FIRST is an acronym for Flexible, Innovative, Responsive, Skills Training. This is an open group space for people working in flexible TVET or wanting to share and learn about improving access and quality in skills training through FOL.
The design, development and integration of TVET courses by the University of the South Pacific (USP) poses several core challenges in terms of designing the course package to be published as an Open Education Resource (OER), up-skilling the Instructional designers to design competency-based distance TVET courses and effectively incorporating it in a higher education institution. While USP’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018 emphatically supports TVET, the process of operationalising the objectives has exposed several problem areas.
This paper focuses specifically on the challenges of designing and delivering competency based, distance, TVET materials to USP’s regional students spread over an area of 33,000,000 km2 of ocean. Prominent among these challenges are the infancy of TVET design knowledge at a higher education institution like USP, over 200 active, indigenous language communities learning in one language (English), limited ICT infrastructure and hugely diverse social and economic backgrounds.