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Amanzi for Food – Online Training of Trainers Course

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to this Training of Trainers online course. This is intended for everyone involved in education and training in the agricultural sector, including farmers who are involved in sharing information and ideas with other farmers.

Firstly a couple of important points to be aware of:

  1. While the course is designed mainly for laptop computers, it should also be accessible and workable on smartphones, although this may mean it does not flow as easily as we would like, and might require quite a lot of scrolling in some places. We advise if you cannot work online or work mainly from a mobile device rather download the pages by clicking on the download button at the top of each page and the work from that document. All pages are downloadable and print friendly.
  2. At present the course is available only in English, and requires a quite good grasp of that language. It is intended in the future to make it available in other languages, but it will take some time to make this happen.

We apologise for these limitations, but do hope that as many people as possible can enjoy and benefit from the course.

We strongly encourage you to read carefully through this Orientation before you start to work through the Modules. It will help you understand the process.

Please enjoy the Course!

ORIENTATION TO THE COURSE

If you want to go fast walk alone, but if you want to go far walk with others.

-African proverb-

Amanzi for Food: Capacity building for Rainwater Harvesting and Conservation

The Elements of the Online Course

What can farmers do when water is scarce and they still need to produce food to eat and/or to sell? What are the roles of the extension officer, farmer trainer, development worker and researcher, and how can the services they offer be more relevant to the farmer’s water needs? How can agricultural college and faculty curricula and trainers respond to such needs? Why is the knowledge and context that each of these actors brings important for successful provision of water for food?

The Amanzi for Food capacity development programme is an innovative set of training, networking, media and resource materials mediation actions that seek to:

  • Connect people and organisations in their intersecting workspaces to share their knowledge, experiences and collective labour (ilima) on rainwater harvesting – acknowledging the knowledge and value of others is recognition that a person is what they are because of the contribution of other people in shaping their lives (Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu);
  • Enhance the practice and training of rainwater harvesting to improve food production and nutrition;
  • Provide learning resources and mediation methods for learning and practicing rainwater harvesting;
  • Support the establishment, use and maintenance of sustainable water harvesting productive demonstration activities and sites that are owned and maintained by their users;
  • Explore and use opportunities for curriculum and course development and innovation; and
  • Reward those who successfully complete the course and its assignments with a University-accredited certificate of competence.

A key aspect of the capacity development process is the Training of Trainers Course, now being offered online here.

Who Would Benefit from the Course?

This Course should have value for almost everyone involved in farming, at whatever scale.  In particular it is designed for those who train others, either formally in education and training institutions, or informally through agricultural advice and extension services offered by government or NGOs. It is also intended for farmers who work and share information with other farmers, and within their communities. Anyone who has an interest in using rainwater more effectively to grow food is encouraged to engage with the Course.

The Course can be undertaken either as an individual activity, or as a group activity, if you feel that it is too much to do on your own, or prefer to share the experience with others. It can be undertaken informally where you just go through the process at your own pace, and access all the materials for your own and your colleagues’ and partners’ benefit. In this case, you can just do the assignments for fun, or just to see if you can do them. Or it can be undertaken formally when you register to submit the assignments for assessment with the idea of achieving a Rhodes University certificate. You can choose to register for the formal process at any time, when you feel you are ready.

Two Training Streams and Two Rhodes University Certificates

All the information and materials associated with the course are accessible to anyone who wishes to use them. However if you wish to go for certification by Rhodes University you will be required to register. This will enable you to submit assignments for assessment, and have access to the Course Forum.

Though run as a single training process, the course has two ‘Streams’: one primarily for formal educators and the other for informal trainers, small-scale farmers and homestead food producers. Both groups will share the learning experiences throughout the course and collaboratively apply these to their own areas of work. Through the use of the Course Forum registered participants will also be able to share their own experiences and ideas with each other.

The course provides the opportunity for participants to achieve Rhodes University certificates:

  •  For Stream 1 (formal education sector):
    • ‘Amanzi for Food’ Training of Trainers Certificate of Competence in Curriculum Innovation and Changing Practice – 12 Credits at NQF Level 6
  • For Stream 2 (informal training sector and for farmers sharing with others):
    • ‘Amanzi for Food’ Training of Trainers Certificate of Competence in Environmental Learning and Changing Practice – 12 Credits at NQF Level 5

In order to achieve these certificates participants will be required to successfully complete assignments appropriate to their context and the level of certification.  These participants will be required to register.

However it is entirely possible for anyone to follow the entire course, and have access to all the materials, including the Presentations and other resources, without registering for formal certification.

The Course Process

The process involves three (3) modules, as identified in Figure 1, below. Each module consists of a Module Overview and a Core Text followed by an Assignment for participants who wish to go for certification or just wish to test themselves and their new understandings, and locate these in their own work contexts.  These assignments will be appropriate to each person’s context, mode of operation, and description of the qualification towards which they are working (see above), and for those taking the formal route to certification will be assessed according to specific assessment criteria designed for this purpose under the Rhodes University short course policy and procedures.

Timeframe

For people not wishing to try for certification there is no limit to the amount of time they can spend on the course.  Those who register for the formal certification process are required to complete the course, including all assignments, within 6 months of registering.  Anyone can register at any stage when they feel like it.  The registration and assessment processes are described at the end of this Orientation.

The Three Modules

Module 1 – Introduction to the RWH&C Practices; Understanding different farming contexts; Using the Navigation Tool; Activity Systems and Learning Networks

The focus of this module will be on getting to know the RWH&C practices, and how they are appropriate in different farming contexts. There are activities to help find more information on the practices by direct links to the website and using the Navigation Tool. The module closes with discussions on farming as an Activity System, and the value of Learning Networks.

