Our Major Outputs are:
• Accreditation Status
• Programme Status
• Ranking Report
• Cyclical External Quality Assurance of the University of Benin
The major external quality assurance agency for Nigerian Universities is the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). There are also accreditations done by major statutory regulatory bodies for the various professions. The NUC has responsibility for the following:
• Coordination of accreditation visits to academic programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in all Nigerian Universities and degree awarding institutions;
• Coordination of institutional accreditation in the Nigerian University System;
• Obtaining annually, the list of approved Full-Time/Part-Time Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Distance Learning academic programmes from the Academic Planning Division to determine programmes that are mature for accreditation.
NUC is a quality assessment agency which primarily assesses degree and research programmes offered by universities in Nigeria. NUC uses peer review mechanism of university education and research. The NUC is also responsible for resource verification in Nigerian universities.
The Academic Planning Directorate has coordinating responsibility for both resource verification and accreditation activities in the University.
Resource verification for new programmes:
• This is done when a programme has been approved in the university system.
• Request is made to NUC, followed by the requested funding and information.
• Academic Planning Directorate ensures that appropriate documentations are provided and the processes followed.
• The NUC sets a date and sends a team for resource verification of the programme.
• If approved by NUC Management and Board, admission into the programme is conducted and matriculation takes place.
Roles: Management (principal officers), Dean, HOD, Academic Staff, Non-academic staff, students.
• There is a five-year cyclical accreditation programme usually initiated by the University or the NUC based on the data base of accredited programmes. This report is based on the outcomes of an external review of NUC for matured programmes or resource verified progammes that have become matured when they get to three hundred levels.
• The process includes the University preparing a self-evaluation report (Self – Study) with departmental inputs (from departments) and university inputs (from the Directorate of Academic Planning), and a site visit being undertaken by an external review panel constituted by the NUC.
• During the site visit the panel will interview the internal stakeholders who provided the panel with the oral and written evidence upon which this report is based.
The Self-study form provides a substantial portion of the evidence that the panel employs to form its conclusions. The panel conducts a site-visit to validate fully and score the information contained in the self-study form and clarify any points at issue.
Finally, the review panel produces the final report on the basis of the self-study form and information from the site visit and its findings. In doing so, it provides an opportunity for NUC to comment on the factual accuracy of the draft report. The accreditation framework lists themes, which programmes are evaluated against. They include:
• Internal quality assurance
Each theme is divided into standards with criteria formulated. This accreditation framework guides the entire NUC degree programme assessment process.
Roles: Management (principal officers), Dean, HOD, Academic Staff, Non-academic staff, students.
Roles: Management (principal officers), Dean, HOD, Academic Staff, Non-academic staff, students.
Accreditation by Professional bodies:
This is done by mostly statutory regulatory bodies such as COREN for Engineering, ICAN and ANAN for accounting, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for doctors, and the Council for Legal Education for law. They agree with the departments when they are coming for accreditation. The Directorate of Academic Planning supervises the process. The statutory regulatory body reviews the curriculum, the quality and role of students in the process, the staff, facilities and internal quality especially from the professional perspective. After payment is made, the panel of the professional body arrives for accreditation. Thereafter, they send their recommendations to the Vice Chancellor.
Roles: Management (principal officers), Dean, HOD, Academic Staff, Non-academic staff, and students.
• The University of Benin Internal Processes for Developing New Programmes and Reviewing Existing Ones.
The principal aim of developing new academic programmes or reviewing existing ones is to help address or redress the inadequacy of the current offering. This gap may be identified through regular or periodic review process, or identified by students, the industry, or via the government needs, or by Academic Planning Directorate, external regulators such as the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), professional bodies, or ranking induced, or competition induced, or by global changing environment and preferences. Requests for programmes that are candidates for redesign are often from the industry, the students, internal and external experts, and the alumni body. The templates or instructions for preparing new or revising programmes are available in the Academic Planning Directorate. Identification of these programmes is usually inclusive, student-centred and proactive.
