VUSSC/Action plan

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Scope of development

The first investments by the VUSSC will focus on developing courses in:

  • Tourism and Hospitality; and
  • Small Business Management.
  • Prototype courses will be developed in time for presentation at the Pan-Commonwealth Forum in the Caribbean in October, 2006.

Further course development initiatives will commence as funding is raised, and as these initial, proof-of-concept investments begin to demonstrate their potential.

Guiding principles

  1. The objective is to build high quality educational courses and programmes, comparable with the best of their kind from anywhere else in the world.
  2. With this in mind, VUSSC is committed to setting realistic targets for its collaborative course development processes, in order to ensure that high standards of quality are attained and that the resulting products are integrated into programmes offered by VUSSC institutions.
  3. The focus will be on producing content that can be shared under a Creative Commons licence (see for further information). Wherever possible, the Creative Commons licence conditions set will be Attribution and Share-Alike.
  4. All VUSSC initiatives will integrate structured capacity-building for any interested parties, in order to ensure that all participating states are provided opportunities to build their capacity to develop better quality educational programmes, using a full spectrum of media as appropriate. The nature of specific activities will be defined on a case-by-case basis.
  5. The activities of the VUSSC consortium will be driven by its members, with coordination support from the Commonwealth of Learning.

The Scope of Course Development

The extent of course development in each of the identified subject areas will be determined by what existing content is available for adaptation. Each state is expected to complete a separate pro forma (attached to this report) outlining what specific content it has available for sharing within VUSSC.

The goal of this pilot course development exercise will be to produce a selection of courses in each identified subject area, which constitutes a discrete ‘chunk’ of learning leading to identifiable learning outcomes. The completed course materials will incorporate at least the following elements:

  1. Detailed curriculum outline, comprising:
    1. Contextual analysis;
    2. Profile of intended learners;
    3. Overall purpose and learning outcomes of the course;
    4. An overview of the breakdown of content (including descriptions of the flow through the content and a breakdown of the media mix to be employed in the materials);
    5. Description of the teaching, learning, and assessment activities and methods that will underpin content; and
    6. A description of the roles of those who will be involved in delivery of the programme.
  2. Descriptions of teaching and learning activities.
  3. Subject matter as required.
  4. Fully developed assessment tasks.
  5. Separate learner and educator guides.

It is not expected during the pilot phase that complete programmes will be developed. Thus, it will be important for participating institutions to take responsibility for ensuring that the completed course materials can be integrated into existing programmes, in order to demonstrate that the completed products are actually used by small states. Taking this approach will also remove the requirement during phase one of passing new programmes through university senates, a process that is likely to significantly delay use of the completed materials.