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Open and Distance Education

Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

This course starts by introducing teachers to basic concepts in ICT, focusing on basic maintenance and troubleshooting, hardware and using the internet, word processing, spreadsheets, email, and social media. Teachers are then introduced to the concept of open distance and online learning, including tools for teaching learners remotely. The module outlines various online technologies and tools, including no-tech tools such as study packs, tutorials and modules. It then proceeds to outline low-tech tools such as email, text messaging, and WhatsApp. The module ends by exploring high-tech tools or learning management systems, such as Google Classroom and Moodle, and engages teachers on practical activities in conducting online classes and using content authoring tools. The second part of this course introduces teachers to the concept of digital literacy, and illustrates different definitions and theories. The third part of the course focuses on activities that allow teachers to develop their own interventions in their context, planning their lessons and developing their content. The module then moves on to introduce teachers to learning theories and the concept of instructional design, outlining different approaches and methods of instructional design. The module explores successful strategies for planning lessons and developing engaging and interactive content for remote learning, as well as ways of creating opportunities and platforms for feedback and assessment. Teachers are also taught practical steps for designing an online lesson and generating teaching content using low tech-tools such as WhatsApp, and high-tech tools using specific learning management systems. In addition, tools used to create online content such as Google Classroom and Moodle are explored in detail, including other Learning Management Systems (LMS) with offline functionality. The course will be delivered by renowned experts in distance and online learning and is comprised of two one-week modules and one two-week module. Each module consists of presentations, lecture notes, reading lists, and related resources (such as videos, bibliography, reports, and study cases, among others). You can download or view the course brochure here.

Learning Objectives

After this course, you'll be able to:

  • Provide in-service teachers with basic theoretical understanding of no-, low-, and high-tech digital tools that can be used in online and distance learning;
  • Provide in-service teachers with in-depth knowledge to explore how digital tools can be embedded into distance and online learning in Zimbabwe, taking cognizance of the national context, curriculum, and assessment landscape;


The programme consists of two modules, with each Module running for a week. The common structure across all modules is as follows:

  • The content is packaged into one-hour sessions and is delivered in the form of text, videos, audio, and graphics. At the end of each session, there will question-and-answer, feedback, and reflection activities.
  • At the end of each module, participants will have a summative assessment which will contribute towards the final mark.
  • Participants are expected to go through all the content in the course, as this will serve as a measure of their engagement with the course.
  • Each Modules is expected to take an estimated 5-7 hours per week.

Meet the Course Instructors

Felisa Tibbits

Jonah Mungoshi

Jonah Mungoshi is an international award-winning facilitator for in-person, online, and radio-based training with almost 20 years’ of diverse experience, including over 10 years in radio broadcasting presenting educational programmes. He is one of only 10 British Council validated master trainers in Africa for the flagship Connecting Classrooms programme, which empowers teachers and school leaders through mastery of 21st century skills and has designed and facilitated face-to-face and online interventions for the British Council, UNDP, UNESCO, USAID, WFP, UNICEF, and UNHCR, among others. He has also been involved in piloting innovative online educational programmes, including Teaching Enterprise Skills in theUK, Core Skills for TVET College Lecturers in– South Africa, and Progression in Core Skills for Curriculum Developers in Kenya.

Felisa Tibbits

Lovemore Ndlovu

Lovemore Ndlovu is a leading teacher professional development specialist with almost 30 years of experience, including 14 years as an assessment manager and as a lecturer and consultant working across different stakeholders, ranging from education ministries to bilateral and multilateral organizations. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and has extensive experience in design and implementation of education programmes in the area of teacher professional development, distance learning, curriculum, and assessment. He is also a researcher, author, and learning materials developer.

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