Examining the terrain of the traditional system of learning as against Education technology, one can conclude that it is not so effective. It has a wide range of defects such as encouragement of mechanical learning, unnecessary cramming and the fact that it is largely expensive
Additionally, when compared to an Online learning platform system, a traditional institution would always be restricted by enrollment capacity, which is the number of students that can be accommodated at a given point in time.
This article effectively argues that the incorporation of online platforms by tertiary institutions expands its enrollment capacity and widens the access to quality of education, thereby making formal education a human right rather than a luxury.
An exemplary view of the Nigerian Educational System: Enrollment Capacity
Let’s take a close view of the Nigerian institutions which are classic examples of traditional institutions. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has an enrollment capacity of about 35,000 students. That is, at every given point in time, the institution cannot afford to accommodate more than 35,000 students.
In a country where education is a luxury, this limits access to quality education. Additionally, the University of Lagos has an enrollment capacity of about 60,000 students which is quite fair compared to OAU.
In contrast, the National open university which operates primarily online about 500,000 students enrolled. Clearly, it is no surprise that the National Open University of Nigeria is the only school running in Nigeria with the necessary closure resulting from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
So many students right now don’t get to go to any classroom either because they have no money, it’s too expensive and most importantly because there is no space for them. But the
Education Technology in Nigeria Today.
National Open University is an interesting example for some reasons. Students of NOUN make use of the school’s E-Portal for virtually everything except writing exams. Tests are taken online, materials are downloaded online, school fees are paid online and so on.
This gives students the advantage of learning at their convenience which is particularly advantageous to students with part-time jobs or families to cater for. The fact is that enormous amounts of information are now available online for free, ready for watching, listening or reading at any time, by anyone who’s connected. (Nigeria has an estimated population of over 193 million, 162 million mobile subscribers, internet penetration rate at 84%, about 104.6 million internet users as of August 2018).
Expanding the Use of Education Technology In Nigeria
The Impact of learning environments concerning learning outcomes has constantly been explored by researchers of education. For example, Ramsden and Entwistle (1981) empirically identified a relationship between approaches to learning and perceived characteristics of the academic environment. Haertela and Walberg (1981) found correlations between student perceptions of social psychological environments of their classes and learning outcomes.
Web-based technology has noticeably transformed the learning and teaching environment. Proponents of online learning have seen that it can be effective in potentially eliminating barriers while providing increased convenience, flexibility, customized learning over a traditional experience.
If there is anything the ongoing pandemic has shown, it’s that online learning should be encouraged by tertiary institutions. In order to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of Foreign institutions have resorted to remote learning on online platforms. The question is why weren’t we doing this before?
Why do we need to embrace Education Technology?
According to statistics, Tertiary education enrolment rates globally are expected to rise rapidly by 14 million new students every year from now until 2030. This would require 13 new universities to be built every week, 700 each year, each serving 20,000 students if they are all going to be educated face-to-face. That’s not going to happen. The education sector needs to think ‘are we going to deny these learners, or are we going to offer them the education they deserve via an online platform?’
Conclusively, the role of technology cannot be overemphasized. There is a need for technology disruptions in Nigeria’s educational space to ensure flexibility and easy accessibility to education. However, it should be noted that this article does not intend in any way to underscore the utilization as well as the purposeful use of classroom learning.
It simply stresses the importance of complementing the existing traditional classroom learning with online interactions to extend the enrollment capacity of institutions thus widening the access to quality education.
Incorporating online discussion in face to face classroom learning: A new blended learning approach Wenli Chen and Chee-Kit Looi Nanyang Technological University