As part of the efforts to resume teaching and learning in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI) held a three-day training on how to use the Modular Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle) e-learning platform. Moodle, an open-source e-learning platform is designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single, robust, secure and integrated system required to create a personalized learning environment. The training involved a cross-section of academics selected from the various departments, units and institutes held in the first three days in February, 2021. The training was organised by the College of Medicine E-Learning Committee in collaboration with the Information Technology Unit (ITU).
In her opening remarks at the training, the Provost, CoMUI, Prof. Olayinka. O. Omigbodun (FAS, FNAMed), explained that the training on virtual learning was set up to adjust the college to the new rules of physical distancing in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19 among members of staff and students of the college. The Provost enjoined the representatives of the different departments and other participants of the e-learning training to go back and teach others what they learned to quicken the adoption of e-learning in the CoMUI.
Those in attendance at the training were taught how to set up courses, add lectures, conduct continuous assessments, enroll students and take student’s attendance during online classes. Facilitators, in the persons of Miss A.O. Adediran, Mr. K.A. Agboola and Mr. A.A. Adetule, further demonstrated to the participants the process involved in course backup and recovery, zoom integration and mobile App usage.
When some participants were interviewed to know what they thought of the training, majority of them stressed that it was timely and useful, as it has increased their knowledge of how to better interact virtually to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. Participants also pointed out that the challenges to implementing the training are network connection,bandwidth issues(connection speed, page loading slowly, etc), as well as the high cost of data that both students and teachers experience. They urged the management of CoMUI to look into how they can help those who would be using the e-learning platform to find a lasting solution to the challenges. With this, the University of Ibadan has plans to support staff and students with data for the implementation of Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT). In preparation for this, the University had shared a link requesting information from its staff and students on their preferred internet service providers. In addition, there have been series of virtual meetings to interact with staff and also with students across levels to highlight the intricacies of the newly adopted learning platform.
As a follow up to the training on Moodle, the attendees were designated e-learning ambassadors and given the task of conducting step-down trainings for other academic staff of their various institutes, departments, and units.
Reports from Dr. Adesola. C. Odole, Chairman of the e-learning committee show that as at March 31, 2021, all the trainees had successfully carried out step-down trainings in their departments and units for their colleagues that were not captured by the general training. In addition, the e-learning Chairman affirmed that the CoMUI learning management system which was recently upgraded, was up and running. Findings also show that all arms of the College especially the Information Technology Unit are actively taking necessary steps to make the e-learning venture a reality, with the relentless backing of the College administration. The CoMUI management has made available multiple Zoom accounts to enhance synchronous teaching sessions for members of staff. It is worthy to note that over 450 courses have been created on the CoMUI LMS and both asynchronous and synchronous learning sessions have commenced.