Management of educational resource center in tertiary institutions for effective pedagogy in nigerian schools
In this 21st century the volume of information is so high that no single individual can be in the position to contain it as it is today. The increase in information has without a deliberate effort caused a corresponding increase in the knowledge and quantum of information student teachers in our tertiary Institutions are expected to cope with. Our experiences have shown that the expansion of curricular with the inclusion of new subjects and courses and the frequent review of the content of the existing ones to include new topics, have given rise to what may be called today knowledge and information implosion. This is the situation where our learners even our student-teachers are expected to cope with a lot of information, knowledge and skills from a barrage of sources and presented in a wide variety of modes and media. Knowledge explosion as it is presently witnessed in this century has given rise to certain educational challenges. These challenges include faster ways of transmitting or disseminating knowledge and different modes of communication that will be very effective and efficient. These and other challenges can be sufficiently addressed by the use of newer media and techniques. For instance, apart from other qualities of the information and communication technologies (ICT), it makes information transmission faster, more effective and learner friendly. The introduction of ICT based education is, among others, an attempt to meet these educational challenges. This exemplified in the fourth edition (2004) of the National Policy on Education (NPE) which clearly states the broad objectives of Educational services under which Education Resource centers (ERC) are established to house Instructional Resources.
According to Oby (2000) Educational Resource Center is a place where learning Materials, services and Facilities are acquired, produced, classified and stored for easy retrieval when
needed. This education Enterprise encourages Interaction and cross-breeds ideas for the end users.
Oby (2000) identified different names given to Educational resource Center to include but not limited to media center, Learning Resource center, Resource Center, Center for curriculum and Instructional development.
The term resource like instructional material are those materials that carry information required by learners. Our environment is filled with such materials and channels which range from simple materials such as the drums, money, slides, charts to complex media. Such as television, computers and satellite.
According to Walton (1975) in Ike (2006) in current usage resources include the hardware and software that in less recent times were called "teaching aid" Systems concept obsolete the once familiar views of media as "instructional aid". They also stressed that media alone can teach when thoughtfully programmed and when presented in an environment conducive for learning.
Ike (2006) observes that a resource includes anything which may be an object of study or stimulus for the learner, including books, periodicals, newspaper, radio, television programs, videotapes, compact disc, flash drives, as well as individuals and objects in the community. Walton (1975) in Ike (2006) describes a resource as everything which is planned to contribute to the education enterprise and they include school plant, teachers, materials and equipment, the school environment, national parks, museums, libraries and institutions which contribute to the educational enterprise. In all, these resources could be categorized as follows: Realia, Visual, audio, audio visual, simulation and games, community based and electronic. These instructional resources are better managed and organized in resource centers.
There are reforms in most sectors of our economy. The educational sector is not an exception. Therefore, the present education reforms going on in Nigeria since 1999 are Governments response to non-performance of the sector. Especially the products of the systems are not meeting the needs of the society. It was also identified and pursued that in trying to rebuild and make the system functional, there was a need to start from the basic ingredient of learning. That basic ingredient is availability of instructional resources.
The instructional resources are managed and organized in resource center. According to Ngoka (1995). Resource center is a service area providing for the use and distribution of information to students and teachers in multimedia forms to facilitate the teaching and learning process.
According to Dike (1988) in Eze (2002:48) Resource Centre is a
building in or outside the school system with adequate spaces, staff, software and hardware materials, where learners may go and study either individually or in a group or consult with staff of the centre and where facilities exist for determining individual differences and where instructional materials tailored to meet there individual differences of learners can be produce, utilized and disseminated.
Eze (2002:49) sees it as an area, or complex of areas
equipped with diversity of print and non-print media material, types of audio-visual equipment and programmed instruction, and designed to various learning styles and needs both through physical design and through the application of a systematic process approach to individualization of instruction.
Resource centre therefore should provide enough information, regarding location, organization, material and resources person outside the institution, which will enhance and promote learning. A resources centre for the 21st century should have space for various types of activities. The equipment for the best practice for the production of instructional materials, reprographic unit, recording studio, computer terminals, and photographic darkroom.
