S.I.T.A. rolls out online learning platform

The Samoa Information Technology Association (S.I.T.A.) has launched its e-learning platform, which enables schools to make the transition to online learning.

The association recently hosted Avele College students and ran an introductory course on the online platform for the students as well as showing them its interface.

The S.I.T.A. Moodle Project Manager, Mailo Henry Mailo, led the training session for the students. It included instructions on how to use the platform as a part of a virtual classroom where video conferencing and chat is possible.

The students were also shown how to access notes and do a quiz on the system. 

Mailo told the students that as long as they had an electronic device with internet connectivity, the online learning platform can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

He added that the students’ knowledge and use of social media platforms such as Facebook would make the transition easier.

“It was designed in a user-friendly way. Chat groups will be created for student support and for any issues they might experience (from the platform), we already have group chats with the teachers,” he said.

The college’s syllabus for the remainder of the year will be uploaded onto the platform for the students, Mr. Mailo added.

“The whole syllabus right from the start can be loaded onto the system if they want to. But just to make this work, considering the short span of time we are doing this, so it’s just now onwards,” he said.

There are also plans to roll out the service to the big island of Savai’i with Mailo indicating that they already have a school in mind – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-run Vaiola College.

“What is good for Upolu is also good for Savai’i. We would be really happy to get a secondary school (from Savai’i), maybe Vaiola College. We are willing to bring them on board,” he said.

“I know Vaiola has a lot of computers and has good resources so they are probably ready right now if they are willing to come on board.”

When asked if the online platform is preparation for university online classes, he said: “Absolutely. U.S.P. uses the same platform, even N.U.S. (National University of Samoa) uses Moodle.

“So this is the perfect platform, not only just for students but for the teachers as well, but they need to spend a little bit of time in the beginning to use it. By the time they get to the University they will find it easy to use.”

Avele College student originally from Taga in Savai’i, Chrisnara Tagaloa Wongsin, told Samoa Observer that the online platform is convenient for him as he travels from Savai’i for school.

“I feel happy that studying has been made easy for us because we can now study from our homes. I thank the people in this project for introducing online classes to our school,” he said.

“Too much money is spent on traveling here to Upolu. We have to travel by bus then by ferry and then by bus again. Now we can just stay home and study through the online classes.”

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