Social Networking Course: A Self-regulating and sustainable context for creating Open Educational Resources at the University of Mauritius
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AbstractSocial Networking is one of the core modules in the MSc Educational Technologies (MSc EdTech) program at the University of Mauritius dispensed through the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies (VCILT). The 45hr -3 credit online module is assessed purely on a continuous assessment basis and active participation and community-building is what is required from the students. Since all the courses on the MSc EdTech are fully online, students are encouraged and directed to as many online collaborative tools as possible, giving them the opportunity to “sample, test and adopt” ICT-related tools for their own teaching and learning purposes. The responses we have had from past cohorts have been very encouraging, especially primary-level educators who find that their own pupils are more interested, more lively and participate much better in class compared to traditional chalk and talk methods. In fact, the MSc Ed Tech students are given many assignments and activities that are situated in their working environments, where they work with their own pupils to integrate technology into their teaching: testing simulations, evaluating different pedagogical strategies, using concept mapping tools and designing animations for testing and reuse in their classes. Amongst the objectives of the module, students are expected to be able to define terms related to the Web 2.0; identify characteristics of social networking sites; analyse the impact of social networking within the Mauritian context; participate constructively in different social networks and write collaboratively using wiki technology. The wiki on our Moodle e-learning platform is used as an introduction to wiki-writing techniques and we then move to WikiEducator where our students register and follow the WikiEducator Learning4Content (L4C). This gives them an opportunity to participate in an international activity with a community of educators or learners from around the globe and also immerse into actual OER-related activities.