Integrated Communication Strategies (Aug-Dec 2011)

Class on Wednesdays from 13h to 16h in room 1.2 ET

Module Outline

10th August
Introduction to ICS

18th August
Research in communication (part 1)

25th August
We carry on with Research in Communication (part 1) and then we discuss Research in Communication (part 2)

1st September
We carry on with Research in Communication (part 2) and then we discuss Research in Communication (part 3)

8th September
Here are a few additional slides on Research. We’ll do a brief MCQ on Research in Communication then have a look at Communication and Public Opinion.

15th September
Organisational settings-and publics

22nd September
No class due to the ‘Semaine de l’Etudiant’. We meet again on 29th September. In the meantime, please read the lecture notes on Organisational Settings and Publics. Also, please prepare some ideas for discussion (key points) on a situation analysis of the communication of the UOM comprising the following:
– a SWOT and PEST analysis
– a stakeholder analysis
– the current vision and mission statement (see http://www.uom.ac.mu/ABOUTUS/INTRODUCTION/missionvision.html)
– the latest strategic plan (see http://www.uom.ac.mu/ABOUTUS/StrategicPlan/index.htm)

6th October
Last week, we discussed how to improve the current vision and mission statement of UOM. Please bring your final proposals. We also discussed the strategic plan of UOM. Students are expected to bring their proposal for a review of at least one section of the strategic plan (taking into consideration what we have discussed in class).
We will also discuss the following slides on Internal Communication

13th October
As discussed in class, all students should work on a section of the UOM Strategic plan (critique the current section and make a concrete proposal).
Lecture notes on Corporate Social Responsibility

20th October
All students are requested to put their input for the UOM strategic plan assignment on the blog so everyone can see your work and eventually discuss these.
I also gave another small assignment on CSR last week which is to be submitted.
Lecture/discussion on Crisis PR Management.

About the upcoming assignment: Students should select a case of recent crisis communication in the local industry and provide a press review of the articles published in the media about it. Write a summary of the crisis situation, how it was handled, and the impact it had on the organisation.
Indicate how successful the organisation has been in managing the crisis and its impact, what were the mistakes that were made (if any), how should the organisation have handled these according to you?

27th October
Class discussion on: Media Relations

All teams are to be made up for the end of semester assignment. Each team should come with their proposals of organisations they wish to work on as well as a summary of the real crisis (see above).

3rd November
All teams are expected to give a brief presentation on the company/organisation they have chosen for the end of semester assignment (crisis pr management mock press conference). Please bring press cuttings to explain the real crisis episode.

We will also practise some press release writing up. Hereunder are some resources which may be helpful:
Media Relations and Writing Press Releases – lecture notes available on the MIT OpenCourseWare
How to: write the perfect press release for journalists from journalism.co.uk
Press Release Writing Tips from 24-7pressrelease

E/S Orcelle Clean Ship Case Study for Press Relations
Presentation of case study
Trade release
Consumer release
Daily Telegraph article

10th November
Two press release writing exercises were given last week in class. Please bring your press releases for discussion.
We will also have a small test then discuss your progress on the mock press conference.

17th November
We discuss your progress in the mock press conference. We will also address any questions you may have pertaining to revision.

24th November
Last session. Mock press conference will be attended by Journalism students and lecturer (D. Eléonore).

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19 thoughts on “Integrated Communication Strategies (Aug-Dec 2011)

  1. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo,

    My first question concerning the vision statement of the UoM is actually more of a comment:

    How can a vision be so far fetched? A vision is something an organisation aspires to reach. It is not a dream. So instead of aspiring to become a leading international university, why not target to become a leading African university?

    I have just seen the list of the top universities in the world with Cambridge, Harvard and Yale at the top end. Even trying to reach the 60th place (Monash University in Melbourne, Australia) is impossible (not enough researchers for example).

    Let’s have a reachable vision and the mission will be to reach it in 10 years time for example. (Beating universities of South Africa will be hard)

    The mission statement is not a bad one. May be, one of the most urgent missions of the UoM should be to have a branch in Rodrigues with faculties such as Law and Management and Social Studies and Humanities there.

