From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has been selected as one of the six Centres of Competence in Digital Education (C-CoDE) in African universities.
Dr Habib Yakoob, UniAbuja’s Head of information and public relations, in a statement on Wednesday, noted that the other universities are the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania; Moi University, Moi, Kenya; Kabale University, Kabale, Uganda; École Supérieure
Multinationale des Télécommunications, Dakar, Senegal and Université Nangui Abrogoua, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
He said the selection of the universities was announced by EXAF (Excellence in Africa Research Centre)-EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne) as part of the joint EPFL-UM6P (Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique) initiative in Excellence in Africa.
He confirmed that all the six universities were selected from 20 shortlisted applications evaluated by experts from the Association of African Universities (AAU), EPFL and UM6P.
Meanwhile, Yann Kerloch, Communication Manager for EPFL, explained in a statement that the universities’ transition to digital education, including the sustainable integration of digital tools and technologies as well as the adoption of new pedagogical approaches, requires upskilling, hence the intervention
Kerloch added that the creation of the C-CoDEs, which combine these pedagogical and technological competences will accompany these universities in their digital transition and ultimately have a broader impact at a national and regional level.
‘In 2021 and 2022, the project will develop hardware and software as well as construct studio with multimedia equipment and IT infrastructures necessary to produce online courses.
‘Furthermore, technicians from each of the six universities would be trained to operate the production studios, while training in digital education will also be provided to resident experts in instructional design as well as a few dozen professors.
‘With a wide range of digital technologies, training in digital education will be delivered using Massive Open Online Classes (MOOC) and personalised remote coaching by digital education experts. The training programme will put theory into practice by focusing on the transformation of existing face-to-face courses into online ones, and enable the assimilation of pedagogical tools and practices to teach using digital technology.
‘Courses would also be developed and made available to the entire community of learners, thereby making it possible for learning strategies, lesson plans and examples of the curriculum to be reviewed from a digital perspective.
‘The implementation of the C-CoDEs, together with the training will contribute to the sustainable integration of digital education and technologies in the instruction provided at each partner university, which should ultimately lead to the pooling of teaching between the universities,’ Kerloch explained.