sidecapThe Project is a European Union (EU) funded project as part of its ACP-EU Cooperation Programme in Higher Education (EDULINK). SIDECAP stands for Staff Improvement in distance education for Caribbean, African and Pacific universities. There are 5 institutions involved in this project namely the Open University of the UK, the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute (UHI) in Scotland, University of Mauritius (UoM), University of the West Indies of Trinidad & Tobago (UWI) and The University of the South Pacific (USP). The VCILT led the SIDECAP project on behalf of the University of Mauritius for the period 2008-2012. The involvement of the VCILT at the level of the project mainly looked at the repurposing of open educational resources to fit in different learning and educational contexts.  

A lifecycle model for the repurposing of OERs was proposed (Santally 2011) which has been applied to the design and development of online programmes at the VCILT. The resources that were produced during experimentation in the SIDECAP project were then disseminated as an online continuous professional development course for Mauritian Educators. The course which can reasonably be considered a μOOC (Micro Open Online Course) attracted about 300 educators in 2010. The pool of educators who followed this course eventually regrouped into a socially connected pool of potential future students to feed in the formal teacher training courses of the University. The project also investigated the issues surrounding the Copyleft licensing schemes in terms of reuse, repurposing and value-addition of existing open educational materials.

The main outcome of the SIDECAP project was that the models and methods that were developed and experimented ensured the initial sustainability of the online learning courses of the VCILT. As a result in three years the student population increased from 10 to 300 and a total of 8 parallel cohorts of students enrolled on 4 different online programmes of studies. The ongoing in-service teacher training programmes were updated to reflect on latest progress such as the inclusion of a module on the design and development of OERs and a module on Copyright and Intellectual Property issues in education.


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