    Disseminating knowledge would get faster by going towards the population and not waiting for the population to come to the university. Regional branches in the north and south of Mauritius could be also a good idea.

    Jean-Yvan Marechal

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  2. I do agree with some points J-Y raised.
    However ,in my opion the UOM should concentrate on the quality of services proposed on the local basis before even thinking of any alignment or even trying to compete with S.A universities.

    More practical studies rather than theorical… How will we be able to develop our ‘intellectual creativity’ if we are not pushed to think out of the box?
    There is a need for a new form of education culture in our country: far from classrooms’ wooden desk and monologues.

    D.Jubeau

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  3. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo

    I have just read the whole strategic plan of the UoM and there are excellent points which have been put forward.
    But the question is how can it be feasible????
    We were told that for a little while we would be using the media com studio for the Communication Theory and Media Criticism Module but its been already 2 months we are still using it. Each and every time we ask when will we get a proper classroom the answer is the same. That is no classroom is available for the time being! On the strategic plan there is mention of to ‘develop and Optimise Infrastructure’
    Last year for the IT exams we used floppy disk to save our works, some of us even lost our datas due to the fact the computer lab is outdated and on the other hand the strategic plan mentioned about ‘fostering innovative e-learning systems’. The worst was about paying additional fees because the IT systems faced some problems regarding the enrolment of modules !!!

    The thing is that there is an immediate need for working on the actual situation and in the same line taking the future into consideration too.

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  4. Thanks for your views Nandinee. There is indeed a gap between reality on the ground and the strategic plan. A good strategic plan should be forward-looking but should also take into consideration the reality to build upon it in realistic manner. If you had to improve that strategic plan, how would you proceed?

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  5. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo,

    I had a look at the strategic plan of the Uom and afterwards had a look at the KwaZulu Natal University strategic plan. May be you have read it. If not, here is the link: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/aboutus/strategicplan.pdf

    As you will find out, for UoM its from 2006 to 2015 and for KwaZulu Natal 2007-2016.

    What’s interesting in the strategic plan of Kwa Zula Natal is its simple but important vision: To be the Premier university of African Scholarship.

    Its mission is very simply set out but four words struck out for me: to be critically engaged with society.

    Although it pinpoints the importance of producing new knowledge through research and its effectiveness in diffusing knowledge into society, it also talks a lot about socio-politics, rapid globalisation, powerful forces of cultural imperialism and what the local socio-cultural context requires from the university.

    They mention the importance of the national capacity for innovation but also the values of the university (especially the point about nation building), something that the UoM should have a look at. Very interesting.

    One of its goals also is to redesign its curricula to incorporate for example local knowledge and review and revise teaching modes. Bringing it back to Mauritius, what I find truly amazing is the gap we have in the teaching modes from the secondary to tertiary education. From learning by heart to thinking out of the box, there is a gap which needs to be erased and the UoM can certainly work closer with the Ministry of Education, the colleges of Mauritius and the Top 100 companies to see how to be more effective.

    By reading both strategic plans, I find that the UoM is like a stand-alone policeman in the middle of a traffic jam not knowing who to take orders from, when to take orders from, how to direct the traffic and where to direct it.

    It needs to work closer with the industry to better understand what type of workforce will be needed in 10 years time, but at the same time work harder with secondary institutions (the feeder channels) to close the gap in the way Mauritian students need to learn (not by heart certainly) and think.

    Enhancing IT support and efficiency, multi skilling, e-conferencing is all very good, but the UoM needs to think also about the People. It needs not only to build qualified students in all the fields needed for our economy but more importantly to build a Nation where Mauritians think as one at all levels (not industrial levels only). Building True Mauritians.

    The University of Kwa Zulu Natal in Goal 2.1 will promote and reward community engagement that adds value: “It is important that we engage with communities on the basis of mutual benefit, in such a way that students and scholars tap into local resources that inform and shape their work and communities are enriched by a shared learning experience and enhanced capacity.”

