Up to 1.2 million students in Nigeria qualify to begin college each year, but the country’s 104 universities can only accept 300,000 students. Infrastructure challenges in the country, such as unstable electricity, bandwidth problems and poor roads, don’t’ help.
In response to the great demand for distance learning to make in-country education more accessible, Michigan Virtual University is supporting Nigeria’s first e-learning project with Mediasite.
“Aside from this project, e-learning is not happening in Nigeria. It’s starting to evolve as a discussion, and there is great demand for college-level education. E-learning is the only practical way to bring a significant new group of learners into the fold,” Kirby Milton, Vice President of Operations said. “When I heard the scope and the scale and what the project was trying to accomplish it was an immediate leap to Mediasite as the core technology for us to capture hundreds of hours of lectures and present them in an online format.”
MVU has been using Mediasite to create online learning materials and record and stream events since 2007. Through a partnership with Venture Garden Group, MVU took its e-learning expertise to Nigeria. MVU and Venture Garden Group designed an e-learning solution based on Mediasite lecture capture for the Center for Distance Learning at Obafemi Awolowo University.
Implementing a large-scale lecture capture project in a developing country meant Nigerian faculty needed significant training from MVU and Venture Garden Group to get them ready to present in front of a camera. MVU acquired two Mediasite Mobile HD Recorders in January 2013 which were transported to Nigeria to begin training.
“Getting lecturers to develop their content in e-learning compliant formats on their own was not easy. Instead, lecturers were taken to a resort to work on their content in proper formats. Many came without their course materials and laptops while others had no idea what e-learning entailed,” Milton said.
After extensive training, 58 lecturers began recording their courses with Mediasite. In just three weeks they recorded more than 500 hours of content — including 13 complete courses in accounting, 19 in education and four in nursing. That’s about half of the course modules they plan to convert to video this year.
Using Mediasite and a specifically designed mobile device with long battery life, e-learning students at the new Center for Distance Learning at Obafemi Awolowo University participate in lectures on campus or anywhere. The university predicts more than 50,000 people annually will receive undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.
“The first Mediasite program was so successful in 2013 that Nigeria’s largest university has just become the second school to contract for a turnkey online learning program grounded on Mediasite lecture capture technology,” Milton said. “Mediasite allows us to quickly and efficiently transform face-to-face lectures into online degree programs at Obafemi Awolowo University where none were present.”