The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) E-learning Centre in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program (MCFSP) has organised a masterclass and content creation workshop for faculty members.
Opening the workshop, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson, said the workshop marks a huge milestone for KNUST in equipping faculty with the necessary skills and knowledge for faculty and affiliate institutions to continuously expand the learning experience for students. The initiative was as a result of the collaborative efforts between the MCFSP and the E-learning Centre to meet the teaching and learning needs of students after series of discussions. The e-learning initiative is important in training transformational leaders and in furtherance to the digitisation agenda of the University. The digitisation agenda started in 2020 and is expected to be completed by 2024, she added.
According to Professor (Mrs.) Dickson, the workshop will enable accessibility and equip faculty with the necessary skills to develop content for students. She noted that the workshop is expected to train 140 staff with 45 from affiliate institutions. She commended the E-learning team and their collaborators for changing the face of education.
The Director of the E-learning Centre, Professor Eric Appau Asante, said learning in an era of advancing technology has led to the rise in e-learning, therefore, KNUST’s spearheading of E-learning cannot be overemphasised. Faculty have the responsibility to provide students with the best possible information and to assist them to use online tools, he continued. He stated that it is essential that faculty stay up to date with emerging technologies and upscale their capacities, as content creation is crucial in keeping students motivated in e-learning. Professor Appau Asante revealed that the training workshop will expose participants to instructional learning, multimedia content, uploading slides, and lecture redesign among others which all should be thoughtful and intentionally done with students in mind.
Provost of the College of Health Science, Professor Christian Agyare, in his speech, expressed that part of KNUST’s mandate is to build the capacities of affiliate institutions. Therefore, KNUST’s mentoring of partner institutions includes building their capacities of which the Ministry of Health Training Institutions (MoHTI) is not exempted. He reminded the representatives of the MoHTI that the training will help them in operating the Centres of Excellence which have already begun and running the Bachelor of Science programmes.
Mr. Courage Julius Logah, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the E-learning Project, emphasised the critical importance for the University to fortify its E-learning outfit. This is due to the invaluable insights garnered during the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Logah reiterated that the forthcoming training sessions aim to equip participants with the necessary skills to proficiently deliver course content through the University's learning management system. This proficiency will enable them to effectively engage students, fostering a competitive edge for KNUST vis-à-vis other esteemed educational institutions worldwide. He said that the overall goal is to build a community proficient in e-learning to enable collaborative learning and sharing of best practices, resources, and lessons learned. He added that it is envisioned that content created during the workshop will be adopted and used by other institutions in Africa and beyond. He commended the lead institutions of e-learning, Arizona State University and the United States International University Africa, Kenya for providing the needed support through the Scholars Program.
Participants will also be trained in Instructor Presence and Action Plan, Online Students’ Success, Course Content and Quality, Effective Student Interaction, Course Design, and Content Development.