SideCap devise a judicious consortium of ACP universities that commonly face the issue of attracting and supporting remote and disadvantaged students: University of Mauritius, the University of West Indies and the University of the South Pacific. The network was strengthened by the expertise of the Open University and the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute in the United Kingdom, both renowned specialists in online and distance teaching methods and technologies. The network endeavours to improve the capacity of ACP universities in technology-based teaching through a constructive and participative interaction between European and ACP partners, based on practical, learning-by-doing activities.
Developing online teaching curricula
SideCap partners will first identify pedagogical and technological needs in distance teaching in ACP universities through extensive background reports and online research and discussions. Face-to face workshops will then take place, aimed at training leading university academic and administrative staff in using new technologies and drafting teaching material for distance education adapted to the ACP context. In concrete terms, staff from ACP universities will be trained to access, use and repurpose Open Content, the teaching material and processes designed for distance education by the Open University, or other open content providers. Some of the activities will include demonstrations by European partners of good practice in videoconferencing, CD-ROM production, web-based course design and interactive discussion processes. ACP partners will be able to test these approaches and technologies and consider their applicability in the ACP context. Based on this training and the identified needs, teaching material and tools adapted to ACP teaching environments will be developed.