PREST – new training resources for Open and Distance Learning

Lifelong learning is a concept that many governments are buying into, with the idea that people have to be more flexible in their choice of employment and that they will have to re-train in the course of their career. As people become more independent in their choice of location for learning, open and distance learning becomes an important mode for adult skill development.
The  Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

COL and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

World leaders, meeting at the United Nations in 2000, set eightMillennium Development Goals (MDGs) that aim to transform the condition of humankind in the 21st century. These Goals now guide the policies of Governments and the priorities of development agencies.

Achieving the MDGs will require a massive expansion of human learning. Traditional methods of education and training cannot address the scope and scale of the task. Technology has already revolutionised other areas of human life and the world must now harness it to learning and teaching.

The Commonwealth of Learning is the only international intergovernmental agency that focuses exclusively on using technology to expand the scope and scale of human learning. It operates on the premise that knowledge is the key to individual freedom and to cultural, social and economic development. It helps Governments to develop policies that make innovation sustainable and to build systems or applications that expand learning and works in partnership with other international and bilateral organisations working on the MDGs.

A new resource for Researchers  and Evaluators in  Open and Distance Learning (called PREST) can be found on their website and is very comprehensive:

Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills

The Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills Training (PREST) series is published by COL in collaboration with the International Research Foundation for Open Learning.

The PREST training resources provide practitioners working in open and distance learning (ODL) with convenient access to basic knowledge on how to conduct research and evaluation in their everyday work. Written for ODL practitioners by ODL practitioners, the interactive materials aim to develop practical skills through engagement in research tasks that draw on research and evaluation methods from education and social science, but use illustrative examples from international open and distance learning contexts.

PREST fills a gap in current provision for practical, first-rung research and evaluation skills training of immediate relevance in the workplace and aims to promote research and evaluation as an part of professional development for allODL practitioners. The materials provide a strong foundation for progress to higher-level research programmes and qualifications.

The PREST materials are designed for use by two target groups – ODL practitioners wanting self-study or reference materials and training providers looking for flexible research training resources to integrate into a variety of training contexts (e.g., face-to-face workshops, e-learning or reference materials).

PREST materials

Go to: PREST (Print Files)

Go to: PREST (Online Files)

The Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills Training (PREST) series is published by COL in collaboration with the International Research Foundation for Open Learning.

The PREST training resources provide practitioners working in open and distance learning (ODL) with convenient access to basic knowledge on how to conduct research and evaluation in their everyday work. Written for ODL practitioners by ODL practitioners, the interactive materials aim to develop practical skills through engagement in research tasks that draw on research and evaluation methods from education and social science, but use illustrative examples from international open and distance learning contexts.

PREST fills a gap in current provision for practical, first-rung research and evaluation skills training of immediate relevance in the workplace and aims to  promote research and evaluation as an part of professional development for allODL practitioners. The materials provide a strong foundation for progress to higher-level research programmes and qualifications.

The PREST  materials are designed for use by two target groups – ODL practitioners wanting self-study or reference materials and training providers looking for flexible research training resources to integrate into a variety of training contexts (e.g., face-to-face workshops, e-learning or reference materials).

View PREST brochure (135 Kb. Acrobat PDF download)

View PREST review (103 Kb. Acrobat PDF download)

The Core Modules and Handbooks listed below are being made available for download published.

NOTE ON COPYRIGHT:
I ndividuals accessing this site may reproduce (download/print) copies of the PREST materials and any accompanying third-party copyright materials for their own personal non-commercial use only. Any further reproduction or transmission of any such content is prohibited except by permission of the copyright holder of the relevant material.

