By: Olalekan Jubril
In an exclusive interview with the Student’s representative on UI-ERT committee, Omitoyin Oluwaferanmi; the UI SRC Speaker, on the level of preparedness of the University of Ibadan in relationship to virtual classes and resumption, the Speaker explained that UI will utilise Moodle for virtual classes.
He stated that “UI LMS is based on Moodle, an open- source learning management system in the world. It is one of the most popular learning management system the whole world ” He said that Moodle is easy to use but it is better for students to check it up on Google, and try the platform demo to aid their preparation for virtual classes.
The Speaker also explained that the management is ready for the virtual classes even though it appears that little has been said about it. He further stated that some lecturers have started uploading their contents on the validated E-learning platform. Nevertheless, registration on the platform would commence on the 20th of February and last until the 4th of April 2021, as directed by the school management but there are talks in place to enable students to register without necessarily paying school fees as opposed to the management’s stand that school fees must be paid before registration.
Moodle-based LMS is an E-learning platform where resources like slides, videos, voice recordings are provided & made accessible to concerned individuals. The platform has been credited with being user-friendly and less data sapping. Thus, MDAs, business organisations and various learning institutions have made ‘Moodle’ their go-to platform for E-activities. Omitoyin however added that classes will be a combination of both live and upload of contents.
While answering questions on how complaints will be attended to, Omitoyin explained that there is a committee of Faculty Presidents and Central UI-ERT committee that is in charge of handling complaints across all various quarters. He affirmed that faculty Presidents have been advised to work hand-in-hand with Departmental Presidents on queries arising from each quarter. However, he advised students to join the SU Telegram page to lodge their complaints and tag the necessary authorities.
Questions posed to him as regards how effective the virtual classes would be and how favourable it will be to students, the Speaker emphasised that, “To a large extent, the University is doing well to ensure the effective running of the system. Firstly, there was a call for students to train lecturers on how to use some of the online platforms. Secondly, the school management has a Telegram group for lecturers where they communicate regularly on issues that need to be addressed. The school is also working on a local area network on campus whereby lecturers are encouraged to come around so that they can upload their course contents without incurring personal expenses on data. This also enables their queries to be handled immediately by iTems” He explained.
The Speaker further assured that the MIS & ITEMs staff are working round the clock to prevent hitches like the crashing of the platform and the likes, so as to ensure adequate utility of the ‘Moodle’ both by the students and the lecturers. However, “This is a very steep-learning curve, hitches are bound to occur but the management is working on the best way to manage it.” He concluded.