Prof. Mrs Goski Alabi has called on authorities in Africa to make the needed investment in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) with the view to making it assume leadership position, not only on the Continent, but also in the globalised world.

Prof. Mrs Alabi, Consulting President of Laweh Open University College, Accra, said for this goal to be achieved, duty bearers should place emphasis on the relevance of ODL and why it should be acceptable all.

She made these remarks when she delivered the Graduation Lecture for participants of a virtual training programme in Quality Assurance organised by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and aimed at improving academic quality and effective service delivery in general. She spoke on the theme ‘Agenda for Making Africa Take Leadership Position in ODL.’

The three-week training, which took place on the Zoom platform, was moderated by the Chairman of the NOUN Governing Council, Distinguished Prof. Peter A. Okebukola, who served as Facilitator-General of the event. The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, was one of the facilitators.

With the theme, “Setting Up a Learning Management System and Implementing an Online Course on Moodle Platform”, the training was convened following a survey on the training needs of academic staff by a sub-committee of the university’s Governing Council.

A total of 158 participants that included members of the Governing Council, Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Deans, H.O.Ds, professors and academic staff from all study centres, participated in the intensive training.

At the Virtual Graduation Ceremony which took place on Wednesday, Prof. Okebukola announced that 73 participants got distinction, 23 secured credits, 8 got pass and others ended up with an honourable mention.

Okebukola added that the Council and Senate of the university had deemed it pertinent to set up a process that would lead to a significant improvement in the delivery of best Open and Distance Learning (ODL) education.

He said now that COVID-19 is over, state governments and universities are looking for teachers in the field of ODL, which the training would equip NOUN staff to be the master trainers in the current demand of experts.

On his part, the Vice-Chancellor, who delivered a remark at the virtual ceremony, told the participants that there had been a paradigm shift in the delivery of ODL education not only in Nigeria but also the world over, which was necessitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Adamu said over the last four and a half years of his administration, the university had undertaken a series of reforms and complied with the approved standards of ODL teaching across the globe.

While urging policy makers to begin to view education beyond its conventional confines, Adamu congratulated the participants for having gone through the intensive training and passing with great results.

Some of the courses delivered during the training included “Overview of Learning Management Systems” by Distinguished Prof. Okebukola, “Overview of ODL and Online Learning” by Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, and “Content Delivery in ODL” by Prof. Patrick Eya.

Other topics were: “Writing Quality Notes for the Distant Learner” by Prof. Mercy Ogunsola Bandele; “Learner Support Service in ODL” by Prof. Gregory Okagbare; “Downloading MOODLE” by Dr. Adewale Adesina; and “Key Elements of Instructional Design” by Dr. Lukman Bello, among many others.


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