Browsing 06. Pan-Commonwealth Forum 6 (PCF6), 2010 by Region "Pacific"
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- ItemOpen AccessAnalysing the development of institutional policies for sustainability and quality of OERs with a focus on the Australian context(2010-11) Bossu, CarinaStimulated by funding from benefactors such as the Hewlett Foundation and UNESCO, the OER movement has been growing rapidly since 2001, providing educational content freely to institutions and learners across the world through the Internet. Many organizations perceive benefits both for themselves and for learners elsewhere in distributing their learning resources in this way. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) OpenCourseWare initiative (OCW), set up in 2001, makes content available freely from most of MIT’s courses and has provided the inspiration for many similar institutional projects. When the MIT OCW site was officially launched the following year, over 500 courses were available. By 2004 there were 900, and the total reached 1250 in 2005. Even more impressive were visitor numbers. By 2005, MIT’s OCW site had received more than 8.5 million visits, and visitors were growing by 56% per annum (MIT 2006). Equally significant was the speed with which the MIT OCW site demonstrated its value to the institution. In 2006, it was reported that 35% of new MIT students had based their choice of institution, in whole or in part, on their exposure to the MIT OCW site. It was also reported that 71% of MIT students using the OCW site found its content helpful or extremely helpful in their studies (MIT 2006). As expected, the MIT OCW project provided a model for other universities worldwide and saw the establishment of the OpenCourseWare Consortium (OCWC). Currently, the OCWC has over two hundred institutional members worldwide (OCW 2008). // By the end of 2006, there were signs that the OER movement had reached maturity. An important sign were developments in Europe, where alternatives to the MIT model emerged. One of these was OpenLearn, launched by the Open University (OU) in October 2006, which was intended to publish the widest possible selection of OU course materials. It was also intended to do much more: its explicit goal was to engage and support self-directed learners using the latest Web 2.0 technologies. The site would not only host user-generated content (material created by individuals and organisations outside the higher education sector), it would also provide social networking tools to empower users to build their own learning communities (Shuller 2006). By mid-2007, 560,000 individuals had visited the OpenLearn site. In a single week in June 2007, the site had 8,000 visitors from the UK, 6,000 visitors from the United States and another 4,500 from the rest of the world. More importantly, there were 19,000 registered users (Taylor 2007). By April 2008, over 4,400 OpenLearn users had become fully-fledged Open University students. This represented additional teaching income of ₤2.7 million for the institution (Gourley & Lane 2009). // These initiatives form what is now known as the open educational resource movement, which promotes “the open provision of educational resources, enabled by information and communication technologies, for consultation, use and adaptation by a community of users for non-commercial purposes” (UNESCO 2002, p. 24). While the term "open educational resources" was first adopted by UNESCO in 2002, it is in the OECD report, Giving Knowledge for Free (2007, p. 10), that the definition of OER currently most often used stands as “digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research”. This is the definition that will be adopted in this paper, although in the context of being aware of a wider interpretation. // Currently, many universities around the globe have launched OER projects (more than 300 universities). Millions of learners have benefited from learning through OER materials, and many educational institutions, mostly distance education providers, have obtained significant rewards in terms of enhancing their reputations, increasing student enrolment and developing innovative ways to produce distance learning materials (Wiley & Gurrell 2009). Also, OERs have contributed significantly to the proliferation of virtual communities of learning, where students, teachers and experts in their fields can discuss, make contributions and learn with each other through online collaboration (D'Antoni 2008). However, we still have much to learn about the OER movement. It is still grappling with issues such as resistance to giving away information and knowledge for “free”; at no cost and free to use and re-use. Licensing, intellectual propriety and copyright of OERs are also matters that remain ambiguous to educational institutions. In a similar fashion, many questions associated with policy development, sustainability and quality of OERs continue to be unanswered and under researched (D'Antoni 2008). In fact, according to UNESCO (D'Antoni 2008, p. 11), the above concerning matters are listed amongst the 14 priority issues that deserve attention for further development of OERs, with “awareness raising and promotion” being the first priority.
