Last week, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) officially welcomed the pioneer set of students for its Online Distance Learning Programme at its main campus in Ile-Ife, an ancient Yoruba city in southwestern Nigeria.
With partnership from Edutech Software Solutions, a Lagos-based Education Technology company that designed and developed an indigenous and comprehensive eLearning solution for the programme, the University has made it possible for its students to learn on-the-go, from anywhere in the world, for the first time.
The programme, accredited and approved by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) in April 2014, allows students to receive their lectures online on-the-go, anywhere in Nigeria or around the world using a customized study tablet called Vigitab.
The tablet comes preloaded with videos of lectures, course materials, internet access and a battery life extender, allowing students of the programme to watch, pause or rewind their lecturers and view course materials off line. Programmes currently on offer are Bachelor of Nursing Science and B.Sc Accounting, with plans to include more courses in the future.
The move to make its Distance Learning programme available online by replicating the conventional classroom experience is quite laudable. With the Vigitab, students would be able to relate with peers virtually, participate in group discussions and get graded without being physically within the four walls of a lecture room.
Since its inception in August 2002, OAU’s Center for Distance Learning has provided quality tertiary education through the Open and Distance Learning mode with its curricula, degrees, diplomas and certificates being the same as with its full-time students.