E- LEARNING: PROSPECTS IN THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SECTOR

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The internet has become a popular tool among the world’s young population. It’s safe to say “we all use the internet” in one way or the other, and for several reasons too. Yes we research, download movies, pictures and applications, send and receive emails, messages, and get important news updates from the internet but internet technology has proven over the years to be more than that. Schooling has since been taken to the net. Different schools and programs now integrate internet technology in their learning process by giving assignments, lectures, projects, and even tests and exams via the internet. This is what is called E-Learning today. It is a mixture of physical school administrative processes with online technological interventions to aid in faster, better and more accurate delivery. Some of the world’s most developed nations have achieved E-schooling, otherwise called Virtual Schooling, which is a bit different from E-learning. Virtual schooling most times means the total absence of students from schools and classrooms. It is the total reliance on technology to administer or deliver lectures to students who for any reason have to be far away or separated from the tutors, while maintaining regular and substantive interaction with tutors and fellow students.

Advantages of E-learning

  1. Due to its convenience and flexibility, the resources are available from anywhere and at any time.
  2. It promotes active individual learning.
  3. Very convenient and flexible
  4. Lecture materials of audio/visual nature can be saved and revisited over and over again.
  5. Lectures aren’t time conscious or unnecessarily time consuming.
  6. Being disabled in no way affects study.

Disadvantages of E-learning

  1. Test and Exams are mostly limited to questions that are objective in nature.
  2. The issue of cyber security.
  3. Just about anyone can submit a project or assignment rather than the student.
  4. Computer assessed results can be misleading as the computer doesn’t have the ability to consider context and/or practicality.

E-learning in Nigeria

The educational sector in Nigeria is posed with a peculiar problem – ‘The increase in number of students isn’t met with equal increase in number of schools or educational facilities’. This means that, while the number of people interested in attending schools increases yearly, the classrooms remain the same in size, the facilities most times remain the same, and so does the number of teachers. Little wonder why lecture halls of government run tertiary institutions are filled beyond capacity. Could E-learning bring an end to problems of the educational sector? Yes. So many schools in Nigeria claim to have embraced E-learning, but few actually have functioning E-learning systems in place. This puts pressure on the lecturers to teach large numbers of students, for long hours, and for multiple times in a day in order to meet demand.

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Meanwhile, E-learning platforms can create a classroom atmosphere away from school. Students no longer compulsorily need to be in a class to have real time access to a lecture or material. This way, the lecturer only gets to teach a topic once or as when needed, and the lecture can be circulated throughout the student population in real-time, or through downloads and streams. This would make for a less stressful atmosphere and a seamless process.

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