A different pedagogical approach is being employed by the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) to meet the needs of students and faculty in the changing teaching-learning environment.
This was emphasised today by Principal, Hector Belle, as the Wildey, St. Michael institution launched its Blended Learning strategy, a new initiative to help bolster student success.
???We are committed to the improvement in knowledge, skills and attitude of each and every member of the Polytechnic family, students and staff alike.
And, we want all of you to achieve your full potential???We have to keep on doing something different in order to achieve the best out of what is available to us,??? Mr. Belle stated.
Blended learning, he explained, was the effective integration of different modes, models of delivery and styles of training as a result of adopting what the SJPP called a strategic and systemic approach to the use of technology, combined with the best features of face-to-face communication.
While acknowledging that almost everyone had access to a cell phone, iPad and computer, the principal stressed: ???That means the setting is right and once the setting is right you cannot be teaching or learning in 2016 using the same pedagogical approach as we would have experienced in the 1960s.
???It???s 2016 and we have to and we pledge to??? put our utmost foot forward to ensure that you can, at the end of the day, achieve your aims; [that] you have a better student experience and the outcomes are what are desired and at the end of the day, the country benefits.???
Chairman of the Board of Management, Desmond Browne, said he was concerned that the first value of any institution, at the SJPP???s level, had to be student success.
???Everything must be done to make students succeed. If that is not your first value then something is wrong. The new technology is second nature to the modern student??? I recognise that it is what is required now in our classrooms and if we don???t embrace it we are going to be condemning our students to failure,??? Mr. Browne shared.
Echoing similar sentiments as Mr. Belle, he said Blended Learning was not to replace other forms of teaching but to integrate all.
???Around the globe this is what is used to increase student success and enrolment??? the advantages are clear, access to course work is possible if you use this medium; you can assess students instantaneously; you can give individualisd instruction and it is more engaging, ??? Mr. Browne explained.
Noting that working students would be better served, he said the SJPP could maximise resources and physical space, and class sizes would no longer be an issue. He added that syllabi would be available online and access to course documents, assignment sheets and notes would be allowed.
???Fundamentally, we are talking about an integrated approach to teaching that must lead to greater student success,??? the Chairman emphasised.