Sabine Little, E-Learning in the Caribbean


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A presentation - E-Learning in the Caribbean: A case study from a developing world - given by Dr Sabine Little at the following conference: International Conference on E-Learning, University of Québec, Montréal, Canada,
June 2006

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Sabine Little, E-Learning in the Caribbean

  1. 1. Networked Learning in the Caribbean: A case study from a developing world Dr Sabine Little Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences University of Sheffield, UK ICEL 2006, Montr éal, Canada 23 rd June 2006
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Background to the study </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry-based Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Gradual implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Student Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Moving forward </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background to the study <ul><li>Caribbean Programme at Sheffield University started (student-led) in 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Currently over 200 students in Trinidad & Tobago and St. Lucia (Cert., MEd, EdD & PhD) </li></ul><ul><li>Two one-week study schools per year, supported by phone/email contact </li></ul><ul><li>Need to integrate online learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To expand student-tutor contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To allow for better training for local tutors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To build community of practice among dispersed (island) community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To facilitate student-led inquiry-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… in a context-sensitive way!! </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Inquiry-based Learning (IBL) on the Caribbean Programme <ul><li>facilitates collaborative inquiry by students into their own practice and their context; </li></ul><ul><li>challenges students to question the Status Quo and the role of educational research in the Caribbean; </li></ul><ul><li>supports students in identifying a shared language and joint enterprise (Community of Practice (Wenger, 1998)) for their environment; </li></ul><ul><li>provides students with the necessary information literacy skills to find and use resources necessary to achieve the above; </li></ul><ul><li>uses networked learning to create the links between groups, individuals and resources to encourage IBL, recognising social identity (Rourke et al, 1999). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gradual Implementation
  6. 6. Student Feedback <ul><li>Computer/Internet access not easy, but possible - initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Access to online ‘academic’ resources and discussions considered cumbersome (lack of information literacy skills) </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous over synchronous communication </li></ul><ul><li>More structured approach needed to encourage inter-island communication </li></ul><ul><li>In order to integrate networked learning fully, time needs to be dedicated to training, and to occur early/earlier in degree </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Hooks’ needed to entice students to come online </li></ul><ul><li>Divided opinions re: assessment </li></ul>
  7. 7. Moving forward <ul><li>Face-to-face half day workshop for information literacy/networked learning skills </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative inquiry (Educational Research Module) supported explicitly through WebCT (in small working groups as well as entire cohort) </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment introduced on portfolio basis </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Hooks’ in form of structured discussion slots, stepped approach to information literacy, and examples of good practice (assignments) online </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions centred around community of practice, positionality, etc. – not subject-specific, encouraging students’ IBL </li></ul><ul><li>… leading to demand for supporting discussions online for each module. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Questions?
  9. 9. References & Contact Details <ul><li>Rourke, L.; Anderson, T.; Garrison, D. R. and Archer, W. (1999) “Assessing social presence in asynchronous text-based computer conferencing”, Canadian Journal of Distance Education , Vol 14, No. 2, pp 50-71 </li></ul><ul><li>Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. </li></ul><ul><li>Picture of Sheffield shown under Creative Commons Licence: </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Sabine Little, CILASS, University of Sheffield </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul>