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National Open University Trains Staff To Bridge Gaps Caused By COVID-19

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has conducted a three-week online training for its staff on how to set-up learning management systems and make use of Moodle, an online learning platform.

The University’s Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme noted that this was in recognition of how badly the education sector was affected following the COVID-19 outbreak and aimed at subsequently improving the capacity of academics.

According to the press statement obtained by HumAngle on Thursday, the training had a total of 158 participants, including members of the Governing Council, Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Deans, Heads of Departments, professors, and academic staff from all study centres.

Sheme added that the virtual training was moderated by the Chairman of NOUN’s Governing Council, Prof. Peter A. Okebukola.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, was one of the training facilitators.

Prof. Okebukola announced that 73 participants got distinctions, 23 secured credits, 8 passed and others ended up with an honourable mention at the Virtual Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

Okebukola said that the Council and University Senate had considered it pertinent to initiate a process that would lead to a significant improvement of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) education.

He explained that due to COVID-19, governments and universities are looking for qualified teachers in the field of ODL and the workshop would equip NOUN staff to be the master trainers as the demand may require.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu, congratulated the participants for having gone through the intensive training and passing with great results.

Adamu told them that there had been a paradigm shift in the delivery of ODL education not only in Nigeria but also the world over necessitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

He said NOUN under him had brought a series of reforms and complied with the approved standards of ODL teaching across the world.

In the Graduation Lecture delivered by the President of LAWEH Open University, Ghana, with the theme, ‘Agenda for Making Africa Take Leadership Position in ODL’, Prof. Goski Alabi stressed “the need for the African Open Universities to place a greater premium on Relevance and Acceptability is paramount”.

She called for authorities in Africa to learn how to invest in ODL, with a view to making it take the lead not only in Africa but the world over.

Some of the courses delivered during the training included “Overview of Learning Management Systems” by Distinguished Prof. Okebukola, “Overview of ODL and Online Learning” by Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, and “Content Delivery in ODL” by Prof. Patrick Eya.

Other topics were: “Writing Quality Notes for the Distant Learner” by Prof. Mercy Ogunsola Bandele, “Learner Support Service in ODL” by Prof. Gregory Okagbare, “Downloading MOODLE” by Dr. Adewale Adesina, and “Key Elements of Instructional Design” by Dr. Lukman Bello, among many others.


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