NOUN’s online facilitators get refresher training

Justina Undiandeye & Sunday Adama
Online facilitation workshop

Online facilitators of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have undergone an online facilitation workshop designed to equip them with the requisite knowledge needed to carry out their duties in line with global best practices.

The workshop, being administered by the university’s Directorate of Learning Content Management Systems (DLCMS), is holding both physically and virtually, and was graced by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Olufemi Peters, on the opening day.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor expressed the need for facilitators to be equipped with the latest as well as up-to-date methods and procedures regarding their facilitation.

He said the university has set-up policies to aid facilitation in all its study centres and has since jettison the old policies that did not aid proper online facilitation like the one that required students to be fifty (50) in a course before facilitators were assigned to them.

Peters explained that the workshop was a medium to move the mode of delivery in the university forward, and encouraged staff to have all hands on deck in order to move these policies forward.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Uduma O. Uduma, mentioned, in his address, how online facilitation had always been an issue in the university, citing scenarios that happened back in the days when he was a study centre director.

Uduma particularly flayed the 50-students’ clause, which, he added, had received a lot of complaints from the students.

He, however, acknowledged the growth of online facilitation in NOUN as it started in 2018/2019 with just 150 courses, which had grown to accommodate over 650 courses, saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has helped in normalizing online facilitation that is expected for everyone at the workshop to learn.

On his part, Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Samaila Mande, described the advent of online facilitation as one of the many milestones of the university and that online facilitation had solved the myriad of challenges.

He said the development has made materials accessible to students as they can access information from anywhere.

Mande, who also commended all the facilitators both external and internal, heaved praises for all the staff of the DLCMS and the university for providing an enabling environment.

Earlier in his welcome address, the DLCMS director, Dr. Adewale Adesina, said the seminar was designed to equip the online facilitators with a view to delivering quality instructional content to the students.

Going down memory lane, Adesina traced the history of online facilitation to 2019, saying that during the first online facilitation for all the university’s online facilitators held on in February 2019, facilitators were exposed to the rudiments of what the new concept entails.

Adesina, who presented a topic: “Online Facilitation and Instructional Video Content Production Training”, explained that the main focus of the DLCMS was content creation and content delivery, adding that faculties have been assigned with LCMS support staff for online facilitation.