    In the actual globalised world its refreshing to see a university which thinks about its culture, the people of Durban and how realising each person’s full potential is as important as promoting access to learning.

    Think the UoM as a Mother. The Mother of all Mauritians. How would a Mother bring up its child? All Mothers have their recipes, but the most important aspects they care about are the values and beliefs which should never be forgotten. This is the exact thinking that the UoM must have.

    Jean-Yvan Marechal

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  6. I think that the University of Mauritius should first look at consolidating its position in the country. Though Uom is in most cases preferred to other local universities, there is increasing competition in the educational sector. Since a couple of years, we can see that many international universities are opening and seeking to open a branch in Mauritius. By acquiring a good and credible reputation in the country, the university will be able to capitalize on this asset and bound in the international community particularly the African continent. Africa is full of potential and human resources. The business, economic and financial communities, all agree that it is the place where we should be. Indeed, the government wants Mauritius to be the bridge of China and India to Africa, but where is Mauritius in Africa? I think that the UoM can play an important role, by attracting african talents to Mauritius and/or be the bridge of Africans to Asia. Mauritius is a multicultural country with strong connections with India and China.It should be a two –way traffic bridge. In in its vision statement, is it said that “The University of Mauritius aspires to be a leading international university, bridging knowledge across continents”. As Jean-Yvan said above, it is “far fetched” and in my opinion, the vision statement of the university is unrealistic and it goes in all directions. UoM has a reputation to build, it should have a specific aim, like disseminating knowledge in Mauritius and Africa for instance.

    Samirah M.

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  7. Vision of UOM
    ‘The University of Mauritius aspires to be a leading international university, bridging knowledge across continents through excellence and intellectual creativity’

    Aiming to become a leading international university is ambitious but not well defined. Aiming to become a leading African university I also think that it is better and more legitimate. Mauritius forms part of the African region and it has much to contribute for this region, while in the UOM strategic plan, the University itself recognizes the need to ‘foster a positive research climate and ‘reduce teaching and administration loads’. Indeed in the African regions is more familiar and even relevant to Mauritius and loads of research, developments could be undertaken. It is better to write an achievable vision statement where our ambitions do match our abilities than to write an eloquent vision statement which is imprecise and may perhaps be unachievable.

    Mission statement of UOM
    ‘The core mission of the University is the creation and dissemination of knowledge and understanding for the citizens of Mauritius and the international community’

    Becoming a knowledge hub is possible but the university needs to market itself internationally, specifically through the African market. Every year there is an excess of demand for admission over seats available, but how many admission forms are filled by foreign students. The University could decentralize itself in order to be a reachable and prominent knowledge diffuse institution. Indeed it is mentioned in its strategic plan ‘Decentralize the University in strategic geographical locations (antenne universitaire)’. The actual infrastructures are almost saturated and there foreign universities which have now a branch implemented locally. To say that competition exists and that the UOM will possibly not be the only praise tertiary education institution.

    Yannis Davy

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  8. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo,

    Please find my proposal concerning Strategic Direction 6 of the UoM. Actually, it’s very far fetched but it’s my way of thinking out of the box.

    First you will find the actual Strategic Direction 6 thought of by the UoM and afterwards my proposal.

    Jean-Yvan Marechal

    Strategic Direction 6: Community Outreach
    Goal No1: Help the Community to Develop, Monitor and Enhance its Vitality
    Rationale:
    The UoM, particularly in its role as a national university thrives on the commitment to enrich the lives and experiences of our community and seek to expand access, interaction and foster dialogue, mutual care and concern. Our institution and employees will strive to support the health, safety, and social needs of our society by applying our best resources to achieve these objectives in becoming responsible community stewards.
    Strategies
    • Promote greater participation of University Court in activities.
    • Promote greater public awareness of current community problems and issues
    • Extend the resources and expertise of the UoM to directly address the community
    • Stimulate public involvement by increasing access of community stakeholders to conferences, open days, and seminars

