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The Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, has taken initiative under Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL) to assist the educational institutions in the Commonwealth to systematically integrate information and communication technology for teaching and learning. AUST is the leading university in Bangladesh to start the implementation of TEL with the support of COL. The COL TEL AUST team had previously conducted studies to identify the scope of improving the teaching and learning practices by integrating technologies.

In order to keep pace with the Bangladesh Government’s Vision 2021 of “Digital Bangladesh” and to exploit the full potential of demographic dividends, it is essential to engage an adequate number of working-age people in economic activities. About 60% of the working-age population are the youths who are growingly frustrated as they are either not getting any job or expected jobs even after getting a university education. Lack of quality education and ICT skills are the prime factors behind joblessness, according to employers. Realizing the national priorities and global trends, AUST implemented TEL to improve its teaching and learning quality as well as ICT skills through the integration of ICTs into its courses.

At the beginning of the COL TEL AUST project, a five-day workshop titled “Development of Blended Course using Moodle” was launched at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) to facilitate the systematic implementation of Technology Enabled Learning (TEL). The overall goal of this five-day workshop was to provide training for developing blended courses using different functionalities of the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS). 

From January 2020, AUST has incorporated blended learning modules in 20 courses that were selected from the 8 departments of the university. These blended learning courses include two courses from the Architecture department, two from the BBA department, two courses from the Civil Engineering Department, three from the CSE Department, two courses from the EEE Department, one from the ME Department, one from the IPE Department, one core course of MPE Department, two courses from the TE Department, one Chemistry course, one Physics course, one Math course, and one English course. All these courses were developed and incorporated at AUST Learning Management System (LMS) at http://moodle.aust.edu/ with the expectation that it will improve student learning experiences and outcomes by providing them with flexible and interactive learning opportunities.

During this period, at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) phase 1 and 2 of TEL implementation has been completed with the support of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Canada. The following outputs and outcomes have been achieved:

  • The baseline study report on TEL is available
  • TEL policy development developed and approved
  • Staff capacity to develop blended courses improved
  • Over 20 teachers trained
  • 20 courses developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and offered to the students
  • Over 4000 students used TEL

Technology Enabled Learning (TEL)

Introduction and Background

In the six-year plan (2015-2021), the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) had started a new initiative under Technology-Enabled Learning (TEL) to assist educational institutions in the Commonwealth to systematically integrate information and communication technology for teaching and learning. Recognising the transformative power of technology to increase access and improve the quality of learning, COL focuses on Policy-Technology-Capacity as a triangle to implement technology in education taking an evidence-based approach. The TEL initiative considers the appropriate use of any form of technology for teaching and learning: Open Educational Resources (OER), online learning, mobile devices, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as well as low-cost technologies such as audio and video, radio and TV. The TEL initiative promotes skills development and innovation in the areas of ICT to help Commonwealth governments improve the livelihoods of their citizens. One of its project is to work with educational institutions to implement TEL to improve:

  • Use of ICT by more learners;
  • Use of ICTs by more teachers;
  • Number of courses using ICTs for teaching and learning;
  • Student learning through use of ICTs; and
  • Sharing of teaching and learning materials developed in the institution.

In order to implement TEL in partner institutions, COL has developed the following:

The overall approach taken is scholarly in nature, the specific activities involved are as follows: Year 1

  • Baseline study on TEL in an institution
  • Appropriate policy development for TEL
  • Orientation to TEL for faculty

Year 2

  • Setting up of an Open Access repository
  • Strengthening or setting up Learning Management System (LMS) server
  • Blended Course Development workshop
  • Blended courses developed
  • Blended courses offered to students

Year 3

  • Student Course Experience Survey
  • Student achievement analysis and comparison
  • Faculty experiences on offering blended learning
  • Reporting and dissemination of findings

Considering the capacity and resources available at COL in a particular financial year, institutions are selected based on requests received from countries and governments giving consideration to regional balance. Since July 2015, COL has collaborated with the following institutions for TEL implementation:

  • SNDT Women’s University, India
  • Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, India
  • National University of Samoa
  • Uganda Management Institute
  • University of Malaysia Sabah

In addition, in the year 2018-2019, COL intends to support more institutions, including the following:

  • Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya
  • University of Papua New Guinea
  • Fiji National University (in discussion)
  • Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, St Lucia (in discussion)
  • Antigua State College (in discussion)
  • One in Bangladesh (in discussion)

In the mid-term evaluation of the TEL initiative, one of the suggestions from the evaluator was to develop a Community of Practice (CoP) around the institutions where TEL implementation is in progress and share good practices, innovations, and research amongst each other.

Considering the significance of the suggestions in the mid-term evaluation, an exploratory meeting of the participating institutions in TEL implementation was held from December 3-4, 2018 in New Delhi, India to discuss how best their experiences could be shared. The objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Share the experiences of participating institutions regarding TEL implementation;
  • Identify and prepare cases studies and lessons learnt for publications;
  • Explore the possibility of developing a CoP around TEL implementation; and
  • Initiate a discussion on developing benchmarks for

Participants in the workshop were representatives from the participating institutions and experts in the field from all over the Commonwealth (Annex-1). The programme agenda is included in Annex-2. All the presentations of the 2-days meeting are available at https://bit.ly/2RzURBt