College of Education and External Studies has been awarded a Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) grant to help change the way the University runs its distance education mode.
Staff from the College’s Department of Open and Distance Learning were awarded a NORHED grant to leapfrog Makerere’s 1st generation distance education provision into 4th and 5th generation distance education mode.
The collaborating team from the Department of Open and Distance Learning includes project leaders Dr Paul Muyinda and Dr Jessica Aguti. They will work with a team from the University of Adger’s Faculty of Engineering and Science led by Dr. Andreas Prinz in implementing the project.
Dr Paul Muyinda said the project aims to achieve resources, human and technical capacity to offer online learning programmes. “Through this project, financial resources shall be secured to build the necessary infrastructural, technical, human resource and research capacity to offer blended programmes”.
The work carried out will ultimately benefit students across the country. “Students including the socially, economically and geographically disadvantaged will have access to quality higher education,” he said.
The 4th and 5th generation distance education uses intelligent flexible learning models which employ interactive multimedia online such as social networks, internet-based access to worldwide web resources, computer-mediated communications using automated response systems and campus portal access to institutional processes and resources.
Dr Jessica Aguti said the project would contribute to addressing the infrastructure challenges at the College. “The project will enable us construct ICT laboratories at Makerere and Lira study centres and a lecture room will be renovated and equipped with live lecture recording and video conferencing facilities,” she said.
Other project outputs will include; the development of bachelor of youth in development work and master of instructional design and technology (MIDT) into online programmes, scholarships to pursue online MIDT progamme for Makerere University staff and South Sudanese nationals, sandwich PhD programmes for Makerere University staff in Norwegian universities, postdoctoral fellowships and integrating mobile phone platforms onto MUELE.
Nationally, a total of eight out of twelve projects to receive funding under NORHED’s first round of seed funding are from Makerere University.
Dr Paul B Muyinda, Co- Project Leader at CEES
By Sheila Mwebaze Tindi