Thousands of Bahamians will be able to develop and expand their workplace skills in math, literacy, information technology and entrepreneurship once 25 Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) instructors receive upcoming training in designing, developing and facilitating online courses.
The instructors, to be trained by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) educators, will be providing flexible, convenient ways for BTVI students to gain access to much-needed higher learning, helping learners overcome some of the barriers to higher education that come from living on an island nation.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Commonwealth of Learning on this important project to improve our training. Online learning will allow us to push our products to the Family Islands and as a technical school, we must embrace the rapidly expanding trend of online learning,” said Dr. Robertson.
Dr. Robertson has taught online courses at colleges and universities abroad for more than 25 years and underscored the importance of BTVI using technology to broaden the reach of courses across all islands of The Bahamas. “Online learning will allow us to push our products to the Family Islands and as a technical school, we must embrace the rapidly expanding trend of online learning.”
“Several instructors at BTVI have already been integrating online activities into their courses in order to enhance the students’ learning experience,” noted Mrs. Frendo an instructor in the Information Technology department.
“The use of online quizzes, discussion forums, videos and web conferencing tools will allow online students to experience the same quality of learning as if they were actually on campus,” she added. “The COL training will further validate and improve our product.”
As long-time proponents and developers of distance education and open learning, the COL’s aim is to ensure the quality of the online and blended learning. COL Education Specialist, Dr. Mariette Newman, played an integral role in the agreement stating, “Distance learning continues to be an increasingly important global method of developing workplace skills and we’re delighted to support the BTVI with this.”
According to Barbara Cooper, one of BTVI’s online customer support personnel, “The full implementation of online training will increase BTVI’s educational reach in all our Family Islands, across all trades. It’s our aim to put BTVI on the forefront of career and technical education in the Bahamas.”
The Building Institutional Capacity to Develop and Deliver Quality Online Education to The Bahamas project is fully funded by the COL and will occur in two phases:
Phase 1 – development and adoption of quality assurance guidelines for open and distance learning.
Phase 2 – capacity-building support for the 25 BTVI instructors, teaching them how to develop and facilitate online courses and use Open Education Resources and other tools for learner support and assessment.
More information on the Building Institutional Capacity to Develop and Deliver Quality Online Education to The Bahamas project is available here.