Conference Papers

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    Academic supporting strategies for students’ graduate research
    (2016) Ferdinand-James, Debra
    Students pursuing graduate studies at the School of Education (SOE) of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) encounter challenges in meeting the required standard of academic writing and submission deadlines for their drafts and final theses. In renewing their commitment to support their graduate students’ research, the SOE explored various strategies for helping these students overcome their academic challenges, which included the following: research proposal workplan, research e-clinics, research presentation templates, sit-in writing coach service, and online academic writing assessment. The last can help to inform best practices for graduate research support in advancing higher education in the Caribbean.
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    EDRS5220: Project in the Theory of Ed: Asynchronous plenary: Flexible learning environments: Theories, trends, and issues [PowerPoint]
    (2016-02-15) Ferdinand-James, Debra
    This presentation defines flexible learning, then identifies: (a) why it is needed, (b) some characteristics of flexible learning environments, (c) which learning theories mostly apply to flexible learning environments, and (d) some trends and issues in flexible learning environments.
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    Tips on preparing and presenting research proposal PPT: Graduate seminar [PowerPoint]
    (2016-02-15) Ferdinand, Debra
    This presentation provides tips on preparing and presenting a graduate seminar using PowerPoint.
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    An exploration of school improvement theory and practice in secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago
    (2008-09) James, Freddy
    This paper explores school improvement (SI) in the secondary school sector in Trinidad and Tobago (TandT), and poses the following questions: 1) What SI initiatives have emerged in the secondary school sector in TandT? 2) What relations can be established between the SI initiatives in the secondary school sector in TandT and international perspectives on theory and practice of SI? 3) What do these relations indicate for improvement in: (a) student outcomes and (b) organizational conditions of school? Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, and document analysis from a sample of public secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. The findings indicate that there is need for change and improvement within the secondary school sector in Trinidad and Tobago. They also indicate that the policies are sound, but implementation is problematic. Stakeholders are overwhelmed with the plethora of initiatives being implemented at the same time. The implementation process is problematic for a number of reasons. The externally driven initiatives are working against rather than with the existing culture in Trinidad and Tobago and in schools. The policy makers are not providing the requisite resources, and support to implement policies effectively. Often teachers are not trained to implement the new curricula and this is affecting teaching and learning in the classrooms. Teachers, principals, and school supervisors are not satisfied that the initiatives are realizing improvement in student outcomes. The findings also indicate that the top-down approach to school improvement in Trinidad and Tobago is not working. Schools would like greater autonomy to formulate and implement their own improvement initiatives with the support of the Ministry of Education. School principals also feel they need more autonomy, especially to recruit their own staff. The reform definitely needs to be revisited and to involve stakeholder participation in decision making from the initiation stage of the improvement effort. Also, contextual and cultural factors need to be given more consideration in the design of policies.
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    The Great Debate: A dynamic teaching strategy for motivating students and teachers [PowerPoint]
    (2015-06-12) Watson, Firm Faith; Ferdinand, Debra
    This presentation examines debate as a strategy for motivating students. The moot debated was that distance education allows for human and social development to a greater extent in the 21st century than in previous centuries. The presentation reveals the instructions and guidance given to the participants, the arguments advanced, and presents the students’ reactions to the exercise.
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    Combining mixed methods designs: Follow-up and within-stage models [PowerPoint]
    (2015-04-08) Ferdinand, Debra
    This study used the mixed methods Follow-up Explanations Model and the Within-Stage Mixed Model design to examine postgraduate students' perceptions of workforce education and development (WED) curriculum responsiveness to culturally and internationally diverse students with respect to:(a)teaching strategies, (b) curriculum inclusiveness, (c) international responsiveness, and (d) curriculum improvement.
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    Championing blended learning in higher education: Reflections on lessons learnt [PowerPoint]
    (2014-08-07) Ferdinand, Debra
    This presentation reflects on the question: "What are lessons learnt in championing blended learning? It outlines the blended learning championing context and identifies some of the lessons learnt
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    Social media in education: Bringing your classroom to life [PowerPoint]
    (2014-08-07) Ferdinand, Debra
    This presentation seeks to define the term "social media"; review research findings on social media in education; and suggest ways in which social media can be used in education
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    Reshaping teaching and learning through ICTs [PowerPoint]
    (2014-08-07) Ferdinand, Debra
    This presentation seeks to highlight some of the trends/best practices in teaching and learning with information and communication technologies (ICTs)