NOUN, ACE, others harp on Digital Education

By Emem Oshionebo

The National Open University of Nigeria, African Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (NOUN’s-ACETEL), National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Association of African Universities (AAU) in collaboration with the West African Digital Education Network (ADEN), EPFL Switzerland have stressed the need to explore digital learning in tertiary education.

This is the thrust of its 4th training workshop of experts in digital education, hosted by NOUN-ACETEL at the headquarters of the university in Jabi-Abuja.

The 4-day workshop held on the 9th -11th of May, 2022 was aimed at building the capacity of Africa Centre of Excellence’s (ACE) in the West African sub region.

Speaking at the workshop, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olufemi Peters said the university has recorded many milestones in its online platform, as the training is an additional expertise and acquisition of skills in order to further improve what it is already doing.

But what is more important is that since the establishment of ACETEL, they have actually led in the deployment of technology to our own ways in the undergraduate and postgraduate way of doing things. This is the ones who develop these strategies.

‘Through NUC, many universities are beginning to know the expert  that is housed at NOUN  and we are beginning to receive many requests from universities either to show them how to develop courses to be delivered online or indeed help them develop what is required as a management system’ ’he stated.

Prof. Peters described NOUN as the largest Open and Distant learning institution in West Africa that plays a major role in online and blended learning in the education sector.

‘‘NOUN’s digital transformation energy journey, began right at the inception of our academic activities, and we have several milestones to show for it’’ Peters added.

The selection of NOUN to host ACETEL represents a significant milestone in the transition of online learning in the higher education sector, he added.

             PIX: Cross - section of participants at the workshop

While commending the sponsors of the project, the Vice - Chancellor Prof. Olufemi Peters said it is imperative that institutions integrate technology in teaching and learning.

‘‘NOUN’s digital transformation energy journey, began right at the inception of our academic activities, and we have several milestones to show for it’’.

He further commended the role of the Centres of competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) project in the digital transformation drive of the university to achieve a more resident and innovative system that seeks to improve the quality of students learning experience.

Earlier in her speech, the Centre Director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokthan, said that the Centres of Competence in Digital Education(C-CoDE) project is a response to COVID-19 disruptions in Africa Higher Education Institutions.

Jokthan also emphasised that the C-CoDE initiative addresses institutional gaps in teaching and learning as well as provides infrastructural facilities to support the ongoing institutional digital transformation drive.

‘‘The establishment of C-CoDE could not have come at a better time particularly for ACETEL and NOUN whose mandate is to provide access to technology enabled learning that is qualitative and cost effective’’. She said.

The partners of the project in their good will messages expressed their profound gratitude to NOUN’s ACETEL and assured participants that at the end of the training, they will have the capacity to provide leadership and train human resources for digital education both in national and continental level.

On his part, the project manager, ACE, Sylvia Mkandawire, said the project is basically helping Africa to advance the quality of higher education by providing various components, the state of art facilities, helping the universities to actually implement innovative approaches to teaching and learning as well as creating conducive environment for functionality of higher education system.

Meanwhile participants for the workshop were drawn from various institutions across African countries in view to digitally transform their mode of delivery.

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