Stage 1: Gathering ideas and suggestions from course lecturers, students, alumni and professionals in the field of study, reviewing reports from past NUC accreditation exercise as well as reports from professional accreditation and ratings of employers of graduates constitute the first step. Global ranking information and competition provide inputs. Departments may use committees to implement this stage.
Stage 2: Students are engaged to formally provide inputs and assessment covering the content, scope and credit loads. This is to ensure ownership and alignment with expected goals.
Stage 3: The proposed curriculum is submitted to the departmental board of study for discussion, review and adoption.
Stage 4: The output is sent to Academic Planning Directorate to check compliance with NUC minimum standards and the Strategic Plan of the University.
Stage 5: The department then submits the new or revised curriculum to the Faculty or College Board of studies for discussion in the case of undergraduate programmes. For the post graduate programmes, it is the Post Graduate School that has the responsibility to ratify them after the Faculty Board.
Stage 6: Copies of the ratified programme are sent to the University Academic Planning and Policy Committee (APPC) through the Vice-Chancellor.
Stage 7: The APPC approved programme is then forwarded to the University Senate for approval.
Stage 8: The NUC is then formally informed of the approved programme.
Stage 9: This is followed by deployment and use of the curriculum by the relevant faculty and department.
• Policy On The Development Of Teaching Staff For The University Of Benin
New faculty members and existing members reveal and change university culture, especially Students – centred learning. The policy on the development of teaching staff is based on the position that the best quality staff are employed at every level. New faculty members are to be chosen for their interest and capacity in teaching as well as in research. Hiring practices in the university will recognise the ways candidates demonstrate their teaching expertise, especially on what students will do to learn rather than on what instructors will do to teach. New faculty members may also have the opportunity to share teaching practices that they learned elsewhere and experiment with teaching methods especially student-centred learning. Policy on the development of teaching staff covers:
o The core discipline
o Teaching skills
o Hybrid teaching especially digital skills
o Administrative skills.
2. The required teaching environment.
There are nine key dimensions crucial to any comprehensive teacher policy: teacher recruitment and retention, teacher education (initial and continuing), deployment, career structure, teacher employment and working conditions, teacher reward and remuneration, teacher standards, teacher accountability, and university governance. The focus here is the second dimension: teacher education. The teaching staff development policy will provide an inspirational and best quality environment by:
• ensuring the self-esteem and aspirations of all lecturers are raised through mutual support and commitment,
• ensuring that recruited and developed quality teaching staff are retained and that they achieve their highest qualification,
• providing them excellent progression opportunities,
• promoting a culture of academic challenge, scholarly outcomes and research informed teaching,
• ensuring diversity, inclusive and equality of opportunity,
• promoting best practice that ensures sustainability, especially as concerns resource efficiency, energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, and welfare,
• ensuring that the University Strategic plan is achieved, and
• recognising and celebrating award winning staff,
3. The University will provide:
• Induction for all staff to deliver teaching and learning.
• A clean, tidy and well-maintained environment.
• A safe environment following excellent health and safety procedures.
• Access to resources that enable effective teaching, and appropriate learning outcomes to be achieved.
• A welcoming environment promoting equal opportunities.
• Access and promotion of digital technology.
• Flexible curriculum delivery that encourages excellent and multidisciplinary research and learning.
• Opportunities for best practice and techniques to be shared.
• Appropriate Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for teaching staff will be provided.
4. Core Discipline: The lecturers’ teaching motivation primarily comes from a passion for their specific discipline. For most lecturers, there is a desire to share this knowledge and to ensure that their students’ understanding is accurate and meaningful. Since the discipline knowledge and desire to share that knowledge are common values within departments, placing resources within the departments to promote student – centred learning will be effective. The subject expertise of staff will be facilitated, leading to excellent teaching that will encourage the achievement of the vision and mission of the University. The University recruits the best in required discipline, and encourages them to earn their PhDs. Post-doctoral work is also encouraged to enhance international exposure. It is expected that lecturers will become mentors to new faculty members in core discipline, when they have established credibility and stature as a successful instructor within the unit or discipline. The mentors should be willing to demonstrate community leadership.
