How e-learning has fared in tertiary institutions

How e-learning has fared in tertiary institutions

With no date fixed yet for  the re-opening of schools across the country, online classes are expected to be fully operational but it has been a mixed grill of experiences for students across various tertiary institutions, ELIZABETH FADEYI (IBADANPOLY) and GIFT ADAH(UNICAL) report.

Following the closure of schools at all levels due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government mandated tertiary institutions to activate virtual learning.


Nevertheless, the virtual learning infrastructure of most public tertiary institutions in the country leave much to be desired as private institutions have largely proved to be ahead.

Various online platforms such as Google Classrooms, Google Meets, Zoom and others are being deployed to cover lost grounds in schools that have functional e-learning facilities.

However, students have complained about the high cost of data, poor network, poor handling of course content among others as the bane of virtual learning.

Students decry ineffective virtual learning

Olushola David,  an Accounting  student of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, said though they were being taught online, it had not been helpful because Accounting courses are  mathematical in nature, hence, they need better explanation for them to fully understand.

But it is sad that lecturers only record voice notes and send them pictures and expect them to study and understand by themselves.

He added that getting focused seems difficult as there  are several cases too where three lecturers will be teaching them online at the same time through different means.

Another student, Ojewuyi Emmanuel, who studies Mass Communication at  the Gateway Polytechnic, noted that online classes  hold  partially in the  department because lecturers don’t really turn up.

But when they finally hold classes, students are left to contend with a truckload of assignments which makes it difficult for them to prepare for the next class.

He said: “Lecturers don’t show up for the classes when they ought to. But when they do, they leave students with a whole lot of assignments such that it is difficult to read and prepare for the next class.

The school management should be a lot stricter with the way they handle it so that we can achieve something with the medium as no one knows when school will resume. They should also plan and create a better platform that will aid the learning process.”

For Adebayo Falilat, a 400 level Accounting student of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, the online lectures started very well as lecturers took attendance seriously and gave assignments. before.

However,students started complaining of data costs, epileptic power supply and time-consuming lectures online.Thus,lecturers were asked to stop due to the complaints.

“The online lectures started very well for us. We always looked forward to them not until students started complaining of high data costs, poor electricity and spending too much of their time online. The complaints made the lecturers to stop,” she said.

According to Bello Opeyemi,  a  300 level student in the Department of Local Government Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife laziness and lack of dedication on the part of the students caused the cancellation of online lectures.

He said: ‘’Students didn’t embrace the idea. When lectures started, the attendance was so low that, after some time, they had to stop. The students are lazy. They had lecturers waiting to teach them, but their nonchalant attitude made the lecturers to stop.”

Aside the nonchalant attitude of students, Taiwo Florence,  a 400 level Economics student of Tai Solarin University of Education,  said the online class at her department has not been  encouraging at all.

According to her, lecturers are not turning up to teach the students during this period, and most of the students too are not bothered about it.

E-learning not operating in some schools

While it is operating in some institutions but not effective, there is no provision for it in some schools. According to Omolere Gift, a 100 level Mass Communication student of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, the school management did not make provision for  online classes despite the directive of  the Federal Government.

“There is no provision for online learning in our school despite the government’s order to schools,” she said.

Odegbohun  Williams,  a 300 level student of Electrical Electronics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, said with the ongoing ASUU strike, online classes were a pipedream. He noted that they almost had an online practical, but due to poor infrastructure, the move crashed.

In the same vein, Adigun Fiyin, a 100 level Performing Arts  student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, said no provision was made  for online classes. She noted that no reason was given by the school management.

Also at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, e-learning is not operating. According to Wahab Suliat, a 100 level Biochemistry student, online lectures which would have been a perfect opportunity to cover lost grounds were not being activated.

She said:“We are  not lucky enough to have access to the online class which is an opportunity to continue learning even though we are not in the school environment. The lecturers and management are not saying anything about it and steps are not taken to activate it.”

