A recent article in The Guardian newspaper in Great Britain explores UNM’s collaboration with Central University College Accra in Ghana, citing the way UNM uses technology to address a complex local problem in Africa.
“I think the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences faculty and students are ready to do this work,” said Berezin.
“We have people to lean on and to lean into each other.
I never felt alone in Ghana, except when the internet didn’t work.” Gunawardena says she is proud of the students. And not only the learning experience, but we are showing the university at large that it is possible to do this international collaboration.
MOOCs can attract thousands of students although many don’t complete the course.
“I was thinking somebody has to facilitate this discussion until the physicians learn how to facilitate online learning,” she said.
She conducted focus groups with students who came on campus and brought the results back so the design team at UNM could improve the learning designs.
Another student, Grace Faustino was instrumental in getting approval from the UNM Institutional Review Board for the research component of the project and set up the questionnaires in Opinio, which the Ghanian students filled out online.
The challenge the UNM student volunteers have taken on is finding technical ways to get current information about treating medical problems faced by pregnant women and women with small children into the hands of the students.
“We’ve learned to put the lesson information into PDFs,” says Gretchen Kramer, one of Gunawardena’s student volunteers.