Highlights of the retreat include presentation on Introduction to Digital Tools and Facilities, given by the Director of ICT of the institution Mr Andrew Abaye. Mr Abaye availed the new lecturers with the latest techniques in using digital tools and facilities available for teaching and learning in the 21st Century. He also emphasized the need for the lecturers to imbibe pedagogical innovations in delivering the curriculum, According to him, “Lecturers must stay up-to-date with the latest pedagogical innovations.” Giving details on what these innovations mean, he said lecturers should explore new teaching techniques and strategies that are aligned with the needs and learning styles of the 21st-Century child, which included discussions on active learning, flipped classrooms, project-based learning, and personalized learning.
The Vice-Chancellor of Pen Resource University, Gombe, Professor Yusuph Amuda focused his presentation on skill development among lecturers In order to effectively implement the aspirations of the University. He said the University has provided lecturers with abundant opportunities to enhance their skills. Workshops and training sessions were frequently conducted to address their competency in using digital resources, online learning platforms, multimedia tools, and assessment techniques. He also admonished the lecturers to cultivate effective communication and collaboration skills, necessary for engaging and supporting students in a digital learning environment.
Giving an elaborate training to the staff on handling the Institution’s Learning Management System called “Octopus”, the Director of ICT, Mr Abaye discussed the Integration of technology into teaching practices. Lecturers were encouraged to explore various digital tools and resources that can enhance student-learning outcomes. This session highlighted demonstrations on the use of learning management system, educational apps, online databases, and virtual reality simulations. The aim according to him was to equip lecturers with the knowledge and skill to effectively leverage on technology for improved teaching and learning experiences.
The Institution’s Director of Academic Planning Dr Sani Isiaku delineated the processes of academic administration in the Institution, which include the roles of Class Advisors, Heads of Departments, Deans of Faculties and those of the Registrar. He emphasized the ardent need for record keeping, taking class attendance on Octopus, regular mid-term standard test and the general processes of examination administration. He said, for students to be eligible for examination, they must satisfy the condition of 70% class attendance. According to him, there is no compromising on this.
On her part, the Registrar, Hajiya Abubakar explained the various Support Systems available in the Institution. She said, recognizing that adapting to new pedagogical innovations and digital tools can be challenging, it is important to establish a robust support system. She introduced lecturers to various support services available within the university, such as instructional designers, educational technologists, and IT support personnel. These support systems were conceived to assist lecturers in integrating technology seamlessly into their teaching practices and addressing any technical or pedagogical issues that may arise.
Overall, the VC stressed the need for synergy, collaboration smooth working relationships among the entire staff and reminded all that the University is working hard to be a leading tertiary institution in the entire Africa.
Level Two Students, Department of Mass Communication