Damilola Adenike, 300 level Microbiology, Adekunle Ajasin  University, Akungba, Ondo State, said there was no online class or lecture in the school, adding that the government really needs to invest more and be serious about the educational sector.

Olajumoke Samson, a 300 level Mass Communication student of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, noted that first semester examinations had been concluded  before the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria and holidays had begun when the government ordered the closure of schools across the country. He said plans were underway on how to start virtual lectures.

At  the University of  Lagos, online classes have not begun according to Shittu Mariam, a 100 level Mass Communication student.

“We  haven’t started online classes. Ever since the closure of schools by the government, nothing has been done,though notice was sent to all departments,” she disclosed.

Smooth-sailing for private universities

Oketokun Itunuoluwa , a 400 level Economics student of Crawford University, said online classes were effective in the  institution.

“We observe the class every week. Nothing is missed even though we’re out of school. There is also effective communication even among the students.

All necessary tests and assignments are  conducted during the online class. Our lecturers turned up. Any lecturer that won’t be available will inform us prior to the time and the class will be rescheduled to a more-convenient time for the parties involved,” she noted.

Corroborating the above, Babalola Jenyokale, a 400 level Microbiology student of Covenant University, is delighted with the lectures and the content.

He said: “Lecturers in the school have been diligent with e- learning.The lectures are almost equivalent to being in a physical class. They  give out assignments after every session of the class. Students also have notes to read.”

Also, Akinsanya Temiloluwa, a final year Civil Engineering student at  the Landmark University, Omu Aran, Kwara, is pleased with the online lectures in the school, noting that they have been very effective.

She said: “Lecturers teach at the right time just like the normal class. Attendance is also taken seriously. Assignments are given  at the end of each class with deadline while students do a follow-up on the courses. Tests are also done.

Gabriel Matthew, a student of Caleb University, said they had online lectures and written exams online. All these were made possible because of the good facilities for online learning in the school.

While lauding online classes, Kingsley Faith, a 100 level student of History, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, said:”The online lectures have  really  helped, although they cannot be compared with physical classrooms. The lecturers are really trying their best. The new method adopted to continue the learning process is great.”

Effective in some public tertiary institutions

According to Ajewole Samuel, a year one Marketing student of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, the classes have been hitch-free with lecturers also demonstrating utmost commitment.

“There are no lapses at all, the lecturers take attendance as this ensures students attend and participate regularly. It is not by just dropping names, they have to participate in everything, either by asking questions or giving answers to the questions posed to them. Assignments are also given to keep them busy and  prepare them for the next class,” he said.

Another student, Imhagbe Ephraim, a 200 level Electrical Electronics student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, said online classes were worthwhile. He added that staying at home and learning have helped students to be productive.

For Tade Williams, a 400 level student of Public Administration at the  Polytechnic, Ile-Ife, online classes have been up to standard.

He said:“Both lecturers and students are turning up perfectly for the online class. A new time-table was designed so that two lectures won’t be holding at the same time and it is strictly followed by everyone.

If a lecturer won’t be available he fixes other lecturer to his time so that lapses will be closed up. Even with the pandemic, students continue to learn as lectures are on everyday except  weekends and public holidays.

They also give out assignment, this serves as a feedback to the lecturers and has greatly aided the students’ learning. The classes are more like the ones we  had back then on campus because it is always interactive.”

Similarly, Adams Bright, a 400 level Microbiology student at  the Lagos State University, hailed the online learning operational in the school.

He said:“Lecturers are trying their best in making sure that they enjoy the class and always have a smooth learning platform in the course of taking them.

They make it seem we are in the normal learning environment. This seems so encouraging as students do look forward to having another session with lecturers.

They are being engaged in all the courses they are offering. They take them in classes at the right time, give out assignment to students making the class interactive enough for students to even ask questions. And now we  have almost covered most of the courses.”

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