To strengthen capacity for blended learning across the Commonwealth, the Association of Commonwealth Universities in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have launched the new Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) in West Africa.
The PEBL programme is designed to sustainably, scale capacity for hybrid learning design and delivery as well as safeguard learning during times of crisis and address academic staff shortages.
It will be implemented across 12 universities in Ghana and Nigeria, through expert-led training, collaboration, and the development of quality assured blended courses.
The West African programme launch builds on the successful implementation in East Africa and will draw on the learnings, expertise and resources developed in the East Africa project, as the model is designed to be easily replicated to meet similar challenges in higher education access elsewhere across the Commonwealth.
Over four years, PEBL East Africa has trained more than 170 academics and educational developers to develop and share blended modules geared to the needs and interests of students in the region.
There are 26 open-source modules, which are available on OER Africa, now being used by more than 11,000 undergraduate students across 23 institutions.
According to Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, an increasing number of African universities are experiencing growing teaching burdens due to rapidly rising student populations and academic staff shortages, resulting in adverse impacts on teaching quality and the student experience.
Blended learning – a combination of face-to-face and online learning – offers a promising approach to address this challenge and ensure more Africans can access quality higher education now and into the future.
Photo courtesy / Unsplash - Nick morrison
Article by Jedidah Mwangi