ISSN: 2222-8713
Blended learning at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine: A first look at policy implementation
Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi
One of the strategies identified in The University of the West Indies' (UWI) strategic plan 2007-2012 is to promote the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. This follows on strategies started in 2005 to promote the use of blended learning on the St Augustine campus, Trinidad and Tobago. Several researchers hold the view that universities have not begun to realise the power of information communication technology (ICT) in higher education and that the right blended learning model can improve teaching and learning and reduce costs - but are we there yet? The St Augustine campus has intensified efforts to incorporate technology in teaching and learning with a newly drafted blended learning policy. Since 2006 there has been no review of the status of blended learning on the St Augustine campus to see what gains have been made. This is a largely descriptive paper, which draws on publications on the implementation of blended learning at UWI, St Augustine and a review of data on current courses. The paper presents the findings of the first phase of a study that reviews the status of blended learning and identifies the gaps that need to be filled to achieve future objectives with regard to the new blended learning policy. It outlines the status of the implementation of blended learning on the St Augustine campus and emphasises the need to fill gaps in institutional support; identify hindering and facilitating factors, and complete a comprehensive costing model that can drive the process. This can ensure buy-in from stakeholders and sustainability of the initiative.
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