TESSA Newsletter
Learning Now for the Future


Welcome to the latest TESSA Newsletter!

We have four highlights to share with you in this edition – the sign-off of the TESSA/Zambian Revised School Curriculum map by Curriculum Specialists from the CDC; the second Uganda TESSA Forum; the preparation of school leadership materials in French and English; and, of course, the TESSA MOOC.

For many people, the TESSA MOOC was their first experience of online learning and we have had some very positive comments. The MOOC will run again later this year, so we are hoping that MOOC ‘graduates’ will act as facilitators and support colleagues in their institutions to participate.

The number of TESSA Ambassadors is growing and we are delighted to have had successful applications for small grants from Ghana (OLA College), Tanzania (DUCE) and Zambia (DRCC in Petauke). We look forward to hearing about these activities in the next edition.

You can keep in touch with us via via email: tessa@open.ac.uk and Facebook: www.facebook.com/TESSAnews



Consolidating TESSA in Zambia’s Education System

Peter Sinyangwe

One of the greatest achievements in working with TESSA OERs in Zambia has been the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of General education. This has been particularly useful in engaging MoGE officials at higher levels.

Click here to read more about other TESSA highlights anf future plans in Zambia.

TESSA Uganda Forum 2018

Jane Cullen, George Kasule and Kris Stutchbury

The 2018 TESSA Uganda Forum has afforded the opportunity at a governmental and a national level to expand the TESSA community, by inviting not only teachers and teacher educators from each public and private primary and lower secondary pre-service teacher education institution in Uganda but also key educational policy makers and managers. T

The Forum took place on the 1st and 2nd February 2018, at Kyambogo University, the second largest public university in the country, mandated to oversee the training of primary and secondary school teachers as well as tutors for the Primary Teachers College.

To read more click here

De l’Inde à l’Afrique subsaharienne: soutenir les chef.fe.s d’établissements scolaires à faire de leurs écoles des communautés d'apprentissage professionnel élargies (CAPE)

Geneviève Puiségur-Pouchin, directrice de la collection Apréli@ pour les chef.fe.s d'établissement: genevieve.puisegur-pouchin@aprelia.org
Michèle Deane, TESSA: michele.deane@open.ac.uk


Le rôle des écoles en tant que communautés d'apprentissage professionnels élargie (CAPE) et celui de leurs leaders en tant que facilitateurs de la croissance professionnelle de leur personnel et leaders de ces CAPE sont un thème qui apparaît souvent dans la recherche actuelle de stratégies pour atteindre les Objectifs de développement durable à l’horizon 2030.

Cliquez ici pour en lire plus

From India to Sub Saharan Africa: supporting school leaders in transforming their schools into Extended Professional Learning Community (EPLC)

Michèle Deane, TESSA michele.deane@open.ac.uk
Geneviève Puiségur-Pouchin, directrice de la collection Apréli@ pour les chef.fe.s d'établissement: genevieve.puisegur-pouchin@aprelia.org


The role of schools as communities of professional learning and development (CPLDs) and that of their leaders as enablers of the professional growth of their staff and leaders of these CPLDs are a theme that often appears in the current quest for strategies to meet the 2030 Development Goals.

Click here to read more.


About the MOOC

The first TESSA MOOC on FutureLearn, ‘Making Teacher Education relevant for 21st Century Africa’, was a resounding success. Over 1,957 teacher educators from all over the world participated in this truly global learning event:

As these headline statistics show, 1,247 of the total participants were TESSA sponsored, and 58% of these completed the MOOC. This was a tremendous achievement considering MOOCs typically have a 12-15% completion rate, and that many participants of the TESSA MOOC faced challenges with internet connectivity, bandwidth, power and clashes with end of year exam and institutional commitments.

Providing support through a variety of blended learning approaches has been shown to improve the chances of participants to remain motivated, overcome inherent difficulties with online learning and complete courses more successfully. TESSA MOOC Facilitators in a number of countries, including Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, supported participants and no doubt contributed to the course’s success.

Click here to read two accounts of facilitation from colleagues in Uganda and Zambia.

My experience with the TESSA MOOC

Baron Mwangwe Lukwesa, TESSA Ambassador, Province Resource Centre Coordinator, Copperbelt Teachers’ Provincial Resource Center, Ndola, Zambia

Participating in the TESSA MOOC has been one of the greatest things to have happened in my life this year and in my entire 14 years of work as a teacher educator. For the first time to do an online course, I had an opportunity to interact with fellow teacher educators and teachers across the Sub Saharan African region and beyond. It would not have been possible to do the course on my own without the help of TESSA. Thank you TESSA team for the opportunity. What I learnt in the four weeks has a lot of bearing on my work as well as my life. The course has given me impetus to continue doing online courses, especially those that will be spearheaded by TESSA. My mission next year is to market the TESSA OER in the schools in my province so that every teacher should be should be given an opportunity to use TEESA OER.

Victor King Anyanful, Tessa Ambassador, in Ghana

TESSA MOOC has come to stay and it will help spread the objectives of TESSA to the length and breadth of Africa and beyond. My experiences from the just ended first phase of TESSA MOOC will be captured in three folds, thus knowledge acquisition, skills acquisition and also to improve teaching as well as enhance learning. I have now acquired much knowledge on the following: the meaning of Leaner Centered Education (LCE), the OER cycle, criteria for selecting OER, making the most of ICT, crafting Personal Action Plan, which will make me a better reflective practitioner.  The skills acquired, as I interacted with my participants , are the following: internet skills: thus to enter URLs correctly, navigate hyperlinks, download files, participates in Internet Relay Chats (Chats), post and reply to comments, use bookmarks, computer skills, keyboard short cuts, and then communication skills (and as such conscious efforts were made always to ensure that the kind of language used on the platform was of an appreciable standard, unlike the use of informal language in the case of personal chats). Concluding, participants are now making the efforts to practice some of the knowledge acquired during this course. TESSA MOOC is now a household name at OLA College of Education, Ghana. Kudos to the Team that put together such a wonderful idea as well as the activities week by week , The Open University, UK , and then all participants, not forgetting facilitators. I wish all of us well in the quest to making teacher education relevant in the 21st century Africa.

Said Kh. Juma in Zanzibar

I am a newly registered TESSA ambassador from the State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania. I completed the MOOC Making Teacher Education Relevant for 21st Century Africa run by TESSA and The Open University of UK. This was my first MOOC that I had completed (100%). I had in the past joined many courses but I never reached beyond 50% progress. However, this time I was so enthusiastic about TESSA that I completed the TESSA MOOC, and then I was motivated to join and complete one more intensive four-week MOOC Understanding Autism offered by the University of Kent. Participating in TESSA MOOC has really motivated me to convince my colleagues to join TESSA. I was fascinated by the resources available with regard to teacher education. MOOCs have actually inverted the traditional classroom. Teaching and learning have never been and should not be confined to the four walls of a classroom. There are many resources ‘out there’. TESSA helps us to explore them. I was also motivated by TESSA to find that some of the resources have been translated into Kiswahili, which is one of the leading African languages in the world.  

I look forward to working with TESSA colleagues to improve teacher education in the region

Rose Nyambura in Kenya

TESSA MOOC opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn't considered before. The MOOC participants' contributions were quite informative and the quizzes as well as puzzles refreshing. How I wish teacher educators and teachers in Kenya can board the TESSA bus!!! Teaching–learning process would be transformed completely. Our learners would become active participants and enjoy interacting with different learning materials/activities organized by their teachers. Teaching would be more fulfilling and enjoyable. 

Charles William Zulu, TESSA Ambassador/MOOC facilitator, in Zambia

I wish to share with you the changes I have undergone during the TESSA MOOC which started on 30th October 2017 and ended on 10th December 2017:

  • After being trained as a MOOC facilitator in Kigali, Rwanda and in Kabwe, Zambia my facilitation skills and knowledge are now participant centred;
  • learning online has misconceptions that it is not real and one cannot be prepared adequately, however, this not the case, it is real and one can be prepared adequately;
  • online learning, yes, it is sometimes lonely, but it is more interactive and I enjoyed the mature and educative interactions;
  • unlike face-to-face learning, online learning is truly flexible, I could learn at my own pace;
  • my ICT skills improved;
  • my understanding of Learner Centred Education improved too.

Bring on board more of this type of learning and programs in education innovations!

Florence Kisirkoi in Kenya

The 2017 TESSA MOOC experience was one of the most enriching teacher education professional experiences in my teacher educator career of over ten years. I had heard about TESSA but the role of TESSA OERs, accessing and using them in class had not been clear till Kris and Olivier made it clear and interesting during 2017 DETA conference. They engaged us in navigating FutureLearn platform.

Later during our School Board meeting, I introduced TESSA MOOC course and the lecturers showed great interest: eleven of them enrolled and three others from other institutions, total sixteen enrolled.

The course coincided with close of semester activities making it difficult to put lecturers together for face to face meeting. I opened a WhatsApp group for interactions, phone calls, text messages and met individuals. I helped them get started sometimes with consultation with Kris, Olivier and Sarah and gave them encouragement and guidance. Four dropped out but others are working hard to complete.

The lead educators Kris, Sandra, Clare and Liz made learning fun, gave clear guiding comments. The course content was applicable to our classroom situation. The OERs, videos, case studies, quizzes, interactions with learner colleagues and promise of certificate were inspiringly great! The FutureLearn platform was user friendly. The course provider, Open University of UK is credible. 

Brenda Ampumuza in Uganda

Please allow me to share my experience with the MOOC, specifically what I learnt:

  1. How to incorporate common ICT tools and how to use OER to bring about active learning.
  2. The experience with the various TESSA OERs will be unforgettable. Most of them are applicable in our conditions like working with large classes, effective demonstrations, group work.
  3. The group interactions were also enriching, as there was always something to learn from other people's experiences or views or ideas.
  4. How to use learner-centred education in day to day teaching was learning process this was my best

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