User Guide
User Guide download (82 Kb Acrobat PDF download)

PREST Core Modules – providing a foundation in research and evaluation methods explored within ODL contexts for inexperienced researchers
(20 to 40 reading hours each + activities)

PREST (PRINT FILES):

A1 : Doing educational research and evaluation in ODL
by Alan Woodley (an introduction)
A1 Module download (549 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A1 Module download (1.2 Mb MS Word .doc file)
A1 Module download (225 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (1.9 MB Acrobat PDF)

A2 : Planning research and evaluation
by Anna Robinson-Pant
A2 Module download (308 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A2 Module download (514 Kb MS Word .doc file)
A2 Module download (206 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (140 Kb Acrobat PDF)

A3 : Getting and analysing quantitative data
by Alan Woodley
A3 Module download (78 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A3 Module download (1870 Kb MS Word .doc file)
A3 Module download (550 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)

Resource files: (right-click and save to download Excel spreadsheets)
A3Analysing1.xls
A3Analysing2.xls
A3Correl.xls
A3M101.xls
A3Summarising.xls
A3Women.xls

A4 : Getting and analysing qualitative data
by Rob Walker
A4 Module download (322 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A4 Module download (585 Kb MS Word .doc file)
A4 Module download (209 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (858 Kb Acrobat PDF)

A5 : Mixed research methods
by Christine Spratt, Rob Walker & Bernadette Robinson
A5 Module download (406 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A5 Module download (542 Kb MS Word .doc file)
A5 Module download (245 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (1.1 MB Acrobat PDF)

A6 : Reporting on research and evaluation
to support or influence change

by Janet Stuart & Colin Latchem
A6 Module download (565 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
A6 Module download (1330 Kb MS Word .doc file)
A6 Module download (473 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (653 Kb Acrobat PDF)

PREST Handbooks
– guides to conducting research and evaluation in a particular field of ODL
(20 reading hours each + activities)

B1 : Using programme monitoring in research and evaluation
by Neil Butcher
B1 Handbook download (324 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B1 Handbook download (726 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B1 Handbook download (233 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (1.1 MB Acrobat PDF)

B2 : Measuring outcomes
by Charles Potter
B2 Handbook download (563 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B2 Handbook download (836 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B2 Handbook download (257 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (607 Kb Acrobat PDF)

B3 : Cost and economics of open and distance learning
by Hilary Perraton
B3 Handbook download (178 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B3 Handbook download (440 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B3 Handbook download (172 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (412 Kb Acrobat PDF)

B4 : Programme evaluation and its role in quality assurance
by Merridy Wilson-Strydom
B4 Handbook download (325 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B4 Handbook download (554 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B4 Handbook download (205 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (687 Kb Acrobat PDF)

B5 : Researching marginalised and disadvantaged learners
by Barbara Spronk & Jason Pennells
B5 Handbook download (304 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B5 Handbook download (575 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B5 Handbook download (214 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (941 Kb Acrobat PDF)

B6 : Researching tutoring and learner support
by Jane Brindley
B6 Handbook download (358 Kb Acrobat PDF file)
B6 Handbook download (848 Kb MS Word .doc file)
B6 Handbook download (235 Kb Open Office Document .odt file)
Reading resources download (2.4 MB Acrobat PDF)

COVERS (FOR PRINTING PURPOSES):
PREST A covers
PREST B covers
USER GUIDE covers

PREST (ONLINE FILES):

PREST is also available for online delivery using Moodle. You can download the backup Moodle courses at the links below. In order to assist tutors in the tutoring of PREST Online, we created a short Moodle tutorial, available for viewing at: http://colfinder.net/moodle/(Select the Guidelines for Tutoring PREST Online course.)
A backup of this tutorial, should you wish to install it in your own Moodle installation, is available at this link:http://colfinder.net/materials/prest/…. (.zip) This is a tutorial for tutors, not a PREST course. Feel free to add to this resource as you see fit for your own institution.
Backup Moodle Files (.zip)

PREST Theme Files: PREST Theme (513KB)

Guidelines for Tutoring PREST Online course: TutorPrest (580KB)

A1+A2: Research Foundations for ODL Practitioners: PREST A1+A2 (10.7MB)

A3: Getting and Analysing Quantitative Data: PREST A3 (9.3MB)

A4: Getting and Analysing Qualitative Data: PREST A4 (12MB)

A5: Mixed Research Methods: PREST A5 (12.5MB)

A6: Reporting on Research and Evaluation to Support or Influence Change: PREST A6 (13.4MB)

B6: Researching Tutoring and Learner Support: PREST B6 (1.8MB)

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