The University of the West Indies
Distance Education Centre

Stewart Marshall: Research

My main research interests are in the area of communication studies, especially in the use of ICT for research, education, development and community benefit:

ICT for research:

My current research on the use of hypermedia in research as a medium for "reading" and understanding data was my PhD topic – "Exploring Change: The creation of a hypermedia ethnography for the presentation and 're-presentation' of research on distance education in Swaziland" – which was submitted as a hypermedia document. I believe this to be an important research lens for qualitative researchers and the most appropriate post-modern medium to capture the complex social ecology of the change process.

ICT for education:

A large part of my research is concerned with the alternative modes of delivery of education made possible by the advances and convergence of ICT. For example:

  • The use of the Internet in teaching (Taylor, Dekkers & Marshall, 2003; 2005) and in the organisation of education (Marshall & Gregor, 2002; 2005).

  • I am the Project Director of Caribbean Universities Project for Integrated Distance Education (CUPIDE) – Japanese funding for human capacity building in five universities in the Caribbean, completion date December 2006. The overall goal of this collaborative project is to develop the human resources within the region through enabling each of the five participating universities (The University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, Jamaica, the University of Guyana, the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, and the University Quisqueya [Haiti]) to better develop and deliver quality distance education programmes using ICT <>;

  • I am the Project Director of External providers of tertiary education in the Anglophone Caribbean – research on the education provided by non-Caribbean institutions (largely by distance education using ICT) in fourteen Caribbean countries funded by Commonwealth of Learning and UNESCO, the results to be published in: Marshall, Brandon, Thomas, Kanwar and Lyngra (2006).

  • I was also Project Director of the recently completed project "Building the capacity of the UWI to extend the utility of 'Just in time learning' technology and implement CD-assisted distance learning environments" funded by the Organisation of American States (OAS).

  • In the past, I have worked on a number of computer software projects for a variety of uses, e.g., to teach the skills of linguistic analysis to first year undergraduates (Marshall, 1983), to teach English to Papua New Guinean students (Marshall, 1986, 1987), and to teach group problem solving (Marshall, 1991).

  • I am the Regional Editor for Campus-Wide Information Systems (CWIS), an international journal of IT in higher education.

ICT for development and community benefit:

I am currently establishing several community informatics action research projects in the Caribbean.

These are informed by my earlier experiences in a regional collaborative research project - the Community Informatics (COIN) Project - which was conducted in the Faculty of Informatics and Communication, Central Queensland University, Australia, 1999-2004. We embarked on an integrated program working with local authorities, the Chamber of Commerce, Rockhampton Regional Development, community groups and the IT industry to address the low adoption of ICT in the region. We secured funding for the three parts of this project: COIN-District Link was funded by Networking the Nation to establish a community informatics telecentre in each shire surrounding Rockhampton; COIN-Community Connect was funded by the Families and Community Networks Initiative to assist all community groups and clubs in Rockhampton to become involved in COIN; COIN-Focus was funded by Telstra New Wave Research and guided the establishment of a website owned and developed the community.

The following websites are related to this research interest:

  • The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT) - an e-journal that provides free and open access to all of its content, edited by Professors Stewart Marshall and Wal Taylor;

  • The annual International Conference on Information Technology in Regional Areas (ITiRA), chaired by Professor Stewart Marshall;

  • Encyclopedia of Developing Regional Communities with ICT, edited by: Professors Stewart Marshall, Wal Taylor & Xinghuo Yu.


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