Open Distance and e-Learning (ODEL) Workshop for Academic Staff at College of Business (COBAMS)

On Wednesday 26th February, 2020 the Institute of Open Distance and e-Learning (IODEL) facilitated a workshop at the College of Businesss and Management Science (CoBAMS), the team from IODEL included; Dr. Jessica Aguti the Director IODEL, Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda, Dr.Harriet Nabushawo,Dr.Jamiah Mayanja, Dr.Najjemba Harriet, Mr.Godfrey Mayende, Mr. Richard Kajumbula.

The Head of Department Accounting and Finance acting on behalf of the Dean of the School of Business, Mr. Eric Nzibonera started in a special way with an introduction of the team from IODEL, he further informed members that that training that members where going to receive was mandatory for every college that intends to carry out distance and e-Learning as stipulated vividly in the policy on open distance and e-learning (ODEL) as approved by the University Council in 2015.  He welcomed members and he extended gratitude to the team from IODEL for the training opportunity.

The training involved the following: Rationale and justification for ODEL; concepts i.e. Distance Learning, Distance Education, Open Learning, eLearning, Mobile Learning, Blended Learning, Generations of Distance Learning and where Makerere University is now, why distance education is becoming popular now. It explored target groups and their needs, the role of study materials, tutoring and assessment in distance education, Learner support; Pre-enrollment, on program and post program through graduation to getting transcripts and certificates.
Dr.Aguti was grateful for the support and staff that have dedicated their efforts since the inception of the Department of Distance Learning, she made mention of some of the members who have benefitted from its programs. She reassured members that they will continue the orientation to other colleges.
She also informed members that the training has come at a time where the bachelor of commerce external programme that has been conducted at the college of education is to be transferred to COBAMS in the next academic year.
Dr.Paul Muyinda in his discussion of the rationale and justification on Open Distance and e-Learning informed members quoting the Makerere University policy on open distance e-Learning that only people eligible to teach on these programs are those that are trained by IODEL.
He informed members that universities all over the world are embracing e-learning and most universities want to collaborate in online education (teaching using electronic means).
He further discussed the different concepts of ODeL including distance learning, distance education, open learning, e-Learning, Mobile Learning, and Blended Learning.

He divulged to members that in Makerere University 10-year strategic plan each unit must at least have a blended program, he also advised that if distance learning is to be delivered adequately it must be learner centered.
The roles of IODEL Include continuous staff training, training and development of programs to develop pedagogical capacity, and to develop open distance e-Learning.
Dr. Aguti facilitated a plenary session that discussed target group and their needs, she also urged academic staff to handle students more civilly treating them respectfully.
Dr. Najjemba Harriet discussed the role of study materials in ODEL these include print, open education resources(OERs), multimedia materials, online learning material i.e. Learning management systems(LMS), she also discussed learner support this includes administrative, academic, and technological support during pre-enrollment, on-program and post program.

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