The Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) Leadership team, paid a study visit to Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Marrakech and Hassan 1 University, Settat, both in Morocco on June 5th and June 6th, 2023 respectively.
The purpose of the visit was to explore and gain insights into areas of expertise and identify areas for collaboration in digital education, digital infrastructure and facilities, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship initiatives, and digital simulation and training facilities in nursing sciences.
The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters approved a seven-member team to undertake the study visit in June 2023, as recommended by technical staff from NOUN who visited the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) for a six (6) weeks intensive technical training in October 2022.
The Technical Staff recommended ACETEL to go on a follow-up learning visit to Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), to further understudy the university’s work-flow processes in creating instructional videos, use of virtual reality, and animation and to seek areas for collaboration.
According to reports from the ACETEL Leadership team visit led by the Director, Prof. Grace Jokthan, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) is a leading institution in Morocco, known for its expertise in various areas of digital education and learning, offering a wide range of innovative programmes and courses that integrate technology into the learning process.
UM6P has invested significantly in developing state-of-the-art digital learning facilities, providing students with immersive and interactive learning experiences.
The team, in their observation at UM6P, saw facilities such as; The Digital Learning Lab, Augmented and Virtual Reality Centre, Coding School with unique pedagogy,
Similarly, reports on Hassan I University, the second university the team visited, explains that the university is a public institution with two campuses in Settat and Berechid in Casablanca, with a strong reputation in digital education and related fields.
The study visit exposed the team to explore the university’s strengths in areas such as entrepreneurship, health and nursing digital simulation, training facilities, and artificial intelligence, as well as its contributions to research and innovation.
Both universities demonstrated a strong commitment to providing students with practical experiences and real-world skills with digital technologies such as simulations and virtual/augmented realities.
In a bid to replicate the same experience in their home institution, the team urges the NOUN to strengthen its capacity for the development of online courses using the project team approach with a view to taking on projects from other institutions and organisations and thereby establishing itself as a leading institution in this regard.
They also call on NOUN to incorporate more project-based learning in the content delivery where students work on realist projects and authentic assignments among other suggestions.
The visit holds immense promise for NOUN, it will facilitate the establishment of research collaborations, leading to joint projects that tackle complex problems and contribute to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data science. Such collaborations have the potential to attract research grants and funding opportunities.
The report also says that by collaborating with renowned universities in Morocco, NOUN can develop and refine the curriculum to align with the latest trends and industry demands in AI and Data Science, which will ensure that NOUN graduates are equipped with relevant skills and knowledge to thrive in the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
They also recommend the NOUN/ACETEL Partnership with 42 School in Morocco.
The visit highlights the importance of integrating technology and practical experiences in education.