JiFUNzeni: A Blended Learning Approach for Sustainable Teachers Professional Development


  • Brown Bully Onguko


Keywords: Appropriate technology, blended learning, challenging educational context, jiFUNzeni approach, offline web content, open educational resources


Abstract: JiFUNzeni blended learning approach is a sustainable approach to provision of professional development (PD) for those in challenging educational contexts. JiFUNzeni approach emphasizes training regional experts to create blended learning content, working with appropriate technology while building content repositories. JiFUNzeni approach was field‑tested though a design‑based research intervention conducted in rural western Kenya. The field test included design, development and implementation of a blended learning course for teachers professional development utilizing appropriate technologies including tablets powered by solar energy, open educational resources and open source software. One year after the intervention, follow‑up interviews were conducted with eight of the ten teachers and two professional development tutors (PDTs) who participated in the research. The findings from the follow‑up interviews shared in this paper revealed that: teachers still used cooperative learning and activity‑based learning strategies in their teaching. The PDTs on the other hand designed, developed and implemented one other jiFUNzeni blended learning course for twelve teachers in one school in Korogocho slum in Nairobi city. Implementation by PDTs of jiFUNzeni approach confirmed that they had learned through a sustainable way of delivering professional development in challenging educational contexts. The PDTs utilized the instructional design approaches learned through their participation in the research in designing blended learning content, while they also innovated new ways of developing self‑study content as an important creative addition to what they had previously learned. Two teenage children participated in digital content development by advising the PDTs on some appropriate ways of applying technology thus, attesting to the fact that digital natives are important reciprocal supporters to digital immigrants and vice versa.



1 Feb 2014