Building Resilience to Ensure Teaching and Learning Continuity in the 2020 Pandemic Lockdown: A Consideration of Issues Challenges and Strategies at the National University of Samoa

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Chan Mow, Ioana T
Faleupolu Tevita, Sarai
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // This paper demonstrates the leveraging of technology to build resilience in educational systems to ensure learning continuity during disruptions due to pandemics or natural disasters. The paper describes how resilience is achieved through the implementation of the National University of Samoa (NUS) Moodle workplan for transitioning to the new normal of online learning when Samoa went into voluntary lockdown, in response to the threat of COVID 19. Previously, NUS conducted most of its courses in face-to-face (F2F) mode with some courses using blended delivery or blended mode of learning. But in early 2020, with the emergence of COVID 19, and the sudden lockdown of the whole country, it was crucial that NUS transition all its courses to online mode and hosted in Moodle, the university’s Learner Management system. Key factors determining the scope of this implementation were: i) access to devices, ii) access to the Internet, iii) sufficient bandwidth to ensure uninterrupted and reasonably fast access to Moodle, iv) sufficient processor power of servers to handle the volume of processing iv) the number of simultaneous users on Moodle, vi) skill level of staff and students to use Moodle. The paper discusses the implementation details of this transitioning to online such as the conversion of courses to digital and uploading to Moodle, training of staff on the use of Moodle, and upgrading infrastructure. Challenges and issues encountered in this implementation which include access, bandwidth and congestion, and learner engagement, are also discussed as well as a set of recommendations to build resilience and ensure teaching and learning continuity in future lockdowns. // Paper ID 9596
Moodel, pandemic lockdown, online learning, COVID-19, resilience, National University of Samoa, teaching and learning continuity