The choice of Nigerians to take up online courses is now gaining more acceptance in the country with the accreditation of more institutions.
The shift to online learning became more visible with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which forced campuses to close suddenly and switch to remote classes.
It further gained traction owing to the persistent disruption of the academic calendar by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and other challenges.
Also, more individuals trying to balance work and study are now embracing the online programme.
Most of the people that spoke with BusinessDay revealed their criteria for choosing online programmes.
Oluwatomisin Amokeoja indicated credibility and remarks as his main attribute for an ideal online programme.
“Talking about credibility, I need to know the institution’s history and if it is duly registered and accredited. About remarks, I want to know what students and graduates are saying about the institution. This will inform my decision,” he said.
Similarly for Ejiro Obodo, a public servant, the pedigree of the institution offering the course is paramount to making his choice. “Institutions with regulators are better than quacks that are opportunists looking to fleece people,” he noted.
Besides, Obodo pointed out that the cost of the programme as compared to similar institutions would be considered.
“In addition, he said; “Country of origin of the programme because some countries are notorious for being origins of weak programmes, the reputation of people who have taken the course, duration and completion rates of previous students, and the course outline and content will be considered.”
Friday Erhabor, director of media and strategy at Marklenez Limited would first consider the credibility of the promoters of the online programme.
“What is their pedigree? Do they have a credible history? What do others that have gone through them say about them? Are they recognised by regulatory bodies? Is their certificate recognised? Do they have good facilitators and tutors?” he asked.
For David Olorunfemi, a public servant, he is more concerned with the duration of the programme, the flexibility and quality of the facilitators.
“First, I will check the duration of the programme, the facilities in place for seamless lecture delivery, and the quality of lecturers.
Besides, the cost implications because some online programmes come with hidden charges, and then the flexibility, because of my work,” he said.
Roseline Ibemere, an undergraduate in a public university revealed that the attributes she would like to see in picking an online programme are the cost implications, the quality of the facilitators and the number of students applying for the programme.
“I will consider how affordable the course is, the number of participants, because I don’t like where there are many people; I won’t be free to ask my questions. Besides, I will consider the quality of trainers,” she said.
Oyinlola Oguntola, a student at the University of Lagos would first consider the course outline to know if it captures the core knowledge of the course.
Furthermore, she maintained that she would be interested to know how interactive and engaging the facilitators and the course are.
“This will be determined by how they break the topics and lessons. Extra activities like quiz and interactive classes and engagements with other learners, will be hard to conduct.
For me, it’s mostly engagement. If it is just like ticking boxes of videos, it will be boring. However, in-between breaks and activities will help refresh memory,” she said.
Joseph Inyang, a civil servant disclosed that he will evaluate the flexibility, quality of instructors, curriculum, and cost among others in picking an online programme.
“I evaluate accreditation, comprehensive curriculum, clear learning outcomes, qualified instructors, interactive learning possibilities, student support services, flexibility, assessment and feedback, reputation and reviews, and cost-value ratio before enrolling in an online course.
These elements contribute to a high-quality, engaging, and valuable learning experience,” he noted.
For Yusuf Kudus, it will be that the provider of the online programme must be a qualified body.
“The synopsis of the course itself must meet global standards because there is no need to take a course in Nigeria that will be obsolete in the global market,” he said.
According to World Population Review, “In 2022, Nigeria obtained 0.34 points in the Digital Quality of Life index, ranking it 86 out of 117 countries worldwide.”