Moving from Print-based Distance Education to Blended Learning: Initial Challenges of an Evolving Process. [The Case of UWIDEC, St. Augustine]

D. Thurab-Nkhosi and L.S.H. Seecharan (Trinidad and Tobago)


Distance education, blended learning, e-learning,


In 1992, the University of the West Indies (UWI) took a decision to widen access to UWI programmes and courses by incorporating distance education as an integral part of its operations. Based on this decision, the UWI was transformed from a single-mode to a dual-mode institution, with the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) being created in 1996 to facilitate distance delivery. The UWIDEC, like many other distance education institutions has recognized the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance distance education course delivery. In particular the ability of specific technologies to encourage collaboration and interaction regardless of time, and space has great appeal and potential for distance education in the region. To this end the UWIDEC has been incorporating the use of ICTs in the delivery of its programmes and courses, taking a blended approach. This paper explores the process being adopted by the UWIDEC to incorporate multi-media elements in a formerly print-based environment and the challenges faced in moving toward blended learning.

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