The Institute of Theology and Religious Studies in the College of Social Sciences, Theology, Humanities and Education (CSSTHE) at Africa University hosted the Anglophone Group of the Africa Association of the United Methodist Theological Institutions (AAUMTI) for a four-day training workshop on online learning and teaching on the 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th of February 2021. Nationalities represented among the participants included Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone and Rwanda.
The purpose of the training was couched in the migration of learning to online platforms due to the COVID- 19 Pandemic and the necessity for educators to become familiar with the format and adapt their teaching so as to produce the best learning outcomes for their students. The funding for the workshop was graciously provided by The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) through a grant from the Central Conference Theological Education Fund (CCTEF).
Director of the ITRS Rev. Dr. David Bishau spoke of the importance and relevance of the training.
“This workshop is coming at a critical time when most institutions of Higher Education are closed literally because of Covid-19 induced lockdowns in the various countries in Africa. Africa University is the only University in Zimbabwe, , that remained opened as it went fully online. Africa University is thus strategically placed to share its experiences, successes and challenges so far. Besides this, Africa University has the appropriate infrastructure and human resources to plan for and host such an important workshop.”
Skills and techniques in the use of e- learning platforms were shared by experienced faculty from the Africa University Department of Computer Sciences with lecturer Dr. Yogesh Awasthi and Director of Online Learning Mr. Joseph Chinzvende availing their expertise to the participants in diverse topics ranging from digital content creation, modifying teaching techniques for the digital age and the re-formatting of traditional modes of instruction to make them better fit for purpose for modern learners.