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USP’s Centre for Flexible Learning: Taking Studies Beyond the Classroom

USP’s Centre for Flexible Learning: Taking Studies Beyond the Classroom
At this year’s Open Day, among other things, students will get the opportunity to visit the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre and experience state-of-the-art technology that is available. Photo: The University of the South Pacific
July 24
11:00 2018

At The University of the South Pacific (USP) your studies extend beyond the physical classroom. You can con­veniently do it from anywhere, an­ytime and at your own pace – but of course always under the close su­pervision and guidance of a strong team of experts comprising inter­nationally-acclaimed teachers, researchers, teaching assistants, librarians, laboratory and admin­istrative support staff.

All of this is possible with the adoption and careful integration of contemporary learning and teach­ing technologies. These include an online learning management system called Moodle as well as widespread availability of Wi-Fi on campus in buildings and campus grounds, as well as access to com­puter labs and mobile devices.

Our goal at USP is to future-proof the next generation of workers and citizens for life and work in the re­gion and beyond. This is where the crucial role of the Centre for Flex­ible Learning (CFL) comes in as it is central to such a unique learning opportunity at USP.

CFL works closely with Schools and Faculties in the design and development of academic pro­grammes for flexible learning and teaching, hosting and managing on­line learning technologies such as Moodle, Lecture Capture, Mahara (Eportfolio), Turnitin, React and other learning technologies as they become available. It also includes a wide range of services in the pro­duction of educational multimedia, audio, video, graphics, photogra­phy, animation, and web design.

CFL’s mission is to provide lead­ership and direction to stakehold­ers in all aspects of flexible, and technology-enhanced learning and teaching.

Flexible learning is a value prin­ciple like diversity, equity or equal­ity is in education and society more broadly, and technological tools and infrastructure are key components of it. As such, flexible learning is a state of being in which learning and teaching is increasingly freed from the constraints of time, place and pace of these activities. For learners, flexibility in learning may include choices in relation to entry and exit points, selection of learn­ing activities, assessment tasks and educational resources in return for different kinds of credit and costs. For teachers it involves choices in relation to allocation of their time and the mode and methods of com­munication with learners as well as the educational organisation.

Centre for Flexible Learning

CFL’s role is essentially twofold and comprises the design and de­velopment of effective, efficient and engaging flexible learning and teaching experiences and environ­ments; and the sponsorship and support of learning technologies for effective, efficient and engag­ing learning and teaching environ­ments.

The next generation in open, flexible and technology-enhanced learning at USP will involve the promotion of the USP brand and its particular expertise beyond its region (through initiatives such as USPGlobal) in areas such as Cli­mate Science, Oceanography, and Pacific Studies.

This will involve the development of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) which can be accessed by anyone and from anywhere with an access to the internet, both, for a fee and for fees paying credit.

To learn more, CFL is ready to answer your queries and provide you with more information at this year’s Open Day at the Lau­cala Campus so be sure to come on down.

USP – Shaping Your Future with ICT

ICT is a compulsory skill for most jobs in Fiji and graduates in all pro­fessions are expected to have basic knowledge of Windows Operating Systems, Microsoft Office Suite and several standard applications by potential employers.

USP is committed to providing students with cutting-edge ICT ser­vices to boost your journey towards graduation.

At this year’s Open Day, among other things, students will get the opportunity to visit the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre and experience state-of-the-art technology that is available.

Students at other campuses can view lectures and seminars which are broadcast from the Japan-Pa­cific ICT Centre via USPNet. The Centre enables the University to offer new Computing and Informa­tion Science degree programmes to fully utilise the potential of USP­Net and provide better ICT services across the region.

The Information Technology Ser­vices (ITS) offers a range of facili­ties that are aimed at supporting academic, administrative and re­search activities within the Uni­versity, including email and online services; file storage shares; news groups; printing services; internet services; wireless internet servic­es; lecture broadcasts over a Wide Area Network (WAN), computer labs and ICT training programmes.

ITS is a close partner with the USP Disability Resource Center (DRC) which needs technical support for specialist tools like JAWS, Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), Braille Sense U2 QWERTY Note­books and a Braille Embosser.

USP provides global connectivity for its users in 12 regional campus­es with some of the world’s most competitive technology.

USP’s network is a combination of a high-speed internet link (via Australian Academic and Research Network – AARNet), state of the art Local Area Network (LAN) and server architecture which comple­ments regional IP VSAT satellite systems under USPNet.

USP also offers free and unlimited wireless internet to all students. Specific to USP Laucala Campus, 85 per cent of student zones, including residential areas have wireless hot­spots which allow access to ICT ser­vices and this is not limited to just internet access and applications for learning and research. Wireless services are also extended across regional campuses.

In addition, student computer labs are available for teaching and re­search. Several computer labs are open for 24 hours to benefit those who cannot book a computer dur­ing the day due to high demand. Student Computer Labs are cur­rently running on Windows 10 Redstone 3, Microsoft Office 2016 Professional and a range of student applications.

USP is also testing Windows 10 Redstone 4 and is on the lookout for Microsoft Office 2019 Professional after its official release in the latter half of 2018.

This year’s Open Day will be an opportunity for ITS to showcase its services so be sure to come on down to the Laucala Campus on Friday 27 July.

Source: University of the South Pacific

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