As we execute our day-to-day activities, it is important that we all work towards harnessing all the internal experiences and capabilities for the benefit of others.  It is in this regards that 26 participants benefitted from an Instructional Design (ID) Training held at the RAN Innovation Lab starting Monday January 29th through Friday February 2, 2018. The Lead Facilitator Dr. Roy William Mayega, RAN Deputy Chief of Party and also faculty at Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) delivered this training amidst so much humor, sharing facts and using real life experiences. Most of the participants were MakSPH faculty from across all the departments at the school  some of which also work with RAN. This course is supported by the office of the Dean MakSPH, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management through funding from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It was yet another opportunity to bring together mainly academicians to further generate and share knowledge towards improving delivery of learning and teaching in the communities.  During the training, participants were taken through an Introduction to Instructional Design, Theory in teaching and learning, criterion referenced instructional learning materials, principals of Multi-media teaching and learning, the use and power of Audio, Images and Graphics in teaching, teaching large and small groups, face-to-face and distance teaching/learning high value re-usable learning objects, Video: storyboarding, capture, production and broad casting using Camtasia, tutoring, e-moderation or coaching and face-to-face moderation or coaching, Learning Management Systems, Chatrooms, Discussions Forums, Conducting Problem based learning among others.

Briefly digging into the actual gist of the training, it was enlightening to start off discussions critically discussing behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Dr. Mayega also engaged trainees in discussing pedagogy and andragogy noting that in real life, we mix the two to achieve. He also stressed the need to for us to always analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate all life aspects including service delivery techniques and strategies. That in teaching, Content, Examples, Practice and Assessment (CEPA) in form of exercises all combined result into a rich resource. ‘How can we for example further leverage on Social Media to improve learning?’ Dr. Mayega asked. Referring to Bloom’s Taxonomy,while teaching or communicating,let us endeavor to use simply understandable terminologies for example compare and contrast so that our learners do not get confused or even lost in the whole process. Instructional Design is also applicable to work relations and environments dealing with individuals; this is because the key pillars in (ID) include motivation, recognition and giving feedback where necessary. Participants were encouraged to; endeavor to blog (daily) on word press with focus and authenticity, evaluate impact of set and implemented strategies or activities, make use of recorded Webinars to teach among others. ‘Leaners are different, stimulate learning, embrace and use multiple teaching methods, vary teaching methods and make learning fun’ Dr. Mayega said.

Given that we were using MakSPH Course Outlines and documents for reference purposes during the training,  this was also an opportunity for the trainees to review and offer feedback on how we can improve teaching, communication and engagement at Makerere University as a whole but MakSPH in particular. At the end of the 5 days training, participants were asked, ‘What are you going to do to improve teaching and learning from what you have learned in Instructional Design?’ Some of the responses from trainees included the following;

As said by the different trainees

  • This was an excellent training, I wish it had come earlier, I would have been a better trainer/lecturer but nonetheless, I am ready to embrace and implement some of the aspects discussed and shared during the training. I will now start to prepare for my lectures early enough so that I can make use of some of the teaching aids to make learning and teaching more interesting.
  • For me I just need to co-opt the use of more aids and multimedia (pictures, short informative videos, voice overs etc.) to teach so that I am more effective. Some of these are easy to embed into the teaching aid for example I can embed a voice over in my PowerPoint Presentation and even turn it into a Video slide.
  • We all need to remain flexible in all that we are doing. Flexibility is key even in learning and teaching so that we can leverage and further improve service delivery using the minimal and available hard and soft resources.
  • In Criterion Referenced Assessment (CRA), specificity and sensitivity matter a lot.
  • What you learn, you understand and what you see, you believe.
  • All of us should be ready to serve as excellent mentors all the time. Building others capacity is fulfilling. Thank you Dr. Mayega for opening our minds and hearts to the uniqueness in Instructional Design.
  • I wish this training would be spread across the entire Makerere University and beyond because its relevancy to the way faculty and students deliver and receive the services cannot be underestimated. Can all faculty within and outside Makerere University benefit from this training?

During the training, participants working in groups of not more than 3, physically engaged with a ‘Test Site’ where they accomplished and uploaded all training exercises giving them an opportunity to engaged with an online learning and teaching platform real time. ‘It was indeed thrilling being able to work on a word document, copy a link, edit, render and save a short video among others and upload it to the platform for others to access as a learning object within the training time’ Harriet Adong one of the trainees shared. Trainees were later called upon to join the team of the training ambassadors to share about this training but most importantly pass on the skills learned to others for the benefit of all of us especially the learners. Participants agreed to keep the conversation open and going as each trainee received a cerficate at the end of the training.

Details about this opportunity can be accessed through Ms. Doreen Tuhebwe, Faculty MakSPH on