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Introducing ODeL in Nigerian tertiary edu.

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By Mercy Kelani

This form of learning drives equitable and inclusive tertiary education.

In the education sector, experts stated that the e-learning (ODeL) approach must be adopted by Nigeria in order to accomplish Sustainable Development Goal Four (SDG4). It was highlighted that this form of learning drives equitable and inclusive tertiary education in Nigeria. The head of Research and Evaluation in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Research Support at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Som Naidu, asserted that it was required to disentangle the process through which tertiary institutions program learning through blending of technology in learning and teaching.

Naidu stated in his keynote speech at the second International colloquium, arranged by the University of Lagos’ (UNILAG) Distance Learning Institute (DLI), that for a solidified future that is education-concerned, a recalibration and rethink of institutional and educational choreographies are required. He added, while discussing on Hybridization of Instructional Deliveries in the Emerging Global Higher Ecosystem, that the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide impeded the process of learning, admonishing people to take the experience as a lesson. In addition, from pre-primary to tertiary education, 1.5 billion youths and children as at the middle of April 2021 have been affected through the closures of schools in 195 countries.

Tertiary institutions should judiciously embrace this privilege.

He restated that like many other disasters, the pandemic questioned the willingness of man to address his affairs and as a result of this, a new system of learning should not be viewed as disruptive but should be enhanced. From his statement, artificial intelligence, technology, is not a disaster but a tool which is meant to be used effectively to its best ability as education which is a public good needs to be hybridised — matching and mixing its demands and needs. The director of Distance Learning Institute (DLI) at UNILAG, Uchenna Udeani, stated that the union of traditional pedagogical and technology approaches is rebranding the medium through which knowledge is exchanged, acquired and imparted.

She said that it is mandatory that educational practices are adapted accordingly, due to the current evolution of the world where technology penetrates all aspects of human lives. Tertiary institutions should judiciously embrace this privilege to equip the students with skills and re-imagine learning experience which is required to sail through the obstacles of 21st century. Udeani analysed that blended learning — hybrid instruction — merges the best of virtual and physical worlds which are the interpersonal interaction and rich engagement offered through teacher to students learning, and the accessibility and flexibility of digital platforms.

Need for technology in education was fueled by the pandemic.

Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, said in her speech that the theme for the conference — “Hybridisation of Instructional Deliveries in the Emerging Global Higher Education Ecosystem” — echoes with the reality of time. The need for technology in tertiary education is brought by the COVID- 19 pandemic. She said that humans extremely depend on technology which opens the realisation that for a solidified future of tertiary education, technology is needed and required. Prof. Folashade asserted that any country that desires to grow must first grow the human capital, giving a description of knowledge as the legal tender of the 21st century.

According to her data, over 30 percent of 200 million Nigerians are in-between education seeking age. In the education sector, 76 million Nigerians have to be provided for in tertiary education. However, because of low support for the people by the university system, the present system in the campuses cannot solve the complications. She affirmed that UNILAG believed in open education and distance e-learning. Prof. Folashade stated that the dichotomy that was established between conventional education and distance e-learning was removed because focus was placed on the manner through which knowledge is attained and more interest is placed on quality.

Hybridisation has housed the education system.

The chairman at DLI, Olugbemiro Jegede stated in his remarks that continuous change has always been the feature of the world which affected everything virtually as well as education. From his statement, hybridisation has housed the education system because the ecosystem of world tertiary education is neither willing nor ready to engage face-to-face teaching at the rate the world is progressing into full technological online learning deliveries. Instructors should have skills and knowledge in tech because education is the major learning experience to be proficient to teach learners who will interpret the knowledge into technical skills.

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UNESCO: Website

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