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E learning at the University of Mauritius - Case of the VCILT

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  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • Withlow budget, limitedresources and ever-growing pressure to increaseintake, access and generate revenue, therewas no choice, than to explore sustainable avenues and innovative technologies in the education system.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.
  • There are three main drivers for the need of a paradigm shift in university education.

Transcript

  • 1. e-Learning @ University of Mauritius (UoM)
    Case of the Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies (VCILT)
    http://vcampus.uom.ac.mu
    http://vcilt.blogspot.com
    Santally Mohammad Issack
    Officer-in-Charge
    m.santally@uom.ac.mu
  • 2. Menu of the talk
    Distance Education Concept in Mauritius
    From DE concept to e-learning: the VCILT
    Educational Philosophy of the VCILT
    The three axes: Content, Pedagogy and Technology
    Projects, Achievements and Related Issues
  • 3. ‘Distance’ Education at the University
    Report from Lord Young and Sir John Daniel 1988/1989
    Recommendation
    “University of Mauritius has the opportunity to expand its curriculum rapidly by the use of Distance Education Courses”
    Outcome
    The Centre for Distance Learning was established in 1993 at the University of Mauritius
  • 4. ‘Distance’ Education at the University
    Initial Strategy (1993-2003)
    Take on-campus courses with large cohorts and convert
    them into self-learning mode
    • Enrolment on traditional university course is necessary
    • 5. Instead of 45-hr lecture, 15 hours of face-to-face contact focusing on tutorials supported by print course manuals
    • 6. 10 years without any programme fully on ‘’DE’’ mode
  • ‘Distance’ Education at the University
    Questions
    Is it Distance Education?
    Is it expanding the curriculum?
    Is it increasing access?
    Not Really – Instead it provides flexibility and convenience in the learning
    process of on-campus learners to some extent
    Highly competitive to secure a place at the University
  • 7. Paradigm shift in University Education: the need to
    focus on the outcomes (needs) rather than means
    The need to enhance teaching and learning
    The need to tap on potential of new educational technologies
    Adhering to Government vision
    - increasing access to tertiary education
    - building a knowledge society
    - dissemination of quality education
    - promoting lifelong learning through a flexible education system
    Education is education – it cannot be distant but the means to achieve educational purpose may differ
  • 8. Promote innovative teaching and learning practices through the use of technologies
    Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies
    Experiment with new educational delivery systems
    2001 - 2011
    Establish a partnership with the academic staff to help them meet teaching and
    learning requirements which attains user satisfaction
    Increase access to university education through innovative modes of delivery
  • 9. VCILT- early operational issues
    Human resources
    Lack of qualified personnel in instructional design, educational technology,
    multimedia development
    No clear pre-defined structure in terms of HR for the centre
    Started with a few trainees and temporary research assistants
    Hired people with right skills but mismatched job descriptions
  • 10. VCILT- early operational issues
    Policy and Incentives
    No predefined policy on how e-learning would be integrated in the University
    system
    What would be the right incentives to involve academics in the integration
    of technology in their courses?
    The confusion was whether to have online courses or to have multimedia
    aids for teaching and learning
  • 11. VCILT- early operational issues
    Ahead of its time
    Internet access and penetration very limited
    Students access courses in computer labs
    No funding for heavy upfront investment in technology infrastructure
  • 12. Blended Learning Concept
    Mixed mode and web-enhanced teaching (2002-2003)
    Demarcates from the fully online course concept
    Academics are given online space to share course materials with students and to engage in online discussions
    Financial Incentives proposed
  • 13. First Projects
    The Mass Computer Proficiency Programme (2002)
    Aim is to make Mauritius become a cyber island by providing training to citizens on ICT on a very minimal fee
    VCILT involved in developing the content and train-the-trainers
    Learning-by-doing Concept
    First online Test Centre developed for exams for the CPP
  • 14. First Projects
    The i-Learn Platform
    VCILT hired a manager Learning Technologies in 2003
    The IT team embarked on a costly project to develop an in-house learning platform
    Project abandoned after 3 years due to the rapid growth and population of open-source learning platforms like MOODLE
    A clear example where ICT tends to (erroneously) drive business strategies!!!
  • 15. The Interactive DVD on History and Geography (2003)
    CD is lying in filing cabinets of our primary schools
  • 16. Lifelong Learning Cluster (2004-)
    Aim
    synergy will entail that could eventually sustain the University in its development path
    LLC
    VCILT
    CPDL
    CITS
    Curriculum Development
    Research
    Consultancy
    A shift in focus (from a policy perspective)from DE to innovative and
    alternative modes of delivery to promote lifelong learning
  • 17. Our Educational Philosophy
    Technology
    Authentic Learning
    Learning
    community
    Competencies and Skills
    Content
    Pedagogy
  • 18. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    Content-based Approach
    The classicalapproach : e-book equivalent
    Fitswellwith content management systems
    Follows a tell and askapproach
    Supported by basic communication tools, learningmanagement toolsetc
    Mapswell on traditionalapproaches to (distance) learning
  • 19. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    Activity-based Approach
  • 20. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    Why Activity-based approach?
    Inspired from Daniel Schneider (2003)
  • 21. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    Why Activity-based approach?
    Inspired from Daniel Schneider (2003)
  • 22. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    A sample Learning Activity
  • 23. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    A sample Learning Activity
  • 24. Curriculum Development and Pedagogy
    Creativity and Innovation
    Quality Assurance, Outcomes focus
    Inspired from Daniel Schneider (2003)
  • 25. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Define outcomes and competencies (expected) beforehand
