Ms Vilma McClenan

Ms. Vilma McClenan, newly elected President of JADOL, brings to the position a wealth of experience, having spent the past twenty years of her long and illustrious professional career as an educator working in the development and delivery of distance education. She is currently the academic programme coordinator at the University of the West Indies Distance Education Centre ( UWIDEC), a post she has held since 1996, with responsibility for co-ordinating the delivery of distance education programmes across The University of the West Indies (UWI). Prior to this she was one of the early contributors to the establishment of distance education at the UWI in the 1980s. In recognition of her work in distance education at UWI, she was recently presented by her UWIDEC colleagues with a citation for 21 years of service. She holds a Masters in Distance Education from the University of London, and is fully conversant with all aspects of the instructional design process. Her expertise has been brought to bear both within and outside of UWI.

Not only is Vilma versed in the instructional design process, but she also has worked with international agencies to develop proposals for the funding of distance delivered programmes and has also implemented them. She has been involved with all aspects of establishing and staffing distance learning sites including drafting job descriptions, training staff, preparing and procuring equipment and other resources and providing for a range of learner support services, including co-authoring the Distance Student Handbook for UWIDEC students. She has broad-based experience in strategy planning and managing the delivery and evaluation of distance education programmes for academic qualifications as well as for non-academic certification. All these skills combined with her strong leadership qualities make her well suited to the task of further developing JADOL her post as President.

Her international experience includes a stint in 1998-1999 in the Distance Learning Unit of the World Bank Institute in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an instructional designer, responsible for the conversion of face-to-face courses (e.g. Strategic Communication in Bank Projects) for delivery to World Bank countries, using an integrated mix of video-conferencing, video tapes, print and guest presenters. She was also involved in the planning and delivery of training in distance education techniques to World Bank Task Team Leaders.

Vilma was a member of the steering committee responsible for the formation of JADOL and chaired the committee that drafted the constitution. She also drafted the constitution for the Caribbean Association for Distance and Open Learning (CARADOL) which had its inaugural meeting in March 2004, and of which JADOL is a founding member.

The JADOL President has participated in a number of meetings and conferences on distance education and has given presentations relating to distance education, a recent one being Providing Student SupportServices for Distance students of The University of the West Indies, in Hawaii in January 2004. She was an international guest speaker at the Australian Adult Learners Week Celebrations in 1999, speaking on three topics: Experiences in distance education at TheUniversity of the West Indies,Adult Education in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and Literacy in the Caribbean.

Her other passions include adult education and science education. She is a member of the Jamaican Council for Adult Education of which she was First Vice President from 1996 to 2002, the Caribbean Regional Council for Adult Education, which she chaired from 1998 to 2002, and since 1998 she has been the Caribbean Vice President on the Executive Committee of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) representing the 22 countries of the English-, French- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

With a Diploma in Education and a B.Sc. (Botany, Zoology) from UWI, her work in science education includes science teaching at the then College of Arts, Science and Technology (1970-1975), at The Mico Teachers’ College (1975-1978), Curriculum Development Officer at the UWI Science Education Centre (1978-1983), and Director of Science and Technology in the Science, Technology and Research Department (STRD), Ministry of Agriculture (1987-1989). She has authored and co-authored several science publications.

In 2000, for her work in science education Vilma received the Institute of Jamaica’s Silver Musgrave Medal for Science Education, the Jamaica Teachers Association’s Golden Torch Award for “35 years of Dedicated Service to Education”, and the Henry I. C. Lowe Award for Excellence and Creativity in Science and Technology Education. In 1991, she copped the Science, Technology and Research (STAR) Award for Excellence in Science Education, at which ceremony in Kingston she presented a paper on UWIDITE [UWI Distance Teaching Enterprise] as a resource in scienceeducation.



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