    Goal No2: Promote Civic Engagement
    Rationale:
    There is an impending need to motivate our staff and students for active citizenship in our diverse multicultural society. The University of Mauritius will strive to promote intellectual and experiential participation in civic engagement for its staff and students. It will offer a range of project initiatives, working collaboratively with numerous civic leaders and organisations to engage in dialogue relevant to the specific context and concerns of our community.
    Strategies
    • Provide opportunities for our staff and students to participate in social activities
    • Collaborate with NGOs and other institutions
    • Give sustained voice (speeches, publications, editorials, etc.) to the importance of civic engagement
    • Provide relevant training and professional development activities focused on civic engagement and public leadership skills

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    PROPOSAL

    Strengthening engagement

    The UoM will engage itself even more in the social, economic, civic and cultural aspects of life in the society it serves through the setting up of a Cultural Village and Lifelong Learning Centre. Engagement should help to create a transformed nation, where innovation, creativity and enterprise flourish by integrating underprivileged teenagers and adults within a framework where the holistic well-being of the community is enhanced through improving the environment, and through fostering arts, culture and the Mauritian heritage.

    Rationale

    Strategic alliances must be made with NGO’s, international institutions and private companies to work closely in promoting active citizenship and foster dialogue between stakeholders such as social workers, lecturers and students. As such a CULTURAL VILLAGE and LIFELONG LEARNING CENTRE of MAURITIUS can be set up in Réduit next to Apollo Bramwell Hospital with the objective for underprivileged teenagers and public at large to have the opportunity to meet and gain access to a world of knowledge they never could have dreamt of before. The program could be called the: ART, COMMUNITY and ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION.

    The first component of the CULTURAL VILLAGE would be the construction of a green building acting as headquarters and a multi-purpose area including an exhibition space, artist-in-residence space, teen’s workshop and more.

    The CULTURAL VILLAGE will serve as a flagship arts center, providing space to introduce visitors and to create and celebrate art and social service. Using simple but powerful sustainable techniques such as natural ventilation and reused materials, the headquarters will be a smart building without relying on expensive technologies. It could use solar power for electricity for example.

    The CULTURAL VILLAGE pays tribute to the work of NGO’s engaged for example in new types of pedagogic education (through arts for example, such as T.I.P.A, Terrain for Integrated Pedagogic Arts). Students will be those coming from ZEP schools and who afterwards went through ANFEN (Adolescent Non Formal Education Network with 1000 students today), APDA (Association des Parents de Déficients Auditifs) for Deaf Children, or Mauritian Wildlife Foundation or Reef Conservation. These underprivileged children will have a chance to succeed in life and underprivileged adults also could come and learn on part-time. The help of International institutions such as UNESCO will be required to implement such an innovative idea.

    Artist-in-Residence – Artists (in the wide sense of the word) will be invited to spend time working and creating in the Cultural Village. Artists will create community workshops pertaining to specific needs. They will have an opportunity to exhibit their projects within the natural outdoor environment and also initiate students to a new way of learning.

    Teen’s Programs – The ART, COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION program is a comprehensive program that supplements the lack of art, environmental and cultural education in public schools and at the same time teaches underprivileged teenagers and adults the value of the environment and the importance of a multi-cultural community.

    The program will include on-site educational field trip to the university when needed for some modules – where interaction with actual tertiary students will happen -, a comprehensive curriculum with lesson plans, activities, and suggestions for an end-of-semester class project.

    Artist Co-op – The ART, COMMUNITY and ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION is the “go to” place for information and services for students and also local artists. The Project will provide certain services to artists that will allow them to focus more on creating but also learn the basics of marketing, packaging and promoting their work. Entrepreneurship, marketing, communication, promotion and other services need to be worked jointly with the Faculty of Law and Management and the Faculty of Social Studies and Humanities.

    International Library – The CULTURAL VILLAGE will house its international art book collection, social work, environmental materials and the history of Mauritius, including the voices of great Mauritian people (musicians, artists etc.) who lived in the community.

