Dr Mackintosh giving his keynote address at the L&T Forum 2017.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) held its 2017 Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on Learning and Teaching (L&T) at the Laucala Campus on 31 August, 2017.
In his opening address, Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President welcomed the keynote speaker, Dr Wayne Mackintosh saying USP looked forward to listening to innovative ideas as to how the University can make learning and teaching more sustainable for the future by using Online Education Resources (OERs).
Highlighting the University’s progress in L&T, Professor Chandra reflected briefly on the University’s efforts in this area to indicate what it was projecting and how far it has come.
He noted that USP will need to make speedy progress in the measurement of the various elements of its L&T and without measuring, “we do not know how well we are doing our core business”.
USP's 2017 Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winners from L-R: Dr Rohindra, Dr. Hayward and Professor Pathak.
“This measurement needs to lead to genuine analytics, feeding into our continuous improvement cycle,” he noted.
Professor Chandra reaffirmed that USP is clearly committed to OERs and Senate will consider the University’s policy on it.
He mentioned that one of the main and most pervasive disrupters everywhere is digital transformation.
“Although we are quite advanced in our use of ICTs, we need to deal with and exploit the opportunities presented by digital possibilities and these include the use of artificial intelligence; high degrees of automation of basic activities and processes; and a clear move towards incentivising innovation, creativity and imagination as the primary drivers of value in the future,” he noted.
Dr Mackintosh, who has over 27 years of experience in open distance and online learning, spoke about the opportunities for USP prototypes with Open Education Resource university (OERu) including:
• Reuse OERu open line courses as support materials;
• Assemble one course for OERu in a niche area; and
• Approve and adopt one OERu course for full-fee students
He stated that in contributing a course to OERu, USP can propose to assemble and share one course for the OERu network from a niche area of expertise, preferably at the first-year level.
“The aim of this would be to build local experience in open design methodologies and to profile USP internationally as a regional leader in OER,” he remarked.
With regards to Learning in a Digital Age (LIDA), USP can propose to have it offered as a full-fee, full-service course, the aim of which is to apply digital and learning literacies critical for learning success in tertiary education for the 21st century.
Micro-courses will include Digital Literacies for Online Learning (LiDA101); Digital Citizenship (LiDA102); Open Education, Copyright and Open Licensing in a Digital World (LiDA103) and Critical Media Literacies and Associated Digital Skills (LiDA104).
As for the benefits of contributing to the OERu Innovation Partnership, Dr Mackintosh stated that sharing costs is an economic imperative and pooling resources creates a significant boost in building capacity.
“Participating in partnerships with like-minded institutions create innovations on a scale that would not be possible working alone,” he noted.
Dr Mackintosh has a proven international record in free software and open educational resources and is well-versed in the theory, research and practice of open distance and e-learning.
The 2017 Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards were also announced and they went to the following lecturers:
• Dr Matthew Hayward: 2017 FALE Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winner;
• Prof. Raghuvar Pathak: 2017 FBE Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winner; and
• Dr David Rohindra: 2017 FSTE Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winner.
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