Supporting the teaching of early reading: An evaluation of the TESSA: Teaching Early Reading with African Storybook Badged Online Course (BOC)

Stutchbury, Kris; Chamberlain, Liz and Rodriguez-Leon, Lucy (2020). Supporting the teaching of early reading: An evaluation of the TESSA: Teaching Early Reading with African Storybook Badged Online Course (BOC). The Open University, Milton Keynes.

Abstract

TESSA: Teaching Early Reading with African Storybook is a free, online course designed to support practitioners in developing their knowledge and skills as teachers of Early Reading. It was developed jointly by The Open University, UK and Saide in South Africa, funded by a grant from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation. The course is available online. It can be downloaded on to local devices and studied offline. A certificate is available for those who complete the course successfully but can only be achieved by logging on to complete the assessments. The course is very flexible, involving around 24 hours of study which can be completed over 3 or 4 days of full-time study, over 1 term with 2 hours study a week, and everything in between. The course can be studied by individuals, but the intention is that groups of professionals will study together in their setting and gain the benefits of collaborative learning and discussion as they study.

The course has been adopted by Ntataise – an NGO which supports Early Childhood Education in South Africa – as part of their training programme for practitioners. At the time of writing (April 2020), a total of 366 participants have completed the course, 217 of whom were supported by Ntataise, funded by a grant from the Zoe Carss Education Trust.

The purpose of this evaluation is:
• to test the assumptions on which the design of the course were based;
• to understand how the course is being studied and experienced by participants;
• to evaluate the impact on practice and on learners; and
• on the professional lives of the participants.

It draws on data from the website (pre-and post-course questions) and data collected during a visit to South Africa in November 2019, in which researchers visited 13 Early Childhood Development settings, observed 11 story-telling sessions and interviewed 26 practitioners who had completed the course.

The team found evidence to support the two underlying assumptions – that participating in the course supports professional collaboration, and the resultant small changes in practice can potentially have significant impact on children’s learning – and this evaluation makes a number of recommendations.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations