Workshop participants with coordinators Dr Shikha Raturi of USP (2nd from left) and John Lesperance of COL (3rd from left).
An intensive week-long workshop on e-learning pedagogies and materials development using Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and Open Educational Resources (OERs) was conducted at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Teachers Educational Resource and E-learning Centre (TEREC) in Laucala from 23-27 May 2016.
Facilitated by the Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) Mr John Lesperance and USP’s Dr Shikha Raturi, the workshop saw seven participants from the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), one from USP and one from Tuvalu’s Education ministry.
Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Language and Education (FALE) Dr Salanieta Bakalevu welcomed the participants saying e-learning pedagogies and materials development using ODL and Open Educational Resources (OERs) is at the heart of “what we are doing at USP.”
“It is pivotal in USP’s Strategic Plan particularly in the Learning and Teaching priority area. One objective in this area is to transform USP’s pedagogy and curriculum and under this objective are two initiatives - one is to do continuous staff development to change pedagogies while the other is a whole transformation of our courses into flexible delivery mode,” Dr Bakalevu explained.
She highlighted the importance of flexible learning in reaching Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and learners across the globe.
“The current trend is transforming to online delivery and not just to transform but to change and convert courses because we want to touch our people in the region”.
COL has been working in different PICs and this workshop is the first of its kind in partnership with USP, to build capacity for ODL materials development and e-pedagogies.
The Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) is a network of small countries committed to the collaborative development of free content resources for use in an educational context.
Participating countries focus on the collaborative development of post-secondary and tertiary level as well as skills-related courses in areas such as tourism, entrepreneurship, disaster management, life skills, use of information and communication technologies, small fisheries management and so forth.
To-date more than 15 courses and programmes have been developed. COL is coordinating the development of VUSSC on behalf of Commonwealth Ministers of Education.
Participants were thankful to COL and USP for providing this opportunity and the experience.
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