The University hosted its annual Learning & Teaching Forum on 31 August, 2017.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Wayne Mackintosh who spoke on the Open Educational Resource universitas (OERu) - an international collaboration of universities, colleges and polytechnics spanning five regions of the world.
The OERu provides free learning opportunities using courses based solely on Open Educational Resources (OER), with pathways to obtain university-level qualifications. The OERu offers a philanthropic alternative to the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) start-ups.
"The USP is a founding partner of the OERu, and Dr. Mackintosh’s presentation allowed us to consider how we can best contribute to the public good, by enhancing open access to higher education," said Professor Richard K. Coll, the University Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
USP's 2017 Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winners from L-R: Dr. Rohindra,
"The development and implementation of an open education policy will serve to provide strategic direction to our endeavours," says Professor Coll.
"This would include comprehensive and strategic use of open education resources (OER). But also we need to capture the ‘open education space’, while we have the opportunity. The very low gross enrolment ratio in higher education across the Pacific (ca.3-4%) is such that many will struggle to gain access to higher education in the foreseeable future. We need to build our profile in the use of MOOCs, and to engage much more deeply with open access to education. If we fail to do so, others here, and overseas, will claim this territory. We need to consider how we could allow or provide credit for MOOCs and other forms of informal learning, building upon our RPL framework."
Dr. Mackintosh was followed by stimulating talks from two student speakers; Fulori Cavukiliu – a student with disability (low vision), and Ernest Gibson, winning USP captain of the inter-tertiary quiz competition. Both speakers highlighted the advantages OER provided them, speaking of lower cost and easier access to resources, and enhanced understating. Ernest pointed out how the use of OER meant there was more robust debate and a better chance of the 'Pacific Voice,' being heard in contrast with print materials, which he noted are more uni-dimensional, and static.
The student speakers were followed by presentations of the three Faculty Teaching Excellence Award winners:
Professor Coll also announced Dr. Matthew Hayward as the overall VC’s Excellence in Teaching Award Winner.
For more information on Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on Learning & Teaching 2017, please click here.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP presents the VC’s Excellence in Teaching Award to Dr. Mathew Hayward.