Skyline University Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the top 10 universities in Africa, has received a boost, with the institution, taking a giant leap in her integration of virtual learning experience into the educational system amidst COVID-19, a catalyst that has led the university to rediscover new models of experiential learning and powerful digital experiences for students.
According to reports from the virtual classes, Skyline University Nigeria had not only completed the semester with students online but also held several virtual training and seminars with local and foreign institutions of higher learning, as well as hosting the guest lecture series for students seeking to build a career in entrepreneurship. With these developments, the university is positioned amongst others, to champion the initiative of virtual learning in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Sudhakar Kota, stated that the university is using Microsoft Teams to provide remote learning to students. Microsoft Teams is a unified communication platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and file collaboration. A statement from Professor Kota pointed out, “students studying in different locations are consistently getting the benefit of virtual learning experience, including teaching/counselling/training etc… During the lockdown period, e-contents were prepared by respective lecturers and made available to students to enable them complete their course curriculum for the semester”.
“Though this is an immediate response in the face of a crisis, digital learning as a tool has generated some level of curiosity and excitement by the students of Skyline University Nigeria. The starting point for this is sending out messages via mails to students and following this up with links of courses as per timetable schedule and student’s responses were very encouraging. Many of the students who received such learning have in fact find it an overwhelming experience”. The Vice-Chancellor added.
He stated further that, “The implementation of virtual classes took effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which saw the temporary closure of educational institutions Nationwide. There are many universities before Skyline University Nigeria but we are privileged to be counted amongst the universities in Nigeria that have achieved high growth in the advancement of digital learning facilities”.
While reacting to the lessons learnt from virtual learning experience compared to the traditional classroom teaching, Professor Kota explained that “the question of which teaching methodology is better, virtual school or traditional school, is always a puzzling one. Traditional classroom teaching methodologies are well-tested, and the environment most of us grew up in. Virtual classrooms, on the other hand, are new and high tech. Yet they’re also pretty experimental”. He added that with virtual classes, students were exposed to the privilege of accessing course work from anywhere within their comfort zone, While increasing their academic knowledge and digital skills.