Lived Experience of Developing a Blended Learning Academic Programme in a Traditionally Presential University
Muyinda, Paul Birevu
Siminyu, Samuel Ndeda
Aguti, Jessica Norah
Ssebbowa, Dorothy Kyagaba
Mbulankende, Julius Shopi
Isabwe, Ghislain Maurice Nobert
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Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are presenting pedagogical affordances that are not only being embraced by open distance learning universities but also traditional presential universities. Presential universities are adopting blended learning and teaching approaches in their provisions albeit with some resistance from some staff. This paper shares the experiences and lessons learned from developing the Master of Instructional Design and Technology (MIDT) blended learning curriculum in a traditional presential university. The lessons are drawn from three (3) research questions, namely: 1) What process steps are traditional presential universities taking in the design and development of blended learning curriculum? 2) What is compelling presential universities to adopt blended learning? 3) How are presential universities metamorphosing into blended learning? The paper takes a case study approach employing in-depth document analysis and personal experience explications from staff at the heart of developing curriculum. Findings indicate that contemporary realities such as globalization, increased emphasis on learner-centeredness, increased proliferation of ICTs and others are disrupting the ivory tower traditions and practices of presential universities. These universities are being compelled to open up their gates to non-traditional learners through blended learning, but with a lot more caution. The caution is evidenced by the great amount of rigor invoked in the process of approving blended learning curricula as compared to traditional face-to-face curricula. As such champions of blended learning curricula in presential universities should be prepared to spend more time, energy and resources to have blended learning curricula approved. Putting in place policies and strategies for spurring blended learning; sensitizing staff on the affordances of blended learning and training faculty on how to employ blended pedagogy should take centre stage. Further, the top management of these universities need to be involved at all levels of blended learning curriculum development.
- Social Sciences 
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