The teaching and Learning Resource Centre is a new establishment at Bondo Technical Training Institute mandated to support teaching and learning activities through ICT integration and provision of essential services as well as resources that facilitate the development of training materials for effective service delivery. It is one of Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET18 initiatives being implemented in partnership with Humber College, Colleges & Institutes Canada, and Mastercard Foundation. TLC staff is made up of six representatives who are also members of the teaching staff drawn from across three departments including ICT, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, and Building & Civil Engineering departments. TLC as a section supporting teaching and learning was commissioned by Dr. Kathleen Bortolin, a Teaching and Learning Resource Centre specialist from Vancouver Island University, Canada during her visit to the institution in June 2022.
TLC FOCUS AREAS:
Supporting and mentoring new Trainers
One of the core functions of TLC is supporting new trainers who have joined the service to acquire the essential practices of teaching and learning by introducing them to the accepted tools of trade and procedures. Most new trainers find it difficult to adapt to a new environment, especially regarding identifying and acquiring the essential training tools for appropriate content delivery. The TLC office bridges this gap by guiding the new trainers appropriately and helping them develop the right methodologies for effective training delivery.
TLC & ICT Collaboration
The use of the Teaching and Learning Resource Centre (TLC) in enhancing training delivery is continuously growing. Most trainers see it as a convenient place to practice their independent delivery skills with the aid of various physical and online tools. Trainers are continuously looking for ways to deliver their content in a more captivating manner while factoring in the needs of the technological dynamism in the education space that will allow their learners to thrive in the current technology-driven world. How then can TLC fit in to offer this much-needed service? How does ICT integration into TLC add value to content delivery? These, plus many other concerns, are the key areas that this section seeks to address as we look into the relationship between TCL and ICT. It provides relevant information on how ICT can support TCL activities and how the centre can maximize the use of ICT to enhance the delivery of training content to learners.
Learning institutions are exploring ways of integrating technology to work along with other media such as books, journals, and magazines. TLC should therefore be positioned to provide these specific requirements to trainers in their quests to deliver the best to learners. There is a range of ways in which ICT can be integrated with TLC activities to support teaching and learning. However, the extent to which ICT integration in supporting TLC activities will depend on the availability of the required hardware and software as well as the ability of the staff to make use of such technology.
Technology cannot replace traditional teaching and learning methods. This guide is emphasizing the use of ICT to supplement traditional methods. The development of interactive learning materials is the core interest of ICT integration in training delivery. There is a lot that trainers can harness through this approach concerning content delivery. There are a number of interactive tools offered through computer-aided training that can simplify delivery work while increasing training effectiveness. For instance, tools like Kahoot, Gimkit, and Blooket are valued game-based learning platforms that can be exploited by trainers to promote participatory learning and facilitate quick assessment. ICT expertise will be needed to support the use of these crucial tools to deliver interactive learning content.
Tutors can take advantage of ICT to exploit presentation tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva, Prezi, and free templates on AIIPPT.com, etc. These tools provide rich quality content for classroom delivery making learning more interesting and increasing learners’ engagement. Successful exploitation of these tools does not depend on the availability of of computers and the associated infrastructure alone: it requires the intervention of skilled staff to guide and support trainers on their usage. Trainers who have little or lack prior knowledge of ICT-based teaching will need the support of someone to take them through the process and guide them on how to use the resources effectively.
Working in groups
Quite often, trainers are required to work together on curriculum development projects. ICT offers great opportunities for collaborative working and opens up the possibility of sharing skills. TLC, through its IT expert, can support collaborative work among trainers by availing the common piece software and providing the much-needed support for trainers to execute their activities seamlessly. Trainers can also use such platforms to share best practices and exchange training as well as assessment tools.
Online Class Facilitation
Online classes have become a common practice in the current education space. Most learning institutions see it as an opportunity to extend their programme accessibility to reach many students irrespective of their geographical locations. Management of learning institutions embraces online teaching because it cuts down on the cost of putting up classrooms. This new change in the education spectrum is demanding skills to conduct and manage online classes. A vibrant TLC working together with the ICT team is vital in supporting trainers with this needed skill. The support team will become handy in assisting trainers to roll out their online classes by preparing the required infrastructure and putting in place the necessary software to run the online sessions. Continuous support will be required by trainers without prior experience in online class facilitation; this is where TLC and ICT will link up to support teaching and learning.
One of the key roles of TLC is to provide tools as well as materials that support teaching and learning. It is important to appreciate the extent to which ICT can support access to a variety of resources available in the virtual space to support teaching and learning activities. Creating an E-repository of important documents like syllabus, curriculum guides, assessment plans and other important tools needed in teaching and learning will go a long way in assisting trainers to conduct their duties with ease anytime, anywhere.