Professional certification and recertification in the core discipline is also encouraged, as this will improve the quality of teaching. Apart from improving the production of industry – ready graduates, certified lecturers will have the opportunity for continuous industry interaction.
5. Teaching Skills: New faculty members often have limited formal training as teachers, and learn how to teach through “learn by doing” approach. The policy of the University is for lecturers to be trained in teaching and learning processes as they undertake their teaching responsibilities. It is appropriate that policies and organizational provisions should support new faculty members by helping them to understand both the learning community and the learning process, and how they can contribute. The pedagogic content knowledge of staff will be facilitated, leading to excellent teaching and student centred learning.
The policy of the University is to provide instructional support dedicated to new faculty members. The first type of support is the opportunity to participate in a Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education programme hosted by The Institute of Education of the University of Benin. This allows enhanced teacher quality, discipline and professionalism. The objectives of the programme include providing pedagogical training for those who are already engaged in teaching in tertiary institutions; and produce lecturers who can diagnose tertiary students' learning needs, aspirations and potentials using appropriate teaching methods and skills. A major component is the Current Developments and Reforms in Higher Education covering SDGs and MDGs in Education; concept of Education For All (EFA), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), HIV / Aids and COVD 19 in Education, Public-Private Partnership Initiative in Education.
The second support option provided is a formal instructional workshop in which new faculty members would explore teaching and learning issues. The workshop is to provide foundational information to help new faculty prepare to teach; topics include deep learning, aligning learning assessments with course goals, and classroom management.
A third option is the assignment of professional development mentors. As faculty members begin to undertake teaching responsibilities, they should be assigned to experienced professors who can help them prepare for and plan their professional development as teachers. Related interactions may be through online chats, one-on-one discussions, or group interactions, including teaching tutorials, to sit-in-assistants. Lesson observation will be adopted by mentors. The lesson observation process is fundamental to enhancing and improving the learning experience and supporting staff in the development of their teaching and management of learning. It is the responsibility of individual members of staff to be familiar with and maintain the standards of performance expected of them and to see the Teacher’s code as minimum standard. Heads of departments are crucial in communicating expectations and set standards, and ensuring attendance and punctuality. Discipline issues will be dealt with promptly with the appropriate reporting procedures followed.
6. Hybrid teaching skills: Apart from the classroom teaching skills, competence for teaching and assessment on various virtual platforms have become important. The policy is to provide the training support and delivery module for all lecturers. The University ICT/CRPU and external agencies will be arranged to provide continuous exposure and training as well as access to required facilities. Online modules will be reviewed for quality with particular focus on the range of content, quality of content, student participation and student learning experience. Online reviews will be coded in line with on-site observations and subject to actions plans and support.
7. Administrative experience: Course advisers and assistants, examination officers and other responsibilities up to heads of department are provided as training milestones for administrative experience. The role of a department head presupposes the abilities that will foster excellence in teaching. Department Heads have responsibility for a range of teaching related mandates that include academic leadership, implementing academic programme, and carrying out annual performance evaluation of faculty members. HODs may be excellent instructors but lack managerial-level skills. The position of HOD is a crucial element in achieving student centred learning. A set of institutional practices to assist department Heads in their provision of instructional support and leadership are adopted. The fora for implementing this support include training as Assistant Heads and in other capacities before being made HOD, while seminars and workshops will be regularly organised.
To perform the evaluation function, Heads should receive uniform guidance on how to interpret evaluation scores and individual student comments in the context of evidential principles. This means balancing fresh approach to teaching with overreacting to outlier scores. Furthermore, Heads should be acquainted with the range or map of options for instructional assistance.
8. Establish a Community of Faculty Leaders Focused SCL: Most instructors do not have formal education on learning in higher education and tend to rely on “intuitive” strategies to guide their teaching practice. These teaching methods may not be adequate for students with great expectations. To achieve a high level of cultural change, it is insufficient to provide initial training for new instructors without supporting their on-going development. Universities are challenged to improve the depth, effectiveness, and efficiency of student learning through its faculty members’ teaching.
