Improving Access to Science and Technology Higher Education in Resource-Poor Institutions through an Open Platform for Technology Enabled Active Learning Environment Activities – TEAL2.O

The TEAL2.O project is implemented by a consortium of 11 universities – 3 in Sri Lanka, 3 in India, 2 in Thailand, 3 in Europe, joined by a consultancy company. 1 higher education network in Sri Lanka and 6 PC Universities support us as associated partners. Improving access to Science and Technology (S&T) higher education is top priority in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Increasing Gross Enrollment Ratios and reaching underrepresented and disadvantaged groups requires investing serious effort into Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Yet, ODL and increased access, especially in resource-poor institutions, pose many quality-related challenges resulting from shortages of expertise, technological equipment, collaboration and internationalization. We aim to contribute to addressing these challenges and facilitate access to higher education through a comprehensive technological solution. We will develop and deploy an open-access platform for technology-enabled learning environment that will enable the design and delivery of quality ODL in S&T higher education. The TEAL2.O platform will have the following benefits: (i) modularity and full customizability, allowing institutions and faculty to design programs and develop teaching content that suit local needs and constraints, including those of underrepresented learners (ii) unlimited possibilities for collaborative learning and teaching, allowing institutions to pool available expertise and support quality (iii) learner-centred education, flexible learning pathways and co-creation on the part of learners (iv) open source hardware and software integrated into the learning process to maximize learners’ exposure to technology and provide access to virtual labs and experimentation. We will train staff, faculty and students to use and develop the platform, and will establish 8 university Centres to provide user support and promote the exploitation of TEAL2.O, in the long run helping it to grow into a self-sustainable learning network.