    FUNDING:

    Through CSR Funds. For example, 1% of 2% profits of Mauritian companies being directed to National Programmes, the Ministry of Finance, together with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tertiary Education could specifically design an added 0.5% to the 2% already allocated to CSR for the CULTURAL VILLAGE and LIFELONG LEARNING CENTRE of MAURITIUS. The Government will also have to help financially, together with international institutions such as UNESCO or Rotary International.
    On the teaching field, international experts will need to train lecturers and social workers into this new way of teaching.

    RESULTS:
    Teenagers and adults having a new chance to succeed in life and to even become entrepreneurs. It could bolster the economy or at the very least change the Mauritian Society through the qualitative improvement of education in the island.

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  9. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo

    Please find our proposal/amendments to the strategic planning of UOM.

    The strategic No 4, Goal 2 and Strategic No 6, Goal 2 should be merged to become one.
    University of Mauritius is an institution that produces future adults. Children are future adults of tomorrow on whom the responsibility lies to carry forward the economic prosperity and social harmony.
    Practicing CSR activities is a way of promoting civic engagement; individual involving in CSR can form people to become good citizens for the future.

    Strategic 4 – Quality Culture and Good Governance

    Goal 2 – Practice Corporate Social Responsibility

    • Give credit for projects involving community development

    Since three years there has been the introduction of a Super Gem module entitled ‘Entrepreneurship/ Leadership / Innovation’. In fact it the most popular super general elective module at the University. Students are asked to work out a full business plan based on either a profit making or a non for profit organization. Many of the business plans are focused on community development projects which concern people. According to a survey carried out by an umbrella organization one of the discrepancies of NGOs are that they cannot formulate projects. In this context, the University upon the acceptance of the students can provide these business plans to related NGOs for implementation. In this way, the University will be in line with the practice of CSR and furthermore give credits to the hard work of its students.

    • Design and promote codes of conduct related to human and ethical values and environmental issues.

    The Regulations of the University are published in the “General Information to Students” Handbook which is available at the admissions and student records office. However, there is a need for the university to have a “Master Code of Conduct” for the organisation for a holistic approach which can be used by everyone as reference with the aim to develop a common perspective toward a vision of ethical behavior within the organization.

    • Partner with community sector organizations to further socially desirable goals.

    UoM should enhance existing programme that they implement with civil society organisation and work in close collaboration with them to promote and achieve socially desired goals.The University for example could invite disabled persons to spend a day on the campus where both staff and students can prepare a special programme for them.

    • Promote a culture of good governance, transparency, strong accountability, and effective communication within the whole university

    Good governance, transparency, strong accountability and effective communication are fundamental in this era. Decision should be taken to find ways and means to promote this culture and everything related to these issues should be communicated publicly to the staff and students.
    The customer care service should be enhanced and popularized where anyone can complaints regarding the good running of UoM could be done. This will help to review strategies that are not functioning. A small corner of the information desk could be taken for this purpose. There is a suggestion box near the lecture theater but we never know if suggestions are being entertained. First of all, people should be notified of its presence and also encourage them to make suggestions. Those suggestions should be entertained and a corner on the website could be made where people know about the nature of the suggestions received and how they are being entertained.

    • Provide opportunities to staff and students to develop social and citizenship values and practiceis a good initiative.

    The UoM could set up a programme where students could impart knowledge they receive in classes for e.g in Information Technology to those who are vulnerable in the society.

    Strategic 6 – Community Outreach

    Goal 2 – Promote Civic Engagement

    • Collaborate with NGOs and other institutions & Provide opportunities for our staff and students to participate in social activities

    The university is already working in this direction for example there has always been a good collaboration between the UoM and the Mauritius Council of Social Service (MACOSS). Moreover, students have the chance to do their work placement at the Council. This year, the Council helps the University to place students in different NGOs for their study placement.
    As, day by day the number of NGOs is increasing in Mauritius, each faculty along with the students could help in organizing seminars, forums, workshop on the areas of intervention of the NGOs. In this way it will give visibility to both organizations.

