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Option 2 Sample Abstract from the 2004 Multicultural Caribbean United Against HIV/AIDS Conference


HIV/AIDS-Related Curriculum Reform at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

Brendan Bain1, Sanjana Bhardwaj1, Hope Ramsay1, Nancy Mutri1, Jasneth Mullings1

1University of West Indies, Kingston, JAMAICA


I. Introduction 

The University of the West Indies HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI HARP) is a recent accelerated institutional response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic on three campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago, and in extramural centres across the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI HARP is forging links between the campuses and across disciplines. HIV/AIDS-related curriculum reform is one of UWI HARP’s priority activities aimed at changing student and faculty behaviour. The dual objectives are: 1. Sensitization and training for staff and students living in a world with HIV/AIDS; and 2. Training and capacity-building in HIV/AIDS and related fields. As far as we are aware, this comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS-related curriculum reform is unique in the Caribbean. This paper focuses on the UWI HARP Mona (Jamaica) campus initiative in HIV/AIDS education.

II. Experience

A needs assessment covering all disciplines was started in January 2003. Courses relevant to HIV/AIDS were documented, categorized, and prioritized using a custom-made curriculum matrix tool. The second step was a training of trainers (TOT) workshop with the broad objective to develop a core of HIV/AIDS trainers for the campus. A half-day pre-TOT needs assessment meeting was conducted to tailor the workshop to felt needs. A three-day residential workshop was held May 4-6, 2003. Four themes, namely, Human Sexuality, Life Skills, Teaching Methodologies, and Behaviour Change were addressed. Participants were required to indicate specific course modification plans and complete an evaluation form at the end of the workshop. The third step was a half-day post-TOT meeting to assess progress in course modification and to discuss barriers and facilitators to the process.

III. Good Practices

Fifteen teachers from Jamaica and two from Trinidad attended the TOT. Seven participants had never attended an HIV/AIDS-related workshop. Sixteen participants agreed that the workshop was well organized and met their expectations. The theme of Human Sexuality was judged to be the one “best covered.” Participants indicated need for audiovisual teaching aids, a campus-based resource centre with an up-to-date HIV/AIDS database, a Resource Manual incorporating teaching methodologies to encourage behaviour change, and further training.
Nine of fifteen teachers attended the post-TOT meeting. Thirteen new courses or modules are now being designed and 30 other courses are being modified for delivery during the 2003-2004 academic year. Limitations to more extensive curriculum reform included time constraints, conflicting teaching responsibilities, too few trained teachers, and lack of incentives for doing this work.

IV. Recommendations

The curriculum matrix served as a valuable tool in needs assessment. The TOT workshop generated much enthusiasm among the participants. Courses being offered during the current academic year include a new Master of Arts degree program in Communication for Behaviour and Social Change for students from several Caribbean countries. This model of teacher training and HIV/AIDS-related curriculum reform shows promise and may be replicated in other universities.