Friday, 1 August 2014

E-learning Will Solve Nigerian Universities’ Problems – OAU Vice Chancellor

The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Bamitale Omole, has urged Nigerian students and Nigerians to embrace E-learning if Nigeria must overcome problems of admission into universities and other related problems.

Mr. Omole spoke at a press briefing in Lagos to mark the launch of an E-learning school – a multimedia technology that support electronic instructional delivery mode of lectures – by the Obafemi Awolowo University.

“E-learning is a major answer to some of Nigerian University problems because with E-learning, you can be in your office or home and still learn,” Prof. Omole said.

“The benefits are enormous and I’m saying it loud and clear that E-learning is the way forward because it involves the applications of Multimedia Technology that support electronic instructional delivery mode as well as independent learning.”

The E-learning, an initiative of the Centre for Distance learning of OAU, will see students receive lectures in video format via a custom-made tablet from “same lecturers who teach on-campus as they deliver lectures and course material online or pre-recorded, which is no different from the on-campus mode of learning”, Prof. Omole added.

According to the school, each student will be required to acquire the customised tablet from which lectures will be received both in online and offline mode. Lecture materials come in the form of PowerPoint slides which instructors use to teach the classes.

In a demonstration displayed to newsmen, lectures were seen captured on video and accompanied by hand-outs in PDF format, and other additional materials and references.

Responding to questions on connectivity and bandwidth required for E-learning students, the Vice chancellor said both bandwidth and connectivity had been adequately taken care of.

“Tablet comes with its own network for which the subscription is renewed with every session’s registration. The Tablet will help to overcome the twin problems of internet access and power supply. The Tablet battery has a nine-hour capacity thus minimizing the problem of power outages.
“The classes are designed in such a way that the bandwidth needed is not too large and does not take too much time for it to be downloaded unto computers and other devices” he answered.

Professor Olabode Asubiojo, Director of the Centre for Distance Learning of the institution, also noted that requirements for admission into the E-learning school is the same as the on-campus school – five credits and a minimum score of 180 in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

As regards discrimination from employers against graduates of E-learning, Prof. Asubiojo said ” there would be nowhere on the certificate were it would be written, graduate of OAU via E-learning. It will be the same as the one issued to on-campus students”.

Other lecture delivery platforms between students and lecturers include teleconferencing, text, broadcast and correspondence based, supported by print material and “face-to-face instructional delivery mode for courses that require residential school during long holidays for industrial training, laboratory attendance, tutorials, practical or examination. At regular times during the year, such course students will receive packages of study materials and assignments prior to their residential period”, Prof Omole said.

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