    • Provide relevant training and professional development activities focused on civic engagement and public leadership skills

    As mentioned above the University is already engaged on civic engagement to some extent; however the University should on a regular basis invite representatives of different NGOs and Corporate to deliver talk on pertinent issues regarding social and community development. Also, the University could provide more modules on community and social development.

    • Give sustained voice (speeches, publications, editorials, etc.) to the importance of civic engagement

    Invitation could be sent to professionals so that they can brainstorm on related topics such as protection of environment, saving energy or even prevention of drug abuse. Since many youngsters are prone to be influenced by peer pressure and become drug addicts, regular talks could be organised by inviting NATReSA and Dr Idrice Goomany Centre for showing them the effects of drugs. Same could be done for youngsters having suicidal thought by inviting Befrienders group. For many young girls who are sexually active, the Mauritius Family Planning Welfare Association could be invited to talk about safe sex and the required protection needed.
    All research carried out by lecturers should be disseminated to students.

    Nushrut & Nandinee

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  10. [Strategic Direction 2: Knowledge Diffusion]

    Goal No 1: Increase Student Access

    Rationale:

    Mauritius has a low tertiary enrolment rate compared to developed countries and developing countries in the South-East Asia and to be able to compete in this modern globalised world where great emphasis is placed on knowledge and skills, more opportunities must be provided to students who wish to benefit from tertiary education. The UoM will thus endeavour to explore various avenues to increase student access and provide quality education to benefit the largest number of students possible including underserved and lifelong learners while maintaining affordability.

    Strategies

    · Encourage adults to embark on part-time evening courses.

    · Promote and provide innovative and multiple modes of delivery

    · Develop new Programmes of Studies

    · Improve physical infrastructure

    · Extend Programmes of Studies beyond normal working hours

    · Provide access to underserved students

    · Decentralise the University in strategic geographical locations (antenne universitaire)

    Opinion and Proposal

    “Mauritius has a low tertiary enrollment rate compared to developed countries and developing countries in the South-East Asia (…)’

    In my opinion Mauritian Students are ‘University conscious’:
    Why are there Universities’ fairs every year then ?
    It is a fact ,we are now living in an era where our Mauritian students know the importance of tertiary education and are even able to pay for international tertiary studies.
    Of course International Universities are aware that there is a market for potential Mauritian students to exploit here! Then why would they hold a stand for three days entertaining more than 2,000 mauritian students per day??

    It is inappropriate to mention that there is a ‘low tertiary enrollment rate’:As far as i remember , since our induction day we are brained washed about the fact that we are privileged students and that the UOM is still receiving a high demand even is there are other tertiary establishments(CTI,UTM and long distance learning centers) Therefore, on which basis does they rely to say that the enrollment rate is low??

    The goal here is to give access to students: How will they give access to more students if there are no appropriate infrastructures?

    Proposal
    Invest in new infrastructure to allow more access to new students. UOM should be a center knowledge, skills and provide new opportunities to students to compete with other International universities.

    Strategies:
    – Provide part-time evening courses(After working hours)
    – Provide innovative and Effective mode of delivery
    – Develop new programs of studies to adjust to the market demand.
    – Improve Physical infrastructure

    d.jubeau

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  11. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo,

    Please find our proposal to the vision of UOM:

    “The University Of Mauritius aspires to be a leading national university, producing and promoting Mauritian talent for the emergence of creative and innovative ideas and contributing to the Mauritian economy”

    Elody & Samirah.

