Three members of staff of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) who participated in the first phase of digital education training have lauded the university management for its motivation.
The trainees, Prof. Juliet Inigbidion, Director of Entrepreneurship & General Studies (DE&GS), Dr. Oparaduru John, Faculty of Education and Dr. Musa Runde of the Faculty of Sciences, gave this commendation while fielding questions from NOUN News correspondent at the university 's headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
The first phase of the training, which ended in December 2021, was organised by the Centre for Competence in Digital Education (C-CODE), a project under the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) of the university.
Explaining the objectives of the training, C-CODE Project Manager, Prof. Christine Ofulue, said the programme focuses on training techno-pedagogical specialists, adding that after completion of the training, the trainees will be able to train other members of staff within and beyond the institution.
She said the second group will consist about 30 academics who will also be trained and given skills and be able to integrate multimedia in teaching and learning.
"The third are two technical persons that will be trained for two weeks on the multimedia equipment that will be utilised," Ofulue said.
On the benefits inherent in the programme, the erudite professor of Linguistics said "the university will be a beneficiary of the multimedia equipment that will be in use," adding that "the training is a first certified training that we are getting that will bring together the pedagogical aspect of distance learning.
"As for me, the big picture is that the training will further establish NOUN as a leader in Digital Education. As you are aware, Covid-19 has made digital education imperative. So we are very happy for having such opportunity through ACETEL to impart the university."
While narrating their experiences, the trio said the training was not only interesting but also quite tasking, time-consuming, intensive, rigorous and tedious.
Speaking on the relevance of the training to the university, Inigbidion said "The university, as an ODL institution, do believe that you need to develop your content that will fit an ODL learners and in a specific way that meet with digital learning.
“The training will improve the course material; without a good learning material, nothing can 'fly' in Open and Distance Learning."
While expressing their profound gratitude to the management of NOUN for encouraging them, they also solicited the cooperation of the university management with a view to overcoming some challenges facing their training.
"In the area of time, we need the cooperation of the university because when it comes to timing, we are challenged. How are we challenged? We are challenged in the sense that we are struggling doing our primary assignment and coping with the other one.
"So they have already told us what we are going to meet in the second phase and that second phase will be demanding. So if we may have time to stay off the primary assignment for a while, for a period, l think it will go a long way. Secondly, we are challenged in the area of data," the trainees unanimously posited.
Asked about their readiness for the second phase of the training, the trio said "our mind-set is fixed; we are ready to get along; we are ready to face the challenges."
On her part, the director of ACETEL, Prof. Grace Jokhtan, who appreciated the Project Manager and the university for motivating the trainees, also thanked the trainees for their commitment and dedication to the task assigned to them.
The director promised to look into the issues affecting the trainees.