Developments in e-Learning in Education in Samoa: Issues, Challenges, Strategies and Recommendations for the Way Forward

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5: Cross-Cutting Theme // This paper looks at e-learning initiatives in education in Samoa, focusing on developments at the National University of Samoa (NUS) and the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC). The main aims of these developments are the provision of access to learning, bridging the technological divide, and the promotion and pursuit of open education resources (OERs) The API Environmental series is an example of collaborative course development by 7 universities to increase access in the Asia Pacific region to online courses in areas identified as having relevance and importance across the region such as environmental studies and disaster management. The NUS CISCO academy funded by a partnership between International telecommunications Union (ITU), UNDP and CISCO was set up as part of CISCO and ITU’s LDC initiative to build capacity in least developed countries like Samoa, in an attempt to bridge the digital divide. Developments at MESC include broadcasting lessons for primary schools and the SchoolNet project aimed at providing computers in secondary and primary schools, the development of OERs hosted on a portal and the provision of community access after hours. But perhaps the most viable and prominent of these is our involvement in the Commonwealth of learning developments such as the FLOSS4EduPacific for the promotion of use of open source software, and the advances made within the Virtual university (VUSSC). VUSSC activities include participation in the online course development bootcamps, training in the wiki-educator workshops for NUS staff, and outreach for the Community tele-centres and the SchoolNet centres. // The discussion includes issues and concerns which have unfolded from these initiatives such as the need for a stable technical infrastructure, sustainability in terms of resources and the need for a pedagogical framework. The paper concludes with a set of recommendations for future development in the area of e-learning. // Paper ID 197

eLearning,Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE),Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC)