17 Jun 2021
The University of Rwanda (UR) has undertaken to review its academic programs to conform them to institutional, national, and regional quality standards so that they can be shared and implemented across East Africa. The move is aimed at adapting the programs to the Quality Assurance Rubric for Blended Learning set out by the Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) project of which UR is full member.
The Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) project seeks to address the critical academic staff shortages many East African universities are currently facing. For the universities to overcome these challenges, the PEBL project provides them with necessary support to aid sharing of scarce teaching resources through quality assured, credit-bearing degree modules, delivered through blended learning.
Under the auspices of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the PEBL participating universities 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. Other participating universities in addition to the Rwandan Universities include the State University of Zanzibar, Open University Tanzania, Kenyatta University, Strathmore University and Makerere University.
As to meet quality standards for blended learning delivery, the PEBL module has to be redesigned and teaching materials reviewed. The University of Rwanda has therefore reviewed several academic programs to make them fit for purpose. Some modules are already implemented across other universities in the East African region while others are in the pipeline. In the first batch of enhanced blended leaning courses, UR’s module chosen is the “Biochemistry I MD1156’’.In the second batch, the module chosen is ‘’Introduction to Information Technology’’, usually taught to all UR first year students.
UR is however working relentlessly on other modules. In a bid to achieve this milestone, a five- day workshop was recently organized in UR-Huye Campus for the review of thirteen ( 13) modules which fall under the ‘’Master’s in Software Engineering” offered by the School of ICT. The exercise brought together academics from the School of ICT selected for their high profiles in the subject matter.
Participants in the workshop during the review of Masters in Software Engineering
The workshop was funded by “Enhancing Quality and Internationalization of Study Programme through Mobile Transformative Pedagogy’’ (EQIP) Project, which works between the three partner universities ((University of Adger (Norway), Makerere University and University of Rwanda) for increasing students and staff mobility and capacity building in order to produce students with access to international networks, equipped with intercultural competence and 21st century skills.
The course materials that are developed and/or adapted for the PEBL project will be shared as Open Educational Resources (OER) under Creative Commons licensing, enabling other universities across the region – and beyond – to use them freely, subject to appropriate acknowledgement. OER Africa is partnering with PEBL to host the courses developed, and make them available to other institutions through its website.
Participants in the workshop posing for a group photo
Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer, UR-CE
&EQIP Project’s Reporter