The Diversity Plait

The strategic and sustainability planning of higher education actors has shifted the paradigm that governs how their academic programming is brought to market. The urge to preserve the competitive edge and their fiscal viability, has tertiary education institutions scampering to diversify their offerings in response to the market stressors, including retention and future job markets provisioning. With the Vision 2030 Jamaica plan pushing for knowledge-based workers the Jamaican academic environment is ripe. Educational practitioners must pay particular attention to their learning products and focus on the type of curricular responses that will produce the desired output.

The onus now rests on educators to create, promote and implement student-centered learning. Learner centric environments effectively implement multiple instructional techniques to enhance students’ higher education experience and provide them with greater control over their learning outcomes. This presentation therefore, looks at a student-centered learning model that can be adopted within the Jamaican higher education context. The questions to be answered in this research are ‘how do we become more student-friendly?’, ‘How do our students learn?’, ‘What do our students learn?’ and ‘how do we tailor education to variations in learning style?’. The presentation also gives an overview of the Northern Caribbean University Distance Education Department’s journey into student-friendliness.

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