Title: Mitigating Higher Educational Challenges through Blended Learning: A Maldivian Experience

Issue Number: Vol. 2, No. 3
Year of Publication: Jul - 2016
Page Numbers: 95-104
Authors: Ramiz Ali
Journal Name: The International Journal of E-Learning and Educational Technologies in the Digital Media (IJEETDM)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/P002155


Many higher education providers have opted for blended learning as a modern mode of course delivery to reach isolated communities around the globe. This paper describes how the Maldives National University (MNU) caters to the disadvantaged community of the country who live in a number of scattered islands. It mainly highlights how the University adopted and applied blended learning to reach the citizens of the Indian Ocean archipelago. It also describes the course delivery model being applied, the barriers facing the university in implementing flexible learning and how the challenges are being mitigated. The identified challenges include the negative perceptions of the general public about flexible learning, learners‟ habits and attitudes towards blended leaning, the internet speed and bandwidth issues face by both the students and teachers and, limited qualified teaching staff. Despite the challenges, it is evident that the course delivery model is appropriate and is being effectively applied at the university. In the recent years the flexible learning courses offered by MNU are very popular among the islanders and the demand of the programs has been rising. Records show that in the past six years enrollment in courses offered through blended learning has remarkably increased and has stayed steady. The numbers indicate that the learning model being used by the University is effective for the isolated community of the nation