Project Archive: The open umbrella

This is a snapshot of project information archived on 2 September 2022. Please contact the project team for most recent updates.

The open umbrella

Subject: Post-secondary Education

Book Language: English

Audience: Academics, teachers, educators, instructional designersdesigners

Book Cover:

Created date: August 3, 2020

Updated date: August 10, 2020

Target Release Date: 2021-01-01


  • I don’t know


  • Lead Authors
  • Contributors
  • Adopters


The collective responses and efforts of many parents, educators, academics and students in 2020, as they pivoted towards online teaching and learning, have been heroic. Whether battling with stresses and anxieties, poor connectivity, inadequate access to hardware, the high cost of data or working late into nights, weekends and holidays and supporting students and / or colleagues, these laudable efforts should be celebrated (and preferably not repeated).

Teaching and learning, in any circumstances, is a challenge. Within a crisis, it is especially difficult to conceptualize a digital approach to education, especially when many are struggling with isolation, uncertainty and fear.

The global nature of this challenge to maintain course continuity during the waves of Covid-19, and then successfully completing the academic year, has been a unique and common experience for all who are linked to education. But any

short-term emergency effort (even if it is a global experience) should, at best, be seen as a rapid response to an immediate challenge.

This open umbrella project is an attempt to humanize and learn from the pivot experience. It sets out to capture the responses, issues and challenges experienced by teachers, academics and students to a crisis and then allow these hero’s to offer their suggestions, insights or approaches. This resource is based upon a framework developed by the Department for Education Innovation at Pretoria University after shut campus down across South Africa in 2015. Wendy Kilfoil and Detken Scheepers initiated the guide with Derek Moore and Estelle Drysdale driving the resources and the app.

The open umbrella is a place of practice and community. Our the intent is tap into the collective wisdom of online educators and offer all readers a more coherent and sustainable approach to the use of technology in enabling education. It is for those who are ready to take pro-active steps and look ahead, beyond the immediate crisis, to what it means to learn online. This is a loosly knit community of educators who would like to be better prepared as they continue to shift online.

I hope that the shared experiences and ideas ideas will motivate academics, students and teachers, lead to greater online satisfaction satisfaction and promote achievement of course outcomes.

You are invited to make your contribution towards the open umbrella.

Short Description:

The umbrella app and hybrid learning field guide (commonly known as the open umbrella) is designed to contribute towards the improved use of digital modalities in hybrid education settings. The field guide (draft version at The Open Umbrella) is a collection of hybrid educational practices that are evidence led. The resources that are included in the field guide are built upon existing OER initiatives that are focused on higher education in Africa, which seek to harness open education to improve teaching and learning. The resources included are repurposed from available OER’s and scholarship within the various fields. The self-evaluation app (Blended Learning Self-evaluation) introduces 8 elements/areas viz. - Assessment; Teaching and learning strategies; Learning activities; Content and content development; Communication; Administration; Design; and Support strategies. This eight sided structure (pictured as an umbrella)


Learning Activities

Learning Activities Renewable Assignments

We are interested in collecting different learning activities that have been used in a hybrid teaching.