ENHANCING THE USE OF E-LEARNING FOR ACADEMIC STAFF AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STAFF

 ENHANCING THE USE OF E-LEARNING FOR ACADEMIC STAFF AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) STAFF

The successfully and accelerated 3days workshop took place at Ruli Higher Institute of Health Saint Rose de Lima (RHIH) from Wednesday14th April 2021 to Friday, 16th April 2021 in RHIH Main hall under theme named “Enhancing the use of e-learning for academic staff and information technology(IT) staff” .Aim of training was to equip: the IT staff with acquire knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitude enable them to assist the academic staff and students technically. Furthermore, the workshop also helped the academic staff to organize and deliver course contents, provide feedback to students, and manager virtual classroom by using eLearning platform.

Photo with all participants during Workshop in RHIH Main Hall

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. NTIRENGANYA Sylvestre, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic affairs and research, in his key remarks, he emphasized on reason why of being invited in the workshop and started by welcoming the guest of honor who was the facilitator for the workshop and all participant present were welcomed. He continued by expressing that Nowadays, the ICT is a power full tool used in all sectors, including educator sector. Researches indicate that the integration of ICT in education sector is key principle in enhance quality of education. Since April 2016, Ruli Higher Institute of Health (RHIH) Sainte Rose de Lima has started using the E-learning MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) platform to support face to face mode of teaching too enhance quality of education of nurses and midwives.

In March 2020, the Ministry of Education (MoE) closed all higher learning institution (HLIs) to prevent the spreading of covid-19. However the MoE has continued to urge all HLIs continuing to support the students by using e-learning platform during covid-19 pandemic. RHIH was continue teaching students during Covid-19 lock down through E-learning platform.

In November 2020, RHIH was going to defend the resolution of the recommendations given by HEC on the requested “Blended” Mode of teaching and learning. However, the users of E-learning platform have complained that they meet with some challenges like course contents structuring, virtual class management during the e-learning.

 In March 2021, HEC approved and accredited the blended mode of teaching and learning to RHIH with some recommendations including organize deep training of academic staff and IT staff on using RHIH E-learning platform for continuing provision of quality education. It is in this perspective that RHIH through ICT department organized a workshop of three days to empower the e-learning skills to both IT staff and academic staff. RHIH has full infrastructure including Zoom and other controller tools   for  full  successfully using  Virtual Class   through  its MOODLE E-learning Platform and ICT staff will learn more  how to manage the following tasks on Moodle:  Users and Courses,  Server and Security, Site-wide settings as well as its core components and academic staff  will be equipped with all methodology of using  E-learning in pedagogy including uploading the course, online class management , interacting with students feedback etc…”. He ended his speech by welcoming the facilitator to start the first session.

 

Methodology and teaching materials: During workshop the following strategies were used for improvement the level of learning and interaction from audience: Face to face by oral presentation using computers and projectors, experience sharing session, the group work/discussion and practice session on computer using lecturers /academic staff laptop.

Mr. NGENZI Joseph Lune, Consultant and Expert in teaching using online methodology with background in ICT as profession,  started the training by explaining  the  overview on evolution of e-learning  utilization  in University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and health Sciences(UR- CMHS )  from  historical perspective (10 years of  experience) : Lesson learnt. The existing system for blended learning with their advantages versus disadvantages have been highlighted and Pedagogical advantages of blended methodology in academia have been explained well.  He noted that academic staff /Teachers should spend a lot of time in course preparation by considering learning objectives and how they will get a feedback from students on mistakes committed and a way of their addressing in long journey of study. He said that preparation phase is considered as a meal cooking step and academic staff will deliver well prepared food to the students with well-structured course.

He took enough time by explaining the format of Storyboarding where every academician was ended by capacity of using Constructive alignment for blended. In line with story board to be used the facilitator has appreciated RHIH format and recommend to add the scheduling for examination   and thing on Over to you for students during formulating learning objectives. The participants  discussed on format of how  to formulate and write   students  learning outcome using  ABC D where every alphabet stand for the following: A=Audience (  students); B: Behavior; C: Condition   and D: Degree ) . Each unit should have intended learning outcome (what the students will do). It has been reminded that  teaching is the preparation of learning activities as well as Providing the  enough resources /Learning resources  to the students such as :   Presentation, YouTube video, Web Link, PDF Doc: Where it will be conducted : Face to face, Class,  Skills Lab, Clinical placement/field etc.. By considering Open education resources of free of charge.

Mr. NGENZI Joseph Lune (Facilitator) while explaining the components of course story-boarding

It has been observed that the modules and units as well as learning outcomes have different formats   and discussion on module harmonization took place and agreed on below points:

  1. First page (Welcome, module aim and  Facilitator  contacts
  2. Structure of each chapter /Section/ blocks

He reminded that the learning environment is composed with   multi-disciplinary approaches as a requirements: ICT, Library, Administration and their collaboration is crucial for better academic performance.

At last day , the participants under moderation of  facilitator  revised   the  Story-boarding   of every course(Module and units)  as an assignment given to every academic staff  to revise their respective Lecture  according to the format approved   and every teacher took his/her time for  presentation and sharing with others  for their positive criticism  and correction.  At the same day, the creation and management of virtual classroom using Zoom has been introduced and explained in details for each component part followed by intensive practical session on how to set the class on Zoom.

Practice on zoom demonstration on how to use it.

The different system of class management has been explained for checking the participants rate on course, how to know that the students are following you… monitoring and evaluation   system  for online courses has been emphasized where Academic quality assurance officer and head of both departments are responsible and  regular  reporting to high authority of institution. All academic staff were advised to record their respective course materials using free screen recording and RHIH ownership in movies to be used must appear on e-learning platform.

Outcomes achieved

The workshop attendees were able to understand well Moodle features and apply its concept (resources & activities) in daily teaching practice through management the teaching materials for students on RHIH Moodle platform.

RHIH academic Staff while practicing the theory learnt in utilizing zoom during virtual Class management

The  IT staff mastered  :Authentication, Managing accounts, Roles and permissions ; Enrolments ; Admin tools ; Backup ;Developer tools ; Performance Security ; Web services ; Language; Location ; Logging ; Server settings; Site-wide reports  and Site appearance . Academic staff covered   basic Moodle architecture, orientation  / functions – resources and activities;  online pedagogy fundamentals upload the teaching and learning materials on the e-learning platform; Create discussion forum or chat and explore the forums created ;  create and  manage virtual classroom using Zoom as well as  set the evaluation (test, assignment) by using e-learning platform.

At the end of training , the trainer, thanking  the RHIH administration  for invitation  and positive attitude that Institute have for empowering ICT  infrastructure in terms of  improving e- learning  platform  and good attitude toward utilization of  ICT .

 Finally, Mr. NTIRENGANYA Sylvestre, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic affairs and research, closed officially the workshop by thanking the expert who facilitate the workshop for 3days as well as the participants and reminded all academic staff to take care on a way forward for implementing successfully all recommendations provided.