09 Oct 2020
The University upholds that students play an important role in its whole lifeand management. Aligned to this principle, UR is accustomed to working closely with students and involving them in decisions that affect them. The University has recently undertaken to enhance students’ role in assisting those among them with difficulty in the use of the e-Learning Management System. To achieve this goal, it was imperative to train and have at each Campusa team of Students’ ODeL(Open, Distance and e-Learning) Champions.
The University of Rwanda now has a team of 729 students’ representatives selected from its six colleges who are known as Students ODeL Champions. Following the training they underwent from 21st to 26th September 2020, the champions are properly equipped with necessarye-learning skills that will enable them to coach their classmates.
The training was conducted online, in shifts, live-streamed through the Rukara and Remera Campuses Multimedia Studios. The UR Centre for Open, Distance and e-Learning (CODeL) is mandated to champion ODeL activities across Colleges. It has given assurance the team will be effective in promoting online learning at the University.
‘’The results of the assessments conducted during and after the training exercise revealed that knowledge gaps existed prior to the training on e-learning concepts. We were satisfied at the end that the training had made the difference”, noted Mr. Leon Ntabomvura, the CODeL e-Learning officer who was one of the trainers.
Participants benefited from theoretical and practical skills impartation of ODeL concepts such as Moodle as aLearning Management System, e-Learning platform, user Profile Management, online course navigation with its elements, course activities participation, collaborative tools to communicate (students-students, students-lecturers, students-support staff), UR e-resources and their access, anti-plagiarism, among others.
To achieve the intended training objectives and for the exercise to be more interactive, methodologies used included different approaches such asquestion and answer via the forum, PowerPoint presentations, live demonstrations, and live chats.
As Students ODeL Champions were trained to support their fellow students, this cannot be achieved without collaboration from their respective academic units. The latter are therefore required to make necessary follow up.
Comparatively, on the side of students, ODeL Champions will be working as School ODeL Champions do on the side of teaching staff. School ODeL Champions are a team of staff trained to facilitate their colleagues in different campuses and different departments, while e-Learning officers who are based at CODeL Head Office in the University of Rwanda’s College of Educationoversee e-Learning activities in each UR College.
Public Relations and Community Engagement Officer/UR-CE