The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said that the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) is setting a standard in building the capacity of faculty not only in Nigeria but across Africa.
The VC stated this during the opening ceremony of a 3-day virtual workshop on Online and Blended Learning organised by ACETEL in partnership with the Digital Science and Technology Network (DSTN), held 26th-28th October 2021.
He said “I am glad to note that ACETEL is setting the pace in building the capacity of Faculty not only in Nigeria but also in the sub-region’’.
Peters, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Technology, Innovation and Research (DVC-TIR), Prof. Monioluwa Olaniyi, said that establishing a standard by ACETEL was key, knowing that ODL is the future of education.
“It is necessary for me to encourage you, since we have brought the future to the present,” he said.
He further enjoined the participants to equip themselves appropriately in the training to enable them be of national, regional and global relevance.
In her welcome address, the Director, ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, stated that the workshop was aimed at building the capacity of faculty in the subregion to effectively adopt online and blended learning as a mode of teaching and learning in institutions.
The workshop, she said, would also support Faculty to set up a Virtual Learning Environment, (VLE) develop and deliver effective online courses, support effective course facilitation online by utilizing synchronous and asynchronous teaching techniques as well as assist universities to provide effective and quality learner support services to remote students.
According to Jokthan, NOUN is Nigeria’s flagship Open and Distance Learning institution and the largest university in the sub-region with over 100,000 active students in 103 locations across the country.
“The university through the Africa Centre of Excellence in Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) has international students in some African countries.
“The size, spread and mandate to provide quality and flexible education irrespective of locations demands that we be at the forefront of utilizing cutting edge Information Technology tools and services to effectively deliver on its mandate,” she said.
The Director further expressed appreciation to the DSTN and partners for sponsoring the workshop and creating the enabling environment that has virtually brought them together.
‘’I encourage you to fully participate in this timely workshop, interact, share ideas and be part of higher education innovators that will chart the future of teaching and learning in an increasingly digitalised world.
‘’This virtual workshop is a rich blend of presentations, discussions and practical activities (group/individual-based). Workshop materials and other learning resources will be provided on the workshop Virtual Learning Environment. 70% attendance and completion of the practical activities will earn you a certificate of attendance,’’ she added.
It would be recalled that a blended learning mode of educational delivery have been suggested as the Post COVID-19 ‘’New Normal’’.
Thirty-five participants from various institutions from across Africa participated in the 3-day Virtual Training fully completed the practical exercises and set up their virtual learning environments