Improving Internal and External Communications about Effective Innovative Teaching: Uptake of new instructional methods is more likely to happen when instructors have access to focused and filtered resources. With abundant sites and resources about teaching and learning in higher education, the challenge is to understand how this wealth of information relates. A vetted, centralized resource to disseminate materials and opportunities adaptable to the university context would assist instructors. The University’s recent insistence on online training allows for easy sharing. Various Departmental ICT liaisons could facilitate the practice of sharing online course elements.
Instructors’ engagement in a University-wide Teaching Event: Teaching conferences and workshops are highly visible, cost-effective, and efficient method of bringing together lecturers for the purpose of sharing evidence-based practices that promote deep learning. The conferences should focus on sharing effective pedagogical practices as well as scholarship about teaching and learning to broaden the inclusivity of the community. The University will provide both the resources needed to hold regular teaching conferences and for lecturers to participate.
• Student-Centered Learning (SCL) Policy For The University of Benin
Student-Centred Learning (SCL) or personalized learning or learner-centred education as opposed to teacher-centered learning is designed to provide opportunity for the students to decide what material they learn and how they learn it. It focuses on student decision-making as a guide to the learning process consisting of Curriculum Development, Teaching, and Assessment. It recognizes the student voice as central to the learning experience, and accepts instructional methods that emphasize individual differences and mutual benefits among the students or learners. At the heart of the learning environment are learner’s responsibility, choices and activity, in contrast to the emphasis on the lecturer’s total control in the case of conventional teaching. Students will find the learning process more meaningful, rewarding and transforming when topics learnt are relevant to their lives, needs, and interests, and when they are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge.
The role of the lecturer in SCL model is to facilitate learner’s deep learning and to encourage mutual learning among the students. The full engagement of students entails using deep learning approaches where students retain knowledge, and from making appropriate connections, apply it to create in new and different contexts. This policy focuses primarily and intentionally on deep learning. Given the emerging culture of innovation in teaching, this change seems inevitable. There has been increasing emphasis in recent years on moving away from conventional teaching toward SCL, where the student is accepted as a co-creator in the teaching and learning process. This change is driven by declining comparative outcomes especially relating to leaner’s empowerment and industry alignment. Efforts have been noticed of some lecturers experimenting with new ways to engage their students in deep learning and accommodating student-friendly methods. The university could and should do more to internalise these efforts. This is the justification for an SCL policy for the University of Benin.
The university is adopting SCL to enable the achievement of the vision of establishing a model institution of higher learning which ranks among the best in the world and responsive to the creative and innovative abilities of the Nigerian people. It is to achieve the mission of developing the human mind to be creative, innovative, competent in areas of specialization, knowledgeable in entrepreneurship and dedicated to service.
1. Curriculum Development
Curriculum development will involve students as individuals and groups at every level from initiation to implementation. This collaborative environment is expected to foster students’ thinking and problem-solving abilities by growing deeper engagement (deep learning), ensuring interdisciplinary learning, innovative outcomes, and ensuring that educational standards are comparable to global best practices relevant to industry and end users, and rewarding to the students. Subject-centred curriculum combined with activity-centred curriculum to define student-centred curriculum. The student-centred curriculum encourages students to find their passions in education and follow them. It will accommodate choices made by students that must be goal and achievement oriented. Curriculum is therefore expected to be more thematic, experiential, and inclusive of multiple perspectives.
2. Student-Centered Teaching
Students’ deeper engagement will be the focus of teaching in a hybrid platform/blended learning (in-person, virtual/remote, and small groups). The role of lecturers is essential, as they are to foster positive outcomes for students in a superior learning environment. Lecturers are to communicate the University’s SCL-focused approach to students, and guide the choice of courses and electives by students to align with goals of outcome-oriented learning environment. SCL environments will use pedagogy to facilitate student-empowered learning, as lecturers are to guide students to a rewarding and transforming engagement with materials chosen. Lecturers serve as facilitators and guides for student decision-making and skills building that can impact their environments. They should develop their critical-thinking and self-reflection skills, and advance the ability to think and work independently. They will be part of the decision on all components of learning, including the selection and development of courses materials and research topics, and selection of their supervisors. Relationships between the instructor and learners will be more collaborative and participatory, allowing for a broad range of learning preferences based on the students’ strengths, interests, and experiences, and is participatory. The role of tutorials and other remedial programmes in identifying and helping slow learners will remain important. Students will have the opportunity to regularly assess all components of teaching.
