The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Wendy Kitson-Piggott

Learning to Learn

Wendy Kitson-Piggott
The Caribbean Epidemiology Centre

Joan Laurie
The Michener Institute

     Full text: HTML
     Last modified: August 20, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 4:00 PM in ST Windsor A
     (View Schedule)

Practice resulting in successful blended learning:

A recognized need to ensure equity and ready access to health services through well-trained health staff led to the design of a performance-based upgrading program implemented in 23 countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The main objective was to prepare laboratory managers to function effectively and efficiently within in the dynamic of the Caribbean environment. Important challenges included bringing together 23 sovereign territories, speaking four different languages, all having different beliefs and cultures while establishing basic competencies as a means of standardizing and harmonizing the regional training effort.

The focus was on action learning: reinforcing and extending the existing knowledge and skills through a blended learning approach. Learning via distance education was new for almost all of the 56 students. The course participants came together occasionally, but depended heavily on written training materials which included assignments to be sent in, discussions, and telephone tutoring support.

This blended approach worked very well, not only resulting in a number of competent health managers, but also in preparing staff that can take on an important role in the further development of training in health-services using distance education as is now being implemented in the region.

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