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  12. [Strategic Direction 2: Knowledge Diffusion]
    Goal No 5: Foster Innovative e-Learning Systems
    Rationale:
    Universities all over the world are under pressure to integrate technologies in their teaching and learning, in response to the urgent need to reduce delivery costs, increase access, improve the quality of learning materials and ensure relevance to meet the requirements of the new breed of learners of the 21st century in terms of independence, autonomy, flexibility and development of critical and reflective thinking. The learners are not only different; they have to learn in new and different ways to secure and maintain their employability.
    Finding innovative ways of delivering becomes a competitive necessity. E-learning as a novel approach assumes a pre-eminent position in any technological/computer mediated human interaction. It empowers the learners to manage their own learning and also provides an interactive experience that makes learning more exciting and appealing. UoM will have to further invest in e-learning to make tertiary education more flexible and accessible to the community.
    Strategies
    • Develop more e-programmes
    • Enhance IT support & infrastructure
    – Provide e-learning tools to staff
    – Provide internet connection in lecture rooms
    – Provide laptops, PDAs to staff
    – Develop training programmes for both staff and student to enhance their e-skills
    – Equip the university with modern mechanisms for communication: wireless communication (Wi-Fi), computer networks, multimedia, content portals, search engines, electronic libraries, etc.
    • Incorporate e-learning technology (web-enhanced, blended learning approaches) in Programmes of Studies to enhance student experience
    • Provide a wider spectrum of options from asynchronous to synchronous learning
    • Provide incentives for staff to develop and use innovative e-learning systems

    Our proposals:

    Many universities around the world has integrated e-learning based approach in their mainstream educational programme. The university of Mauritius did not stay on the bench and in fact is playing on this ground too. It has, since there is no escaping to e-learning. We are living in the information, communication and technological era. However, the University of Mauritius, is light years of foreign universities, where e-learning is fully part of pedagogy and where most e-learning systems are as rich as effective.
    What is e-learning about? E-learning is the use of information and communication technology to support learning process in universities and other tertiary institutions. The strategic plan was written in 2006, for the upcoming ten years. Five years have elapsed and the outcomes are disappointing. Though some faculties and departments are experiencing the e-learning platform of the university, three quarter of what the university claimed in the strategic plan to do in the future, had not be done. What the management expressed in this plan, are there wills. Wherever there is a will, there is not always a way. The university of Mauritius is stumbling behind because it does not have a clear understanding of the situation and the topic, a strategic and critic approach, realistic objectives in the short term to reach the main goals and evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of implemented measures.
    Internet connection. It is the key to platforms. Today, It is not a reality in classrooms, only the library has this privilege. Secondly, wi-fi cannot be catched by any mobile phones nor laptop though there is a network.
    Computer Networks and Infrastructure. The university of Mauritius is not equipped. It is an obvious fact. First of all, there are no sufficient personal computers and computer laboratories to support the university population. A student on campus should be able to connect to the platfotm any time. Futhermore, most of the pc`s and other related materials of the university are obsolete
    E-skilling academic staffs. Most of them, particular those of the old school are skeptical and reluctant of this learning approach. The university needs to inform and convince staffs, faculties and also the departments of the usefulness of incorporating e-learning to their traditional teaching methods. Information will be most successful only through formation, for staff development.
    Platform. E-learning is not just about putting lectures and assignments on the platform. The university`s moodle has a forum, to enhance discussion among members of the same group but it is not effective learning. A well design e-learning system should contain blogs, videos, audios and podcasts to stimulate learning. The system should adapt to its audience. A university student today, has an account on facebook, twitter and you tube. Those elements are the creative and innovative factors which are possible through online platforms. Moreover, incorporating those elements will not only encourage the student but also motivate him all along the learning process. Platforms should be online communities whereby students are able to test and evaluate their knowledge through the harness of collective intelligence. Because learning is an experience. Most students will not be reluctant to e-learning if there is sufficient and effective communication on its benefits.
    Research. Top e-learning systems are those which are constructed and deconstructed .Research is important, because platforms have to be at the forefront of technology and continuously adapt to the university needs and population. The university needs not only engage in research but also appoint technology experts to bring a real added value in the setting up of the systems and formation of staffs and students. Furthermore, a university cannot invest in e-learning systems without knowing which one is adapted to its students and subjects taught. What works in one university will not necessarily work in another university.
    Funding. University of Mauritius, has no gold in its trunks and e-learning systems incurred huge investment. The university should look and engage in partnership with private and public actors for funds and sponsorship. External support is necessary and university should embark in a “search sponsor” campaign. For instance, the university should seek to establish avenues of collaboration for internet connection with Emtel internet to sponsor the labs, library, class rooms and the raised plaza, where students meet for group works.
    Coordination. The university should officially integrate the use of e-learning platforms in its rules and coordinate the use of the resource in all faculties.
    Moreover the university aspires to attract foreign students and to be a lifelong learning center. This objective requires a good flow of information and thus a good, rich and solid learning system.

    The university of Mauritius can reach its fifth goal “Foster innovative e-learning systems”, if they put into words what resources are needed to attain this objective and how could those resources be get, rather than enumerating their wants.

    Samirah MAMODE & Elody DUCASSE

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  13. goal no 3: Enrich Campus life experience

    Concerning the extracurricular activities on the campus it is respected as nearly each week there are activities for students or for staff and students also. However not all the students have access to these activities

    -There are more and more students who are doing part time course and got difficulties with the bus after 6 p.m.a letter should be send to the NTA so as they send another bus which will leave the university around 6:30 pm and not at 5:50pm.

    -There are no hall of residence on the campus mainly for students who came abroad to study here. It will not be a necessity for the mauritian students as they are geographically near the university. If the university does not have the budget to construct new buildings then it can take the ex-common.

    -Even if most of the part time students work it does not mean that we must not participate in activities organize by the UOM. Even if in week days they are unable to come early to participate some activities can be done on Saturday and the students will integrate in a way the life of university.

    -This system must be re-done if possible and there must also be a part time student among the student counseling. I do not know if the fact that I am a part time student i do not see the the persons elected for these counseling. It is like the student union they are seen only for election then it is as if they disappeared? The staff must see if they are active or not.
    Another way to know that they are there is that there must be a platform for them so that it can facilitate the access to reach them.

    -Staff welfare can be affect performance at work. UOM must provide a staff welfare officer who can provide confidential advice and assistance, whether on matter that concerns work of personal issues.

    -Some computer lab must change their Jurassic park computers. however some has already been changed even if it is quite slow process.
    UOM must maintain and develop new relationship with the local employer and also international employer.

    -Emtel is a good examples. for example each students has at least a mobile phone and UOM can make an agreement in a way that Emtel can make advertisement on the campus but also gave facilities to the students like for example providing the wifi.

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  14. Dear Mrs Chan Meetoo,

    Good morning and Happy New Year.

    I was reading a questionnaire you had given us in class concerning Major Concepts and Elements (chapter 8, Cutlip et al.) and more precisely about the Case study Scenario questions.

    The story was the following:

    Assume that you have been retained by the airport authority to develop a public relations program to prepare a press packet announcing that the city airport will be relocated. Your client thinks there is agreement between the airport authority board and the majority of registered voters that ‘a new airport should be relocated to the recently closed military base.’ You decide to use the coorientational model to analyze the relationships between your client and registered voters in your communicity on the issue.

    Using ‘airport relocation’ as the object of coorientation, you begin researching the state of public opinion and the nature of coorientational relationships your client has with registered voters on this issue. You learn from surveys that, contrary to what your client thinks, a vast majority of registered voters feel the airport should be expanded and should remain where it is. In addition, a majority say that the airport authority has no plan to move the airport.

    1. Which coorientational description best defines this relationship?

    The answer was: Low agreement, high congruency and low accuracy.

    I would like to understand why it’s not Low agreement, low congruency and low accuracy as Congruency means intrapersonal construct and the extent to which one’s views match your estimate of another’s views on the same issue. (agreement, harmony, conformity etc.)

    This is because, as stated in the case study: You learn from surveys that, CONTRARY to what your client thinks, a vast majority of registered voters feel the airport should be expanded and should remain where it is.

    In such a case there can’t be high congruency?

    May be I am confused, but could you explain how the answer is high congruency?

    Best regards,

    Jean-Yvan

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