- ItemOpen AccessA community for learning and teaching, research and Innovation in Distance Education(2010-11) Tynan, BelindaThe DE Hub: Innovation in Distance Education project was established as a central research institute to develop, facilitate and disseminate information on best practices in distance education for the Australian higher education sector. As a consortia of five higher education institutions (University of New England [UNE], Charles Sturt University [CSU], University of Southern Queensland [USQ], CQUniversity [CQU] and Massey University [Massey (2010)]. Partners are engaging in national and global collaborations on evidence-based approaches to new teaching technologies and are building capacity across the sector where appropriate. DEHub is exploring innovative modes of teaching and learning that strengthen the capacity of regional universities to meet the demands of their distance education students, and to assist rural communities enhance their economic and social sustainability.
- ItemOpen AccessContinuing education & TVET: an alternative system at the university of the south pacific(2010-11) Bakalevu, Salanieta; Narayan, NeelamThis paper will discuss the systems of open schooling that exists at the USP. A combined system of the complementary and alternative forms of open schooling (Daniel and Ferreira, 2008) operates through the Continuing and Community Education (CCE) Centre and the College of Foundation Studies (CFS). In different ways the two sections provide an inclusive service by offering an alternative learning pathway to various levels of learners who failed to progress through the traditional academic pathway.
- ItemOpen AccessThe final countdown 3, 2, 1 … zero: Launching towards a university wide implementation of an ePortfolio system(2010-11) Prasad, Deepak; Tuisawau, Pita; Yusuf, Javed; Bhartu, DhirajIn today’s digital age educators and governments around the globe are rightfully demanding for more reflective practice and social activity in education. Research has shown that, ePortfolios promote reflection (Batson & Chen 2008; Stefani, Mason & Pegler 2007) and social activity (Gerbic & Maher 2008; Zeichner & Wray 2001) in teaching and learning. ePortfolios are shared, reflected and provides a means for students to be mobile and lifelong learners and the types depend of their multiple purposes. In light of these possibilities, ePortfolios has gained major traction in high schools and universities and are becoming increasingly “viable institutional instructional technology to facilitate student learning” (Dordelly-Rosales 2010, p.12). ePortfolio is therefore a promising technology for any educational institution that aspires to meet the demands of educators and governments in today’s very dynamic learning and teaching environment. // In its efforts to enhance learning and teaching at University of the South Pacific (USP), the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (CFDL) has been probing ePortfolios since 2007. In May 2008, an expert on e-portfolios, Sarah Lambert from the University of Wollongong, conducted a series of presentations on ePortfolios at the invitation of CFDL to USP faculty and management. // More specifically, plans for including a unit on e-portfolios in the new ICT generic course (UU100 to be rolled out in semester 2, 2010) called for some serious exploration of best ePortfolio solution/practices. In addition, this exploration exercise was seen as dovetailing with the University’s efforts in developing its graduate profile and attributes as well as the newly setup USP alumni association. The current evaluation and testing exercise is one of the first phases of the ePortfolio rollout at USP. This phase started with an initial meeting of the ePortfolio Working Group on August 24, 2009. // This paper will be presented in four sections. The first provides the literature review that guided the study. The second will provide aim and objectives of the study and the third section will examine the evaluative approach and will present findings from the evaluative process. The final section of the paper will present the conclusion and recommendations of areas for further investigation.
- ItemOpen AccessInvestment and innovation to better support industry and learner needs(2010-11) Lewis, Sian; Beach, BradAustralia’s Victorian State Government is committed to providing accessible, high quality, industry and learner-relevant open and distance education for all Victorians. This is critical to ensuring individual prosperity as well as the long term economic growth of the state. ELearning is a key mechanism used in Victoria to deliver open and distance education, and Victoria’s vocational education and training (VET) sector has developed a national reputation for excellence in E-Learning delivery. This paper explains the role of E-Learning in the Victorian Government’s VET framework and highlights how one Victorian VET provider has worked with businesses and individuals through E-Learning to make a meaningful difference to Victoria and Victorians.
- ItemOpen AccessResolving technical infrastructure disparities in wide-area, cross-border geographical zones to deliver effective training modules(2010-11) Walker, Sue; Fay, Michael; Hughes, Tony; Oliphant, Rob; de Saldanha, CristalThe Award began in 1956 in the UK, where it is known as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Over the last 54 years it has spread across the globe, because the philosophy and the format have proved attractive and adaptable to many cultures. // The Award enables young people to demonstrate self-development within an internationally recognised framework. The non-formal educational network can complement formal education and offers a substitute where formal opportunities are not available. The Award provides access to an international network of youth development expertise, training capacity and best practice. // Through contributing to skills development, the Award can significantly enhance a country’s human resource development and support its national development goals.
- ItemOpen AccessThe Role of Open and Distance Learning in Skills Development: A Papua New Guinean Case Study(2010-11) Minol, Kipli JoanA skills based society is one that will help it to move forward and progress in development. Skills come hand in hand with Knowledge – i.e. new skills are always needed to complement new knowledge acquired. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is a relatively new concept in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as it is a developing country. ODL does however, play an important role in disseminating skills to the population that do not have the opportunity to further their education at tertiary/ higher learning institutions. A variety of skills are taught in formal or traditional classroom settings and many others are taught in the societies or village communities and settings. The primary aim of this research is to look into the roles of ODL in the dissemination of skills to the population. The focus is on the “University of Papua New Guinea Open College and its Certificate in Tertiary and Community Studies as a tool for skills development through ODL. In addition this paper discusses the importance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and how IKSs influence learners’ prior learning of skills.
- ItemOpen AccessToward Leveraging Open Source Technologies: Training teachers in the use of Moodle (LMS) at the University of the South Pacific(2010-11) Narayan, Neelam; Panda, Santosh; Seth, KerishmaThe introduction of the learning management system (LMS) has been a challenge for many educational institutions in terms of providing proper training and up-skilling the teaching staff in the use of LMS and effectively incorporating it in their teaching. The University of the South Pacific (USP) which is owned by 12 island nations and which serves almost half of the 20 thousand students through flexible learning is no exception to this. In this paper, the authors describe the initiatives taken by USP to design and conduct professional development workshops for teaching staff embarking to use Moodle in their teaching. Since 2007, the training workshops have been conducted in several ways to meet the immediate needs and demands of the teaching staff. The training workshops comprised of a series of face-to-face 3-4 hour workshops, online introductory workshops and one-to-one workshops in response to urgent requests. // These workshops focus specifically on enabling teaching staff: • to use Moodle as an adjunct to face-to-face teaching rather than to teach in a fully online or distance learning context; • to get a feel for how their courses could be enhanced using Moodle; • to understand the process of planning, designing and implementing online courses, and collaborate with others to do those tasks; • to create better and active communication and collaboration with their students; and • to design and manage learning assessment using Moodle. // Besides discussing the issues relating to the design and offer of training workshops, the authors critically reflect on the evaluation findings and concerns raised by the teaching staff in regards to teaching large classes with students distributed over the 12 countries of the USP region. Also, this paper suggests alternative ways of training that can be implemented to develop the skills of the teaching staff required for effective use of the LMS.
- ItemOpen AccessUpskilling Pacific Police Officers(2010-11) Tuitoga, AnareIt is essential for police officers in the Pacific region to be upskilled because in today’s changing face of crimes, the officers need to be able to equip themselves with knowledge and skills so that they truly serve and protect the communities they have sworn to serve. However if they do not progress beyond the training they received during basic recruit then they are left wanting in their role as keepers and protectors of the law in their communities. This paper has attempted to highlight three main reasons why Pacific police officers should upskill themselves.