Eggheads in the education sector have canvassed for enhanced students’ learning experience among academics in order to improve the quality of graduates of higher education in Nigeria.

They made the call recently at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State during the first Annual International Conference organized by the Faculty of Education of the institution.

With the theme “Enhancing Students’ Learning Experience and Satisfaction in Higher Education”, they noted that education was central in addressing the myriad challenges of the economy of any country in the quest to achieve sustainable development and produce quality manpower. And further stressed that effective teaching and learning experience in our higher institutions is required to improve the quality of graduates, and also to achieve the universal sustainable development goals.

L-R: Director of Internationalization, AE-FUNAI, Professor Afam Ichs-Ituma, Chairperson, Local Organizing Committee for the Conference, Professor Christiana Ugodulunwa, one of the Lead paper presenters, Professor Tanko Ishaya, AE-FUNAI DVC, Professor Sunday Elom, Special Guest of Honour and Wife of the 1st President of Nigeria, Professor Uche Azikiwe, Host and Dean of Faculty of Education, AE-FUNAI, Dr. Chinyere Nwajiuba, Chair of the Confrence and VC of IMSU, Professor Victoria Obasi, another lead paper presenter, Professor Uchenna Nzewi and Dr. Tina Nweze in a group photograph at the conference

Welcoming the participants to the event, the Dean of Faculty of Education in the University,     Dr. Chinyere Nwajiuba noted that students were the epicenter of learning in higher institutions; hence all efforts should be geared towards making sure that they have positive learning experience and satisfaction. She maintained that higher education has a number of challenges, which would only be surmounted through concerted efforts of all stakeholders, enjoining participants to imbibe technology-aided learning and teaching to improve the quality of higher education in Nigeria.

Host of the conference and Dean, Faculty of Education, Dr. Chinyere Nwajiuba addressing the participants at the confrence

“Fostering quality teaching and powerful learning experience is a key challenge for many higher education institutions in Nigeria today. The common assumption that an individual who have obtained a Master or Doctorate degree is highly qualified to teach in a university because of postgraduate degree is erroneous”, she stated.

She maintained: “It is imperative that university teachers are equipped with the appropriate skills and concrete strategies to establish their teaching and learning credentials.”

Delivering the keynote address, an Associate Professor and Director of Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom, Dr. Katheleen Quinlan stated that students often mention one-on-one interactions with teachers as being their most powerful experiences. She noted that these interactions were specifically about their coursework-such as getting feedback on any essay they had written from one of their lectures.

“This interaction is important because we know more than students do about all kinds of thing, not just our specialist subject matter. We often know more about time management, why something is important for one’s larger life, how to study most effectively, opportunities students can take advantage of, resources that might be available”, she said.

She maintained that the most powerful lecture experiences are those that include active involvement in learning and thinking, learning that is connected with students’ own goals and interests, interactions with peers, particularly those who are different from them.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Chair of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University, Owerri, Professor Victoria Adaobi Obasi described the conference timely and theme apt in the midst of numerous challenges confronting higher education in Nigeria. She noted that it was not enough to have good course contents, adding that teachers should also provide good learning experiences for their students that are backed up with specific objectives and outcome.

The Chair of the occasion and Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University, Professor Victoria Obasi speaking at the conference

She further argued that despite the importance of Information and Communication Technology tools in teaching and stimulating students’ learning experience in the 21st century, teachers still remain paramount in the drive to turn-out quality graduates.

The event was declared open by the Vice-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba and witnessed by the wife of the first President of Nigeria, Professor Uche Azikiwe.

A cross section of participants at the 1st Annual International Conference held at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, hosted by Faculty of Education

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