FLOSS4Edu/ChemistryFundingProposal

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PROPOSAL TO OFFER TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO THE FLOSS4EDU PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CONTENT DEVELOPMENT GROUP

Introduction

One of the strategic outcomes of the FLOSS4Edu workshop held in November, 2006 was the establishment of the first Content Production Group in the area of Hard Sciences. A group of lecturers and other educational practitioners was formed to begin work on the development of Chemistry and Physical Sciences Open Educational Content for Higher Education. The Objectives of this content developing initiative are:

  1. To create the critical mass necessary to begin broad development of Open Educational Content under the FLOSS4Edu Initiative. This project will showcase the capability of African Educational Practitioners to develop open content through collaboration
  2. To carry out a study to develop 10 Physical Chemistry lessons to examine the business model and viability of developing Open Educational Content in a collaborative and distributed development approach. This will provide direction on how people can collaborate to develop content and showcase the benefits of developing content in this approach as opposed to the traditional commercial approach
  3. To develop 10 Lectures/lessons of free content on higher education learning concepts in the area of Physical Chemistry
  4. Upon completion of the project, to prepare a report on lessons learned to be published on the WikiEducator website.

Because most of the Content developers do not have IT technical skills to develop multimedia based content, initial support will be provided, as capacity is being built, to support the content developers in this initial and pilot phase of the project. Technical support provided will achieve the following objectives:

  1. Have the Content Developers produce and upload text based content to the WikiEducator website while having a technical team produce the animation and do more detailed text formatting as the need will require.
  2. Develop and Integrate multimedia content including video, audio and flash animation into the text content already uploaded in the WikiEducator website
  3. Participate in the development of Technical Solutions e.g A .pdf writer for Wiki that will support the distribution of free content to learners and other stakeholders that who do not have access to sufficient bandwidth or connectivity

Approach

A group of technical experts comprising of the following people will be formed to provide initial support to the Content Developers:

  1. Two (2) Multimedia and Animation Specialists with skill of developing computerized flash animations and multimedia content
  2. One Educational Practioner to provide pedagogical content development services by helping to design the content into a learner friendly way

The Content Production Coordinator will be Prof. Henry Thairu while the Technical Support Coordinator will be Nicholas Kimolo who will organize a one (1) day training workshop at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to equip the content developers with sufficient skills to use the WikiEducator website. The team will be based in the Futuristic Offices, who have agreed to provide office space during the time of this project. The project is expected to take a total of three (3) months and the following activities will be carried out:

  1. Lease relevant hardware resources i.e 2 Scanners, 3 Desktop Computers, Internet Connection and Other Peripherals
  2. Hire of Technical Support Team Personnel: These professionals will include two (2) Multimedia Graphics and Animation Specialists, and one Educational Practioners.
  3. Upon development of the first draft content, organize a one day group review meeting to polish the content and finalize on any pending issues.