The University of Rwanda is committed to enhancing blended learning approach for excelling in teaching and learning and networks with other institutions at national, regional and international level. In this regard, it is a full member of the Partnership for Enhanced Blended Learning (PEBL), led by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and funded through the UK Department for International Development’s SPHEIR (Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform) programme. In the context of this partnership, the University of Rwanda won funds to develop the module “Introduction to Information Technology’’, in blended learning mode.
This is the objective of a five-day workshop organized from 15th to 20th September 2019 at La Palisse Nyamata, financially supported by the Association of Commonwealth Universities through the University of Rwanda-Partnership for Enhanced Blended Learning (UR-PEBL).
This crosscutting module has a particular characteristics of being taught in all 1st years in all UR Colleges. Hence, a team of 13 IT lecturers from the College of Science and Technology (CST), College of Business and Economics (CBE), College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) and Colleges of Education (CE) have been tasked to develop this module. The College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) and College of Agriculture, Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) were not represented because the lecturers of that module come from CST.
Module team developers during the workshop
The Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) is assisting university partners across East Africa to develop courses with accompanying online resources that can be offered by participant universities across the region through blended learning. It is expected that quality assured courses, taught by academics from other institutions in the region, will provide students with online teaching, combined with in-person tutoring and assessment, resulting in degree credits from their own university.
Dr. Andre Muhirwa is the UR-PEBL Lead and the Director for Teaching and Learning Enhancing at the University of Rwanda-College of Education. He said that PEBL members have agreed to develop and share among themselves and with other twelve participant universities in the East African region high quality credit-bearing modules through blended learning.
“In the framework of this partnership, the University of Rwanda has been chosen to share a crosscutting module of the ‘Introduction to Information Technology’, taught to all UR 1st year students’’, he noted. It is in this regard that the UR-PEBL project has organized this workshop in order to design, review and develop high quality blended learning materials for this module. Given that ACU expects to have the module developed and quality assured by end of November 2019, we therefore need to work intensively in order to meet the deadline’’, Dr. Muhirwa told the module team developers.
Dr. Mathias Nduwingoma, Module Leader, Coordinator of UR-PEBL Project and Director of the Centre for Open and Distance e-Learning (CODe-L) based at the University of Rwanda’s College of Education, received inputs from lecturers in charge of teaching the Introduction to Information Technology module in all Colleges.
“The module we are developing is the second module of the University of Rwanda that was chosen to be taught in the East African universities through blended learning mode and it is the second module because the first one which is Biochemistry I is already in use’’, he said.
Dr. Mathias Nduwingoma explaining the methodology of the module development
It is expected that the delivery of this module will start at University of Rwanda with the academic year 2020-2021. PEBL university partners include State University of Zanzibar, Open University Tanzania, Kenyatta University, Strathmore University (Kenya) and Makerere (Uganda) and University of Rwanda.
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