    Learners like to know about the big picture
  • 26. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Have a reasonable outcomes list and number of learning activities
    Students get overloaded, panicked and frustrated
    Difficult to manage – quality issues as timely feedback might
    not be available
    Support of instructional designer and experience of the teacher
    is important
  • 27. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Always have opening and closing activities for a course
    Setting the context
    Getting important feedback on student’s learning and their perception
    of the learning environment
  • 28. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Provide a reasonable time-span for completion of learning activities
    Experience and previous feedback play important role in the accurate
    estimation of effort and time
    Learning Designers need to take into account that students might be
    engaged in other parallel learning activities
  • 29. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Provide learners with examples of what is expected from them
    Worked out examples and sample of previous work is very helpful
    Minimizes confusion and boosts student self-confidence
  • 30. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Use technologies wisely – do not overly focus on them
    It is not necessary for students to build a concept-map for every lesson!
    If students can meet, do not force them to use Skype
  • 31. Best Practices using Activity-based Approaches
    Allow students to give honest and constructive feedback on their
    learning experiences
    The need to realise that students are the main stakeholders in the process
    Feedback should not be anonymous as it kills objectivity of the
    process
    Learners feel valued to know they count!
  • 32. Constructive Disruption
    Quality assurance processes have to be altered
    Traditional QA forms and stereotype questions do not apply
    The ‘classroom’ is not a centralised physical location but a virtual and
    distributed location in cyberspace
    Educational Processes and Learning Support Processes
    Assessment methods differ
    Online learner support, tutorial activities
    Need for flexibility
  • 33. Content – Open Educational Resources
    SIDECAP - Transnational EDULINK fundedproject – 32 monthsdurationsinceJune 2008
    OU UK, UOM, UWI, USP and UHI (Lews Castle College)
    Research Focus on OERs and Capacity Building of Staff for Educational Innovations using ICT
  • 34. Content – Open Educational Resources
    RepurposingOERs for Courses in MainstreamEducational Programmes
  • 35. Content – Open Educational Resources
    Content from OpenLearn, UK Imported and restored on Local Platform
  • 36. Content – Open Educational Resources
    Repurposing == decontextualisation (optional) recompose  recontextualisation
  • 37. HTML Content
    Interactive Video Lectures
    Content – Open Educational Resources
    Value Addition in terms of pedagogical design to imported OERs
  • 38. Content – Open Educational Resources
    OER in Courseware design:
    • as building blocks of new courses
    • 39. as supplementary and complementary materials to existing courses
    • 40. as ready-made courses that are imported in the local e-learning platform
  • The Case
    • Low Budget
    • 41. Limited Resources
    • 42. Have to IncreaseIntake
    • 43. Have to Give More Access
    • 44. Generate Revenue!!
    Why should I? I can’t
    Do more withless!
    € 4,000
    Yes We Can!!
    Be Wise – Sustain it!
  • 45. Student Population
    (2010)~ > 200
    (2008) ~ >15
    Diploma in Web and Multimedia
    MSc Educational Technologies
    BSc (Hons) Educational & Instructional Technology
    From Prototype to Scale
  • 46. e-learning technologies
  • 47. MOODLE Development Projects
    Personalisation Module
    Allows learning objects to be customized depending on learner preferences
    Proposes the most appropriate learning path for the learner based on his/her profile
  • 48. MOODLE Development Projects
    E-Portfolio Module
    Existing e-Portfolio module of MOODLE was a failure – pedagogy, usability and functionality
    Currently reworking on requirements for a completely new e-portfolio system that can be applied for the student population in general
  • 49. e-learning (rapid) technologies
    SCORM Compliant Multimedia Learning
  • 50. e-learning (rapid) technologies
    Cartoon-based educational material
  • 51. Research in Interactive Pedagogical Multimedia
    Effects of split-attention elements in multimedia learning environments on students’ learning experiences and learning outcomes
    Outcomes of using multimedia learning environments with primary school kids suffering from ADHD (attention and hyperactivity)
    Design elements of interactive pedagogical multimedia for mobile devices
  • 52. Major Projects
    SideCAP Project
    SADC ODL KMS Project
    E-Learning Platform Deployment for COMESA
    Courseware Digitization for Dubai e-University
    ICOOL Series
    The Learning Conference 2011
  • 53. Important Achievement
  • 54. Local Context Issues
    In early days of operation – unflinching management support
    Change in Top Management – same vision of University but different priorities
    Decision making (poor) and leadership styles can be problematic – academic institutions need leaders and not administrators
    E-Learning, ICT in Education, Educational Technology and Teaching and Learning enhancement are not currently the operational priorities
    Turf-war issues and mindset (lack of open-mindedness) is a big problem
    No clear educational policy that promotes innovation and creativity
  • 55. Strategies
    The Lifelong Learning Cluster Concept was instrumental in the
    survival of the centre.
    Alternative modes of funding – from research projects to consultancy assignments.
    Focusing on international recognition – no one is prophet in his country
    Embarking on formal teacher training programmes
    Relying a bit on luck by chance!
  • 56. The future
    Trying to create a critical pool of ‘change agents’ to bring about
    the needed mindset change
    The Open University of Mauritius – supposedly be a scaled up model of the VCILT
    The need for a specific educational policy on making e-learning integrated to a mainstream educational model
    Revisiting the concept of Quality Assurance which currently links to rules and regulations
  • 57. Conclusion
    ICT should be seen as an enabler to improve existing processes and/or to create innovative ones – an not an end in itself
    Educational Research should focus on pedagogies and the role of (accessible) technologies to facilitate or support these pedagogies
    University Policies should be needs-driven and outcomes-based
    Universities of the 21st Century should be driven by leaders and visionaries rather than administrators and managers