Title: Reaching the Unreached through Blended Learning: A Case Study from the Maldives National University

Year of Publication: Sep - 2016
Page Numbers: 14-21
Authors: Ramiz Ali
Conference Name: The Fifth International Conference on E-Learning and E-Technologies in Education (ICEEE2016)
- Malaysia

Abstract:


With the advancement of interactive technology, many educational institutions have opted for blended learning as a modern higher education model to reach disadvantaged groups in societies. This paper explores how the Maldives National University approached the dispersed community of the Indian Ocean archipelago through adaptation and application of blended learning. It also focuses on how the University introduced and developed flexible learning, the delivery model being used, challenges faced and the strategies being used to overcome them. The barriers include perceptions of general public about flexible learning, learning habits and styles of the learners, the internet speed and bandwidth and limited staff capacity. However, statistics of the recent years shows that this learning model is appropriate in Maldives as flexible learning courses are quite popular among the dispersed island community. In the last six years the student enrollment has stayed steady and thousands of working adults are studying at various levels of blended learning programs up to postgraduate level. Our success, despite the challenges indicates that blended learning is an effective mode of delivery for the people who live in this small island nation.