3. Inclusive Assessment or Evaluation
The policy is to internalize a more formative assessment in which students participate in the evaluation of their learning. Students shall participate in the design and implementation of assessments methods (including assignments, practical, field and industry experience, tests and examinations), as well as the distribution of scores. Evaluation will consider multiple intelligences, authentic assessments, and self-reflection.
1. To place the University among the globally recognized student-centered learning institutions.
2. To ensure that students participate in the choices and implementation of SCL activities at every level in the University.
3. To sensitize staff and students to take responsibility for the implementation and sustenance of the SCL model at the University of Benin.
4. To ensure that all staff meet the vision of developing a culture of student-centred teaching to promote deep learning.
5. To ensure that the positive outcomes of SCL are sustained and demonstrated in achieving the vision and mission of the University.
The general strategies include:
1. The policy document is available to all users and the global public by ensuring that it is on the University website.
2. Management is committed to driving the implementation of the policy.
3. Academic Planning Division coordinates policy implementation for sustainability.
4. Faculties, colleges and departments own the inclusive implementation.
5. Identifying and rewarding units that are most effective in implementing the policy.
Implementation Strategies: To ensure that the implementation of this policy is acceptable, successful and sustainable, students own the policy, Management is committed to drive it, Academic Planning Division is coordinating it, while faculties, colleges and departments own the processes.
• During the design of this policy, students were engaged through a representative group. This was followed by a University-wide stakeholders’ conference driven by Academic Planning Division. Thereafter, to ensure commitment, the policy went through approval by Management and the University Senate.
• At various levels: departmental, faculty/college and the University levels, inclusive committees (that include students, lecturers, alumni, the industry, and the community) have been given the responsibility of continuous review of both policy and implementation to ensure sustainability.
Establishing the context of Student-Centred Learning
The learning environment supports positive interactions among learners along with individualisation. Individualization empowers the students to create their own activities and select rewarding courses and course materials, as well as accommodating team learning. Student-centred learning offers benefits to all, including the institution, students and staff involved, their organisations, and the society as a whole.
Benefits for Students: The benefits of SCL include involving the student as an integral part of the academic community, increased motivation to learn, enhanced independence and responsibility in learning, accommodating students’ needs especially ensuring a flexible learning environment through the use of part-time study, distance learning and e-learning.
Benefits for Lecturers: They include a more rewarding role as facilitator with the onus to learn on the students, resolving massification and diversity, positive impact on working conditions and professional development, continuous self-improvement through feedbacks, increased learner motivation and engagement with higher level of student participation.
The expected roles and responsibilities in the student-centred classroom.
Students are to actively participate in their own learning, make decisions about what and how they will learn, construct new knowledge and skills based on current knowledge and skills, encouraged to use self-assessment measures to monitor their own learning, work in collaboration with other learners, and create work that demonstrates authentic, deep and transformative learning.
Lecturers are to accommodate different learning modalities, facilitate structure in a flexible platform, encourage and facilitate learners’ shared decision-making, and help students work through difficulties in a flexible manner.
Instructional strategies will be employed to manage time in flexible ways to match the needs of students, share responsibility with learners, stimulate learners’ thinking beyond memorization to internalising critical thinking skills, using peer learning and peer teaching as part of the instructional method, and creating a student-centred classroom that can build self-confidence and learning skills.
Students will be encouraged to adopt deep approaches to learning by:
• retaining knowledge and applying it in new and different contexts,
• connecting new and prior knowledge in experiential learning,
• engaging in independent and critical thinking,
• adopting self-regulation,
• relying on intrinsic motivation to drive learning, and
• engaging in active group and integrative learning.
