17,000 students are benefiting from the expertise of leading ACU member universities across east Africa, thanks to the Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL).
The first set of six PEBL courses – developed in collaboration with technical partners at the University of Edinburgh, the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) – launched in March 2019, covering the following subjects:
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship – Kenyatta University, Kenya
- Research Methodology and Design for Business – Makerere University, Uganda
- Biochemistry – University of Rwanda
- Introduction to Critical Thinking – Strathmore University, Kenya
- Numerical analysis – Open University of Tanzania
- IT Teaching Methods – State University of Zanzibar, Tanzania
Of the 17,000 students who have completed one or more of these courses, 83% have been satisfied with the new format.
According to the students, they’ve found many advantages to a blended course. It helps them to develop technical and time management skills and access courses from distant locations. Students can engage with lecturers and fellow students through online discussion boards, enabling a more collaborative learning experience. They’ve also been able to refer to diverse sources of data, allowing a more holistic understanding of the content.
Many of the students found online content much more interesting to engage with, compared to traditional learning, with some low-income students noting that blended courses are financially convenient, because there is no need to buy course materials.
Overall, students report a positive experience with PEBL courses and are hopeful it will be beneficial for other courses.
Through this innovative approach, PEBL is enhancing regional collaboration, teaching quality, and student outcomes – helping to ensure that students graduate from east African universities with the relevant skills and knowledge needed for the workplace in a dynamic and changing economic climate.
The Partnership for Enhanced and Blended Learning (PEBL) aims to address the critical academic staff shortages many east African universities are currently facing. It enables universities to share scarce teaching resources through quality assured, credit-bearing degree courses delivered through blended learning.
Around 17,000 students based in 15 universities across east Africa are using or have used these courses.