The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi

The Challenges of Blended Learning at UWIDEC: A Case of ICT innovations in the developing country context

Dianne Thurab-Nkhosi
Distance Education Centre, UWI

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     Last modified: August 3, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 2:15 PM in ST Windsor A
     (View Schedule)

In 1992, in an ongoing effort to promote regional development through higher education, the University of the West Indies (UWI) took a decision to widen access to UWI programmes and courses by incorporating distance education as an integral part of its operations. Based on this decision, the UWI was transformed from a single-mode to a dual-mode institution, with the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) being created in 1996 to facilitate distance delivery. The UWIDECs operations involved a mixed mode of delivery featuring audio-conferencing, printed materials and face-to-face tutorials. The UWIDEC, like many other distance education institutions has recognized the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance distance education course delivery. To this end the UWIDEC has been incorporating the use of ICTs in the delivery of its programmes and courses, taking a blended approach. This paper explores the possibilities of technology-mediated learning for development by examining some of the changes that have been made by the UWIDEC to facilitate the move to blended learning, the challenges posed to quality assurance and the implications of these challenges for the continued growth and development of higher education.

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