PEBL is helping universities across East Africa share valuable teaching resources through the development of quality assured, credit-bearing courses delivered through blended learning. In this way, PEBL will enhance teaching quality and student outcomes, and help to address the growing shortage of academic staff faced by universities.

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The challenge

East Africa is currently facing a critical shortage of academic teaching staff, which, when coupled with the rapid expansion of higher education across the region, is leading to unsustainable teaching loads within many universities. This situation is having an adverse impact on the quality of higher education delivery and the student experience.

The solution

PEBL is partnering with universities across the region to ease the burden on teaching staff and expand the delivery methods for a range of courses for their undergraduate and postgraduate students. Through new quality assured courses, taught by academics from other institutions in the region, students can experience high-quality online learning, combined with in-person tutoring, to gain degree credits from their own university. PEBL will also grow the educational development capacity of its partner universities by building a solid base of expertise amongst academic staff in the use of effective blended learning pedagogies, with a focus on developing students’ soft skills.

Highlights

  • 18 universities across East Africa have been recruited to work together to integrate new blended learning modules currently being developed through PEBL.
  • A nine-month online training course, titled Developing Blended Learning, has been developed and launched to help develop the capacity of faculty at partner universities involved in developing new blended learning modules.
  • 24 proposals have been developed by partner universities for the development of blended learning modules within graduate and postgraduate programmes. Six modules have so far been selected with an aim to be ready for use by January 2019.

The partners

The PEBL partnership is led by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), working with Commission for University Education (Kenya), Commonwealth of Learning (Canada), Kenyatta University (Kenya), Makerere University (Uganda), Open University of Tanzania, State University of Zanzibar (Tanzania), Staff and Educational Development Association (UK), Strathmore University (Kenya), University of Edinburgh (UK), and the University of Rwanda.