning for In-service Teacher Training
To meet the growing demand for continuing professional development of practising teachers, the integrated in-service teacher training (INSET) programme aims at making permanent improvements on the quality of teaching and learning for Junior Secondary School (JSS) Teachers in Sierra Leone. Within this context, a toolkit for School-Based Teacher Development was created and microlearning identified as an ideal mode to deliver the toolkit content. In this paper, we present the design considerations that informed this decision as well as challenges and lessons learned from the first implementation of the INSET project for junior secondary school teachers in Sierra Leone. A multimodal approach was considered and implemented to mitigate Internet access challenges and to expand learning opportunities. These include a mobile app version of the Toolkit, offline access to microlearning resources on the TeacherFutures platform via the Moodle mobile app, a mobile app version of one INSET module, an e-portfolio to be used by participants in sharing their learnings as demonstrated and practised during a face-to-face roll-out seminar, and finally, WhatsApp groups in which different schools engaged in discussions based on the questions on the Toolkit. Preliminary findings indicate a strong preference among participants for the use of WhatsApp as the main channel of communication within the communities of practice; and very limited use of the main e-learning Moodle platform and e-Portfolio. This necessitates a need to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the design of a multimodal approach for delivering microlearning content. From this, we seek to establish a set of design considerations, capacity building and technical support issues derived from analysis of data emerging from the ongoing project rollout. This will inform future integration of Microlearning resources in the teacher training project.
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