Experts X-Ray Benefits Of Hybridisation In Education

Prof. Uchenna Udeani, Director, DLI, UNILAG

The Distance Learning Institute, University of Lagos, says hybridising instructional deliveries in the post-COVID-19 era, could be the way forward to tackle the infrastructure deficit in the higher education system.

Director of the institute, Prof. Uchenna Udeani made the assertion in an interview on Saturday in Lagos.

According to her, the institution will be interrogating the subject at an upcoming international colloquium, the second of its kind, focusing on the hybridisation of instructional deliveries in the emerging global higher education ecosystem.

“Right now, you hear about hybrid, you hear about blended, virtual and online learning.

“And so, we are saying, in this new dispensation, how do we marry the two, that is, online and face to face, to create a hybrid learning environment, in the emerging global system of higher education,” she stated.

The professor of Science Education said that the event was all about how best to use content digitisation, in a hybrid system.

“We are looking at learner analytics, what are the characteristics of learners, we are looking at affordances, that is infrastructure.

“We are saying that this is no longer sustainable and that teaching and learning should be hybridised. That means, as an instructor, I may say that I am going to have 50 per cent of my lecture online and another 50 per cent physical.

“The whole thing is about hybridisation of instructional delivery and it is like the way to go. That is the way to go in the higher education system. This is because we are hearing about hybrid, blended and online learning.

“What this means actually is that both learners and instructors are not able to always be physically present in a particular location at a particular time.

“That is all that the normal brick and mortar classroom and physical location is all about and then, there is time for a particular lecture to go on and everybody is expected to be there, both the instructor or lecturer and the students and it is for a said period of time,” she said.

According to her, with the hybridisation of instructional delivery, students will be accorded the opportunity to learn at their pace and comfort.

She said that instructors too would be able to deliver their content synchronously, that is, in real-time, having been recorded.

”So, what it means is that I may choose to explain this mode of delivery to my class and we agree.

So, on days of the online lectures, I may not be physically present and in the days of physical, I will be there in person in the classroom teaching.

“One thing that goes for the online lecture though is that it can also be accessed not in real-time, what you may call asynchronously.

“So, I will teach synchronously, that is real-time and get it recorded and I can put it on the Learning Management System (LMS) for students to access at any time.

“They can go back to it when they want and if they don’t understand all the lectures very well, they can still go back and look at it again.

“So, this method is giving the learner too more empowerment and a self-regulated learning environment.

“For instance, I am not able to attend the lecture physically but I am able to access the lecture later. So, it is giving me more power over my learning, over my learning and it puts me in context.

“I don’t have to be in the classroom, but will learn at my own time, and pace, and show up for my examination,” the director said.

Udeani said that with the modern-day population explosion, there was no way it would match the already existing infrastructure deficits in the higher education system, hence the need to hybridise instructional deliveries.

” I don’t think that there is anywhere in the world, where people are matching infrastructure deficit with population in the emerging global higher education ecosystem. It is not obtainable, as I don’t think building of more classrooms is a way out.

“No, so I think that the best way is for us to interrogate,  how best we can hybridise instructional deliveries, and that is exactly what we are going to do in this particular colloquium,” she said.

Udeani said that the event, scheduled for August 1, would have Prof. Som Naidu, a renowned scholar in Open, Flexible, Distance and Online Learning from Australia, as the keynote speaker.

She said that Dr Akanimo Odon, Africa Strategy Adviser, at Lancaster University U.K. would be the moderator of the one-day event.

She said arrangements for the colloquium were in top gear and it was born out of the first international colloquium held in September 2021, while recovering from the pandemic.

“We felt that we should build a lot of resilience and inclusiveness in instructional deliveries both in the face-to-face mode and the Open Distance Learning (ODL).

“We held that colloquium and we got together, practitioners in the ODL and other stakeholders in education, to talk about inclusiveness and resilience in instructional deliveries.

“So, at the end of that first colloquium, we found out that the learners have not really been articulated, that we have not catered enough about the learners in the first discussion of the international colloquium. So, that was what informed this second one,” Udeani explained.

She said that also expected at the colloquium were other eminent panellists that had long been practitioners of the ODL, among whom are Prof. Gosky Alabi, Ghanaian academic, and President, of the African Council for Distance Learning.

Others, she said, include Prof. Christine Ofulue from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)  Dr Lexy Adams, from Kigali, Rwanda and  Prof. Carlos Alberto, from Brazil.

(Visited 80 times, 1 visits today)