Expanding E-Learning Initiatives in Malawi
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As the demand for nurses and midwives increases in Malawi, Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) (The University of Malawi School of Nursing) is committed to respond to this need by increasing student in-take. It has also diversified into several research MSc Programmes. KCN has two campuses 400 km apart and also provides leadership at curriculum level to a variety of nursing colleges across the country . However, to achieve this broad mandate, there was a need for multi-dimensional approach. As such, while the college is expanding classroom space, it was imperative that other modes of delivery of the curriculum be explored as well. This paper describes these modes of delivery that depend on a reliable campus and national network for effective delivery, Given the critical shortage of nurses, KCN has doubled the student intake for registered nurses over the past five years. However, the increase has come with some challenges including the need for additional classrooms, increased work-load for faculty; and increase in operational costs, increased demand for teaching and learning materials. These challenges required consideration of other modes of delivering the curriculum. KCN is now putting in place elearning infrastructure to solve these problems, where two systems are being implemented. The Student Management system which handles the administration part of students i.e admission, examination records, assessment process, finance, room allocation, transcripts, students union electronic voting, mobile text messaging exam results feedback etc The other system is the curriculum management system which handles the academic and learning resources where lecturers upload their modules, electronic resources, quizzes, discuss forums, video simulations by The development of these modules is an interactive process between lecturers , the ICT department and College Administration conduct The response of staff and students to the system is The fuller implementation of MAREN to facilitate wider delivery of these valuable training materials over the academic network will enhance the system.