UR-College of Education Partners with University of Toronto/OISE to Enhance Competency-Based Education

17 May 2024

UR-CE academic staff and School/Department administrative assistants massively participated to the training workshop

Over 180 academic staff and School and Department administrative assistants of the University of Rwanda -College of Education (UR-CE) kickstarted yesterday a 2-day training workshop at Lemigo Hotel (Kigali), focusing on enhancing Competency-Based Education (CBE), thanks to a strategic partnership with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

The University of Rwanda’s College of Education (UR-CE) embarks on a transformative journey to bolster competency-based education (CBE) through a strategic partnership with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Funded by the Mastercard Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Program, this collaboration aims to elevate teaching standards, integrate technology effectively, and foster cutting-edge research skills among academic staff and pre-service teachers.

Funded by Mastercard Foundation through Leaders in Teaching (LIT) program, the workshop is co-facilitated by UR-CE Champions OISE’s delegates including Dr. Jenni Hayman, Dr. Gelareh Keshavarz, and Dr.Judith Pete.

OISE’s delegates(L-R):Dr.Judith Pete, Dr. Jenni Hayman, and Dr. Gelareh Keshavarz

The workshop objectives are :
1. Designing an Effective Competence-Based Education (CBE) Curriculum :
-Explore the creation of SMART learning outcomes aligned with competencies.
-Investigate research-based principles for successful CBE design.
2. Assessment Strategies for CBE :
-Discover formative and summative assessment techniques.
-Ensure assessments effectively measure student mastery of learning outcomes.
3. Leveraging ICT/AI (Artificial Intelligence) in CBE :
-Delve into information and communication technology tools.
-Address issues of accessibility, academic integrity, and ethical guidelines.
4. Advancing Scholarship in CBE :
-Explore research methodologies for studying student learning.
- Contribute to the knowledge base of Competency-Based Education.

UR-CE Champions in CBE while co-facilitating the training workshop

In his official opening remarks at the workshop, Acting Principal of URCE, Professor Florien Nsanganwimana, emphasized the importance of continuous learning and cautioned against the peril of "confidence in ignorance." "Everyone can learn from every person. The level of seniority doesn’t matter much, but what matters is what you want to learn, which can be useful. If there is any bad thing, it is to have confidence in ignorance."

UR-CE Acting Principal Prof.Florien Nsanganwimana addressing attendees to the training workshop

He elucidated the notion, stressing the necessity for humility in acknowledging the boundless nature of knowledge."To have confidence in ignorance... that is the bad thing. We may think that confidence in education is for us a song that we sing every day. But it’s not ! For me, I can’t promise that I master all the colours of this concept. I still must learn. What I know about it is unlimited. And I want it to expand."

Professor Nsanganwimana underscored the importance of practical implementation over theoretical knowledge, especially in integrating ICT into education :"Maybe you understand it. But maybe you struggle to implement it because you might be having theoretical knowledge about it. But practical knowledge may need to be improved again. So, confidence in ignorance is the bad thing. Please, as teacher of educators, let us avoid confidence in ignorance."

Regarding the workshop’s agenda, he highlighted the significance of revisiting concepts and integrating ICT effectively :"The topics are quite interesting. And in looking back into our understanding of the concept, how we implement it, and most importantly, how we integrate ICT within the confidence-based education."

Reflecting on the evolving role of educators in the age of AI, Professor Nsanganwimana urged participants to embrace technology as a tool for enhancing learning experiences :
"A teacher should really be a learning guide, a learning facilitator, helping students to think critically. So, integration of ICT is very important."

Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of utilizing recently acquired ICT-based teaching and learning facilities effectively :"Through this project, the college has acquired some ICT-based teaching and learning facilities. We acquired smart classrooms equipped with smart projectors and smart boards... So, I think after this training, we shall go back now to check whether we are able to use those new facilities. It’s very, very important."

Attendees being addressed by Dr.Gelareh

As the workshop progresses, participants eagerly anticipate gaining invaluable insights, forging lasting connections, and collectively charting a course towards a brighter future for education in Rwanda and beyond.

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