05. Pan-Commonwealth Forum 5 (PCF5), 2008

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  • Publication
    Designing Learning for Learners: A Study of Learning English through Distance at USP Emalus Campus, Vanuatu
    ( 2008-09) Kanas, Jane
    PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // In a region where English is an alien language but a seemingly important one for communication and education, Pacific Islanders have always faced a situation where they have to grapple with studies in a language so few of them call their own. For twelve countries belonging to the University of the South Pacific (USP) region, tertiary education has meant a need for good and comfortable command of the English language where students can be at ease to express their thoughts and intentions. Fluency has been an increasing urgency to address. With distance learning, materials have had to be tailored in ways that this mode brings its content in the most efficient and effective way possible for the success of the student. These challenges may put the average Ni Vanuatu in a situation where more effort is required in mastering a language enough to be able to study successfully at tertiary level. With proper and appropriate design of the learning materials, students are able to bridge these challenges and thus complete their courses successfully. // Paper ID 770
  • Publication
    The Status of English as a Language of Education and Communication in Vanuatu - Language Issues Affecting Students: A Case Study
    ( 2008-09) Tamtam, Helen Lobanga
    PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // English in Vanuatu shares a unique official role along with French as a language of communication and instruction enshrined in the constitution, inherited from the colonial past of Vanuatu as the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides. From English, a pidgin form, Bislama, emerged which has developed and is recognised as the third official and national language of Vanuatu as stated in the constitution. It does not have the same status that English and French hold within the education system. Even after independence English has continued to receive more status in education because of the high enrolment it experiences today. Despite the fact that English and French are languages of instruction from primary to secondary level, there have been ongoing challenges faced by students in using the languages confidently because of the country’s complex multilingual situation. This paper, however mainly focuses on the importance being placed on English as a language of education and communication. It addresses the question of whether English serves its intended purpose within the context of its role in society. This is followed by a discussion of the challenges faced by students and the efforts taken by the Vanuatu Department of Education and the University of the South Pacific in helping students cope with the challenges. // Paper ID 769
  • Publication
    Masifunde. Developing an Online Study Skills Course as a Free Resource for First Generation University Entrants in Southern Africa
    ( 2008-09) Wyatt, T D ; Josias, M
    PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // The Masifunde project has created an online study skills course for first generation university entrants in Cape Town. It will also be available as a free resource for other institutions helping students facing similar challenges. Masifunde takes its name from a Xhosa expression which means "let us learn!" // The project is a collaboration between TSiBA Education (Tertiary School in Business Administration, Cape Town, South Africa) and Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE) (see http://masifunde.conted.ox.ac.uk/ for more details). // TSiBA, which means “to jump” in Xhosa, is a free-to-student tertiary level institution that offers emerging leaders an opportunity to study an enriched Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) programme. Applicants are drawn from impoverished communities around Cape Town. Selection includes proof of matriculation, but not necessarily university exemption and passing a test for competency in Maths and English. // Most TSiBA students need support with study skills. However, though the TSiBA students share a similar background, they have a variety of pre-existing skills levels. Studying online means that students can take the time they need, without feeling that they are either holding back fellow students or being slowed themselves. // The project has adapted Oxford’s existing online study skills course, designed for UK non-traditional mature students. The project started with a 1-day workshop at TSiBA, with tutors and students and other experienced in teaching study skills in South Africa, to inform the changes needed to adapt the Oxford course for the Masifunde audience. // The project will provide resources for youth beyond TSiBA: Masifunde is being made freely available on a Creative Commons License (www.creativecommons.org) to other HEIs, colleges and organisations to use themselves. The course runs on Moodle, the Open Source learning/course management system, bringing the course and platform within reach of many target institutions. // Masifunde is funded under the English-African Partnerships programme managed by the British Council on behalf of the UK Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). // Paper ID 759
  • Publication
    “GIRLS’ CLUBS”: An Innovative Approach to Girls’ Education in Northern Ghana
    ( 2008-09) Addae-Boahene, Akwasi ; Akafua, Divine Kwasi ; Azure, Lawrencia ; Bannerman-Mensah, Matilda
    PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // This paper outlines an innovative approach adopted by the World University Service of Canada and the Ghana Education Service to address some of the challenges facing girls’ education in northern Ghana in pursuit of the Education For All (EFA) goals. The Girls’ Club concept seeks to empower teenage girls in deprived communities to effectively assert their rights to education and create learning opportunities for their illiterate parents on the most critical religious, cultural and social factors militating against the education for girls. // These clubs, established in some 200 basic schools in northern Ghana bring girls together as a vulnerable group to address numerous challenges confronting them at school and at home in the pursuit of their education. Club members use their knowledge and newly acquired skills to organize open learning activities at the community level for parents and other community members, through street drama, role plays, role modeling and posters. In this way, club members are given the opportunity to learn and share their learning with their own parents and peers, voice their opinions, find solutions to challenges facing them at school and at home, and learn from other role models outside their classroom. // Significant successes have been chalked in beneficiary communities which have recorded tremendous increases in enrollment and retention rates of girls in schools. Beneficiary girls also perform better academically and are usually able to qualify for entry into secondary institutions. A further exploration of this initiative and the adoption of other innovative OPEN LEARNING approaches using modern Information and Communication Technologies could contribute to the achievement of the EFA goals. // Paper ID 756
  • Publication
    Learning Outcomes and Achievement among Working Adult Students in the Distance and Collaborative Learning Program in Universiti Malaya
    ( 2008-09) Peng, Chew Fong ; Teck, Goh ; Luck, Lee Tan
    PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // Purpose – This research is attempt to examine the learning outcomes of the registered adult learners in the distance and e learning program in the Education Faculty, Social Science and Art Faculty and Language Faculty in Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, particularly at degree and post degree level who have followed the learning modules in distance and e learning. The objectives would be to develop an innovative and creative Learning Management System or e class couple with face to face lectures to create a highly effective and quality life long education environment. The e learning and teaching culture of the local public universities have great influence in determining the level of achievement and learning outcomes. Demographic factors, such as age, gender, race, marital status, and family background, academic achievement and salary range are other contributing factors that have to be taken into consideration. // Design/ methodology/ approach – Five dimensions of adult learners (demographic, learning culture, teaching and learning strategy, learning management system, and working experiences of adult learners) were examined to determine the performance and learning outcomes of the adult learners in the distance and e learning in the above mentioned faculties in Universiti Malaya. // Finding - In general, there is a significant difference among factors stated above with adult learners’ learning outcomes. The demographic factors are closely related to the learning culture. In addition, innovative learning management system provided and the learning environment are another two essential factors found to be the strong fundamental in the achievement and learning outcome of working adult learners in the distance and e learning program where a second chance is given to those underprivileged working adult learners who posses potentials and treasure life long learning joining the main stream of human capital to serve the nation’s development needs. // Research limitations/ implications – This study represents an addition to the extant literature on learning outcomes of adult learners in various faculties in university Malaya. // Practical implications – The learning outcomes of distance and e learning program in various faculties in Universiti Malaya are important since its inception, the university has produce high caliber, high achievers, quality technocrat, scholars and managers to serve and response to the great demands from both private and public sectors in Malaysia. // Originality– This study provides further groundwork to assist existing public or private institutions of higher learning in Malaysia to prepare themselves for investing in producing quality human capital. // Paper ID 750