Godfrey Okoye University Enugu Sets Yet Another Pace on Online Learning
By Bethel Okoye
Godfrey Okoye University have continued to set the pace in all ramifications. The University have completed the second semester of the 2019/2020 Academic Session online without interrupting the academic calendar as most universities are trying to think about what to do.
The challenges presented by the covid-19 pandemic in the education sector of the world and Nigeria in particular was turned around for greater impact by the University, setting the pace as others are still struggling to find their feet.
The Vice Chancellor of Godfrey Okoye University, the University on the Go, Reverend Father Professor Christian Anieke in the plenary session of a 5 day Academic Staff Retreat for the 2020/2021 Academic year, held on September 14, 2020 noted that foresight has helped the University to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic as academic activities where already taken online before the emergence of the pandemic. The Vice Chancellor stated that lecturers where asked to upload their lesson notes online for students assessment and ran various ICT training and workshops for both academic and non-academic staff of the University.
Professor Anieke noted that the University is already consolidating on the gains of what has become the new norm as virtual classes and activities have become the new normal. He further stressed that it is impossible with the present situation all over the world to enter the University without having a solid background of computer literacy.
The academic staff retreat cum ICT workshop which held at the University for all academic staff of the University was to train and intimate them on the upgraded online learning platform of the university. The new online learning platform which can be assessed by both student and staff eliminates the use of Zoom, Telegram and WhatsApp classes. The new online platform meets the best international educational practises as it is used by Oxford University and over 50,000 universities in the world.
The Acting Director of ICT of the University and its Group of Institutions, Chibuzo Anthony Chinedu in his presentation of the new online learning platform, Teaching in the New Academic Year: Embrace the Change at the Academic Staff Retreat noted that the idea was birthed by the Vice Chancellor who noted that he wants the best of online learning platform used by the best universities in the world no matter the cost.
The new online learning platform had 16 activities modules and 7 resource modules which include assignment module, virtual classroom, quiz/exam module, chat module, lesson module, forum module, survey module, workshop module, wiki module, external tool, feedback module, glossary module, H5P etc. The resources modules are book, file, folder, IMS content package, label, page and url. The new online teaching and learning platform can be assessed at the university website, www.gouni.edu.ng
The Director of Academic Planning and Quality Assurance of the University and its Group of Institutions, Professor, Marysylvia Nwachukwu in her presentation, Nurturing Creativity Through Online Learning at the plenary session of the academic staff retreat stated that online education will make no difference if it repeats the mistake of conventional teaching. She added that lecturers should take the benefit of the online teaching platform to enhance capacity building by promoting conditions that include strategies, approaches, methods and instructions that promote and develop students’ creative ability.
The Coordinator of the STEP (Student Programme for Entrepreneurship Learning) project of the University, Peace Chidi Ike, represented by Christopher Uwakwe, a Lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies at the academic staff retreat spoke on integrating the STEP programme into Teaching and Learning. She noted that lecturers should look at the courses they teach and incorporate the business and problem-solving aspect of the courses rather than the theoretical aspect. Lecturers should be ready to help students to explore the opportunities that are available in the courses they teach. With this, students can do business while in school and see possible opportunities before graduation, turning them to employers of labour. The STEP programme which was introduced in the University in 2018 was designed to empower and mobilise students for entrepreneurship before graduation. In narrating the achievement of the programme, she stated that some students have been enabled to start small scale business while in school.
The staff retreat for the 2020/2021 academic year continues with ICT training and workshop for all staff of the University.