Assignment – If you wish for certification in Stream 1 (at NQF level 6) you will be required to complete a written analysis of your existing curricula in relation to RWH&C and identify the information sources used to support the curricula. For Stream 2 (NQF level 5), if you do have involvement in RWH&C you will provide an analysis of the practices you are involved in, the partners you are working with, and the information sources you are using to support this work.  If you are not currently involved in RWH&C you will conduct a survey among your local farmers to see what if any RWH&C practices they are using, where they learned about these, and whether they would be interested in sharing their knowledge on them.

Module 2 – Teaching and learning interactions: sharing information on RWH&C practices to Include in curriculum and training; the power of the practical; developing a productive demonstration site

The second module opens with discussion on the different ways in which people learn, recognising that there are many ways to learn and each of us has our own preferred ways. The learning processes associated with the WRC materials, and this training of trainers’ course are then discussed. The idea is to broaden our understandings of learning and the potential for sharing our learning with others. These discussions will help us review and analyse the ways we are teaching and sharing currently and see how we can strengthen our practice.

As RWH&C is essentially concerned with the practical activities associated with implementing different practices, the module then looks at ‘the power of the practical’, and the importance of ‘productive demonstration sites’ in sharing RWH&C ideas and practices with others. There are discussions on the value of collaboration with others in developing these sites, and activities concerned with identifying appropriate partners and planning the development of such sites in your own area.

Assignment – For both Stream 1 and Stream 2 the assignment asks you to document how you will plan the development and use of such a site with colleagues and partners.

Module 3 –Plan and implement RWH&C related curriculum activities and teaching practices; reflect on the learning in the course so far; develop ideas for a learning network

In this final module, the initial ideas developed in Module 2 for integration of RWH&C information and materials into education curricula and training programmes are taken further. The formal education participants (Stream 1) will locate their plans for integration of RWH&C elements within the broader curriculum processes and accreditation frameworks of their institutions.  Participants in the informal sector (Stream 2) will plan for implementation of their RWH&C training processes.

There is then an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned in the course, and then to develop initial ideas for establishing a learning network with colleagues and partners in your farming context.

Assignment – Assignment 3 asks you to finalise your curriculum plan (Stream 1) or training plan (Stream 2). It requires you to provide details of the plan including the practices covered, the learning methods, the support materials, and for whom the training is intended, and what support you may need to implement the plan.

The Elements of the Course

This online course has 5 main elements, accessible to everyone:

  •  The Course Orientation – this web page. This is to help you understand how the course works, and how you can engage with it and benefit from it.
  • The Overview and Core Module Text – this is the text that you find immediately when you enter each module. This text provides the key information in each module and guides you through the module. At the end of each module is the assignment for that module.
  •  PDF presentations – each module includes a small number of these presentations and they are highlighted in and hyperlinked to the Core Module Text.  The presentations provide more detailed information on specific topics, and guide you through some of the key activities.
  •  The WRC materials and other resources – these are all located in the top menu bar and in other parts of the Amanzi for Food website, and hyperlinks into these are provided from the Core Module Text when needed.
  • The Assignments – the assignment guides are located at the end of each Core Module Text. Anyone going through the Course can therefore read online or download these, and you only need to register if you wish to submit assignments for assessment with the aim of obtaining certification. There are 3 assignments, 1 from each Module, which you need to complete successfully to achieve certification. The assessment criteria for each assignment are also available to read online or download.

The Registration Process

(If you wish to submit assignments for certification)

To register for the assessment and certification process click on the ‘Register or Log In’ button at the top of the web page. The first time you open this you will be required to register, so click on the ‘Register ’ button. This will open a registration form in which you will be asked to provide your full name (all your names as on your id document); your id number; your email address; your cellphone/WhatsApp number; and the date on which you are registering.  You then click on ‘register’. You will chose your own user name that will be linked to the e-mail address you provide. Please allow 48 hours after registration to receive your confirmation of registration as each course participants are approved personally by our tutors. At the mean time you can continue with the course as a visitor. Every time you wish to submit an assignment or communicate with Rhodes University online about the course you need only to click on ‘Register or Log in’, then click on the ‘Log in’ button where you will be asked for your username and password. At this stage you will be assigned your tutor who will support you through the process.

The Assessment and Certification Process

All assignments will be assessed by qualified members of the Amanzi for Food team based at the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at Rhodes University. The awarding of certificates is dependent on the outcomes of these assessments.

Achieving certification requires that all 3 of your assignments meet the specific criteria for achieving a pass mark. When you register for certification you will be assigned a tutor who will assess your assignments, and be available to answer, via email and/or WhatsApp, any questions you may have in relation to the assignments and support you through the process.

When you submit your assignment it will be sent to your tutor who will conduct the assessment according to clear criteria. If your assignment meets the assessment criteria, you will be informed of this and encouraged to continue to the next Module. If the assessment shows that the assignment has not met the required standard, the assignment will be returned to you with guidance on how it can be strengthened.  You then have one chance to improve on the first draft, and resubmit. The assignment will then be reassessed, and the outcomes of the assessment, including the full assessment sheet with detailed comments will be sent to you via e-mail. If your assignment meets the required standard you will be encouraged to continue with the course and move onto the next Module.  If it still does not meet the criteria you will be encouraged to start again with the first module and re-register when you feel you are ready. This process applies to all 3 assignments. Once you have completed all 3 assignments to the required level, you will be awarded a Rhodes University certificate at the NQF level according to the Stream you are following.

The Course Forum

The Course Forum is a space where you can share your experiences of the Course, of farming, and of trying out new RWH&C practices. You can use the Forum to learn from the tutors and other course participants’ experiences and ideas. When you register and login, you will have complete access to the Forum.

Welcome to the Amanzi for Food Online Course – and Good Luck!

Click the next button to continue to an Overview of Module 1.

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