One of the leading private universities in Nigeria, Chrisland University, is set to conduct an online matriculation ceremony for its newly admitted students on the 14th of July, 2020. This e-matriculation would be the first of its kind amongst privately owned universities in Nigeria.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria announced the shutdown of all educational institutions on the 19th of March, 2020 as part of their effort to contain and prevent the spread of the corona virus pandemic. The shutdown resulted to disruption of academic sessions with millions of students sent back to their various homes.
Chrisland University is the foremost University in Nigeria to adapt all its educational operations into the 21st century system of learning. Recall that in a press briefing held in the month of June, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Babalola, stated that the University started its “E-classroom” programme on the 6th of April, 2020; she explained that “classes started as early as the first week of April and students were taught based on the regular time-tables drawn by the school.” This is in order to ensure the swift progression of their students is not delayed by any form of obstacle; even COVID-19.
Students were being engaged and taught via different internet software and applications such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Team, Zoom and WhatsApp. Lectures were held online like regular sessions in the physical four walls of a classroom.
Prof. Babalola stated that the applications have been so effective that it captures attendance correctly; it allows for feedback from students as assignments are being dished out to students and were submitted for grading. The applications especially Google Classroom and Microsoft Team gives accurate account of the attendance of students, those who left while the class was in progress, and those that submitted assignment late or did not bother to submit. The Zoom application allows lecturers and students to interact with one another, enables the visibility of practical classes and gives no chance for truancy.
She explained further that lecturers are able to better prepare the students via the “e-classroom” system. The students can always go back to the lectures they have had in the past in order to revise before exams. WhatsApp has enabled voice notes, sharing of slides and papers, and have given the students access to discussions and interactions such as questions and answers during the classroom sessions.
Moreover, the VC said the “e-classroom” programmes has helped to track plagiarism and copying among students. She said the University is now collaborating with Turn-It-In, a plagiarism software outfit, whose software is on the university portal. The software has helped lecturers to track plagiarism and copying in the assignments of students.
As part of the University’s plans to reinforce the e-classroom programme, Prof. Babalola reveals that the university has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hewlett-Packard (HP), an internationally renowned hardware company, with two other online learning providers so that the university can use their resources to enhance its online learning.
Now, Chrisland University will conduct an online matriculation ceremony for its newly admitted students on the 14th of July, 2020.
Chrisland University is not just taken a fast and bold step to accept and inculcate the changes in information technology into the world of their students, they have used it to achieve their mission of “creating a learning environment that nurtures a sound moral and intellectual culture that attracts an excellent blend of faculty from across the world, and deploys resources to educate the total person.”