1. Student-Centred Socio-emotional Learning
Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) is a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to
recognize and understand your own and other’s emotions as lecturer and student, and use the
information to manage relationships more effectively and promote intellectual growth. EI has
four basic components: self-awareness, motivation, empathy and social skills. EI creates a “relationship-centred” (student-centred) approach to education. It has the potential to be considerably more motivating for students. To stimulate EI skills in the students, lecturers encourage them to communicate more, show empathy, demonstrate Self-awareness, self-motivation, and self-control. They are expected to be more confident in decision making and problem solving, and demonstrate perseverance. EI Educational Practices include student-centred discipline, responsibility and choice, warmth and support (teacher and peer), cooperative learning, classroom discussions, self-reflection and self-assessment, balanced (varied) instruction, realistic academic expectations, and feedback.
Educational Techniques include Ice breakers, warm ups, varied learning activities, brainstorming, role-playing, group, feedback-use of continuous assessments, managing expectations, and paper writing. Responsibility should be emphasized, activity and creativity encouraged, and use of classroom meetings.
2. Student-Centred Teaching Strategy
For SCL, innovative student-centred teaching practices are important. Innovative teaching practices are employed to make teaching more effective or to deal with an instructional problem. For the University, innovative practices are not the primary focus but they are seen as means to the desired outcome of enabling more effective teaching and deeper student learning. The principles of effective teaching that should guide the system include:
• encouraging interactions between students and the university,
• improving the relationship between students,
• encouraging active learning and decision-making,
• allowing feedbacks,
• emphasizing time of tasks and scheduling,
• communicating high expectations,
• openly rewarding excellent performance, and
• accommodating diverse talents and ways of learning.
Effective lecturers should demonstrate the following characteristics:
• Have excellent knowledge of their disciplines, research and development;
• Have techniques for communicating fundamental principles and applications;
• Their teaching skills are transformational due to committed efforts and learning;
• They expect the best from their students, and motivate performance;
• They create a learning environment that enhances problem-solving skills by generating intriguing problems and authentic tasks;
• They trust their students, and believe that the students want to learn; and
• They regularly assess their own teaching and make appropriate changes.
In conclusion, effective teachers create environments where effective learning is very likely to happen.
3. Student-Centred Assessment Strategy
Assessment is an integral part of course design. It should integrate grading, learning, and motivation for the students. Carefully planned assessment questions and methods are crucial to the success of evaluation. In planning assessment, the following guides may be considered:
• The expected learning outcomes should be effectively communicated to the students. Rubrics should be clear to the students.
• Assignments and tests that measure the knowledge and skills desired of the students should be selected.
• Assessment methods that are interesting and challenging to the students should be preferred.
• The lecturer should refrain from being micro-corrective.
• An assessment scheme that relates assignments and tests to goals are then outlined.
• As a SCL model, the lectures should collaborate with the students to set and achieve learning goals.
• Finally select assessment methods that align well with set learning goals.
Expected Good Practices: Formative Assessment that emphasizes feedbacks as opposed to summative assessment should be internalised. Criterion-Referenced Assessment is another good practice. It measures students against the learning criteria, unlike norm-based assessment that measures students against other students. Examples of objective assessment methods include: Take-home essay, open-book examination, assignments, oral communication and term papers. Defined stages that will lead to the required vision of developing a culture of SCL to promote deep learning include:
Stage 1: Demonstrate a robust commitment to SCL by Management of the University.
Stage 2: Communicate a University-wide statement promoting SCL.
Stage 3: Enhance the support of faculties and schools.
Stage 4: Expand support and training at department levels.
Stage 5: Establish implementation agencies at every level within a strong coordinating framework of Academic Planning Division.
Stage 6: Improve internal and external communications about effective SCL, deep learning and innovative teaching.
Stage 7: Engage lecturers in a University-wide teaching workshop, and celebrate performance.
Stage 8: Promote the strategic and sustained adoption of SCL-based intensive teaching development activities.
Stage 9: Subject the policy and implementation strategies to continuous reviews and a five-year cycle of evaluation.
• Link To Teaching, Learning And Assessment Policy Framework
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