The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu, has inaugurated a committee that will fashion out ways, strategies and modalities towards the full take-off of online programmes in the university.
A recent National Universities Commission (NUC) weekly bulletin said only NOUN was approved to run Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programmes in Nigeria and equally recognised the institution to run online degrees.
It was against this backdrop that the VC set up a seven-man committee, under the University Librarian, Dr Gambo Saleh, to advise the management on the approach to online programmes, the diverging points with the present ODL, academic and administrative requirements and curriculum development.
During the brief ceremony, which was held at the university's headquarters in Abuja, Adamu said the committee had the task of guiding the “university management to develop e-learning strategies.
“How do we reposition ourselves to capture e-learning? How do we strengthen ourselves; how are we going to separate our ODL and online degree in terms of logistics, academic, administrative, and anything that will define the e-learning|?”
He said members of the committee were carefully selected for the task that also included drawing up of curriculum for e-learning, procedures of e-learning, the staff needed and whether it would be a distinct department or fused to another department and/or faculty.
“You are to advise the university on global best practices to e-learning,” he said, drawing their attention to the need to pay particular attention to African countries running the programme vis-a-vis Nigeria's peculiarities.
The Vice-Chancellor said as the premier ODL institution in the sub-region, NOUN was not going to start the online degrees from the scratch, as a network was already in place, but urged the committee to equally x-ray online degrees when juxtapose with Open Educational Resources (OER).
He enjoined them to also explore the more commercially-viable courses that would draw a large number of applicants to upset the cost in view of the high cost of running on-line programmes.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Saleh assured the VC that having carefully selected the committee members, they would not let down the management on this huge assignment.
“The task is enormous and elaborate, but each member of this committee will put in his/her very best. We need to do something worthwhile and we would look at the programmes in foreign countries, particularly Malaysia and Japan,” he said.
Online student education projects deserve a lot of attention. It’s good that there are trained teachers. Specialists will be able to devote a large amount of time to preparing and developing programs for online training.