Thursday, December 6, 2018

Smart Learning at the University of the South Pacific

Greetings from the the IEEE 7th International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE) in Wollongong where staff of the University of the South Pacific (UPS) are discussing "Smart Learning in the Pacific: Design of New
Pedagogical Tools". USP is multi-nationals with students who have studied under different school systems. They have ab "early warning system" which extracts data from their Moodle Learning Management System to indicate which students are struggling. They also use Big Blue Button (BBB), for synchronous webinars. Students are tested online for English skills and those who don't score well are automatically signed up of a support course.

Challenges at USP include limited bandwidth to some Pacific countries (something being addressed by the Australian Government funded fibre optic cable to the Solomon Islands). A major focus of USP is teacher training. I will be speaking on "Blended Learning for the Indo-Pacific" later in the conference.

"Smart learning ecosystems leverage on state-of-the-art tools and technologies to help students learn better with Information Communication Technologies (ICT). The ubiquity, innovations and advancements of ICT have transformed pedagogies and approaches to content facilitation and delivery in higher education worldwide, the Pacific region being no exception. The paper essays a number of learning and support tools designed in-house or adopted (or outsourced) recently by a higher education institution in the Pacific contributing to the smart learning ecosystem. The institution has integrated these ICT driven tools to its academic and support programmes, and more recently the in-country science programmes introduced in its member countries. The strengths and challenges from the implementation of these new adaptive tools are highlighted with recommendations to the wider academic populace."

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