Dr. Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi, a Faculty Development Specialist from the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the St. Augustine Campus, University of West Indies (UWI) recently completed a work attachment with the Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL). Her engagement with CFL was made possible through the Caribbean-Pacific Island Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS) which is a cooperation and mobility programme in the area of higher education. It is coordinated by UWI and funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Union (EU).
During her month long stint with CFL, Dianne shared her experiences in professional development for teaching staff in converting F2F courses to online or blended mode with the aim of enhancing faculty staff skills related to course design. This was possible through a two day ‘Train-the Trainer’ workshop for the Programme Design and Development (PDD) team of CFL. She was involved in a two-day ‘Refresh/Refocus’ PDD workshop on arrival which allowed her the opportunity to become familiar with PDD processes and add her valuable insight. She also presented a one-hour lunchtime forum for interested USP staff on Facilitating Online Learning. The session provided handy tips for facilitating online or blended teaching to avoid isolation and promote more learner engagement.
Dianne was grateful for the opportunity afforded by CAPRIMS for her attachment. Her experience at USP provided an opportunity for her to see first-hand another regional institution’s approach to implementing the blended mode of delivery. This allowed her to share her own experiences, which span more than 20 years in flexible learning and in doing so reflect on UWI’s experiences. She wished to express her gratitude to CFL for accommodating her attachment and for the support and collegiality she felt while at USP. She hopes that this relationship with UWI will be an ongoing one.