Communal Learning in a Virtual Village

Jiokapeci Qalo-Qiolevu* and Rasarine Rafai, Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture, and Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji


This paper will discuss the collaborative teaching and learning methods used in our UU204 “Pacific Worlds” Course at the University of the South Pacific (USP)— a generic undergraduate course offered online at the 200 level. The course draws on a discussion forum called talanoa, as well as matai assessment. The latter draws on Pacific arts such as singing, dancing, painting and poetry, which students can utilize to depict a contemporary issue affecting their community, nation or the Pacific region. Under previous modes of learning, through face-to-face and print, the students were still separated by the vast Pacific Ocean. Now, however, this distance has been bridged by the “virtual village” of online learning.

Keywords: discussion, online learning, Pacific culture, talanoa, matai, assessment

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