A cursory look at the description of Resource centre, it could be seen that Resource centre stresses on individualization of instruction and the development of life relevant process skills in the learners. A resource centre can be either centralized, decentralized, or co-ordinate, depending on many factor, such as; fund, objectives of the organization and available resources (Abimbade 1999)
Beeswick (1972) in Ike (2006) described a resource centre as an agency for stimulating the active creation and use of a resource collection including the six elements of:
- Production of home-made resources
- Selection and acquisition of other resources
- Classification and indexing of retrieval
- Use, including guidance, lending and borrowing.
- Evaluation and weeding of obsolete media.
However, the National Policy on education (NPE2004) has given the broad objectives of a typical resource Centre as follows
- develop assess and improve educational programmes.
ii. enhance teaching and improve the competence of the teacher.
- make learning experiences more meaningful to the learner.
iv. make education more cost effective.
v. develop and promote an effective use of innovative materials in schools.
vi. promote in-service education
- promote the use of ICTs in schools
it should be noted that resource collection simply means a multiplicity of such items gathered by various individuals. The items and activities coordinated by a resource centre may not always be centralized in one place, but maybe where there is a space, provided for its establishment.
The activities of a resource center can be located at different areas of the college compound in that situation, the activities will be centrally controlled. That means all the activities will be regarded as parts of one total set-up called centre for educational technology(CET) in Colleges of education, Polytechnics and Universities.
Centre for Educational Technology (C.E.T)
Centre for Educational Technology is a resource centre set-up In Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities. Colleges of Education for instance produce N.C.E graduates for Primary and secondary Schools and first degrees in collaboration with cooperating universities. A model CET in the 21st century according to Ike (2006) is expected to perform the following function.
- build up a pool of basic instructional materials
- acquired relevant instructional materials
- Providing campus electronic communication media services for academic services, administrative staff and students.
- Providing professional assistance to staff and students in the design, production, utilization and administration of instructional materials.
- Providing training in the use of educational media for the student and staff of the institution.
- Organizing workshops, seminars, orientations for students staff and other media users on the use of media for the teaching and learning process.
- Coordinating and providing communications services for lecturers, instructors and other college functions (video coverage, public address, projectors, radio and close circuit television systems).
- Planning and carrying out research activities in the field of educational technology.
Organization of Centre for Educational Technology.
The Centre for Educational Technology in tertiary institutions are very central in the academic and non academic functions of the institutions. CET is aimed at promoting and ensuring effective and also efficient teaching-learning process. It is also devoted to rendering general services to the institutional immediate community. Organization therefore has to do with the day to day running of CET.
- Academic Organization.
CET takes the teaching and learning process beyond the conventional classroom to an interactive and activity based process. This is often done in a simulated microteaching lesson. The microteaching cycle gives the student-teacher opportunity to practice and acquire the skills one at a time for eventual use in the primary and secondary schools. This microteaching process is a cyclic activity which is devoted to the practice of one component of the skill. In Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, the Microteaching cycle is completed within two weeks. In the first week the student-teachers plan-practice-observe(critique). In the second week the student teachers replan – repractise – reobserve.
Student-teachers are not made passive listeners using only their imagination in the course of learning in the simulated microteaching lesson in the laboratory. The student-teachers are made to play an active role so that they understand the relationship between theory and practice.
ii. Instructional Resource Section.
Instructional Resource Section of CET is where various categories of the materials are on identified on shelves for easy retrieval. The materials are carefully labeled and placed for all to see. However the non-identified materials are grouped based on the subject areas they cover in the curricular; labeled and placed accordingly on the shelves. Graphic materials such as graphs, posters and charts can be laminated and hung around the room.
iii. Graphic section.
In this section, the Graphic Artist scripts documents and produces identification labels used in instructional resource section. The College and school certificates and properties can be scripted and identified here
iv. Photographic Section.
The photographic section handles all the photographic needs of the College and schools within the laboratory.
v. Electronic Section.
In A.I.F.C.E. Owerri, this section takes care of the slides, audio and video tapes, video players and projectors. Maintenance of these equipment are also done in this section.
Management of Centre For Educational Technology.
Educational Technology Centre from our discussion so far is good example of Educational Resource Centre. Its management in 21st century involves shifting from theory to practice in our schools. Management of Educational resource centre therefore includes running, administration and controlling of the activities to ensure effective pedagogy in Nigerian schools. To manage Centre for Educational technology therefore, there is need to have professionals who must be present to function in every position. The positions required for Centre for Educational Technology in University and Colleges of Education are shown below graphically.
- Organizational charts of Centre for Educational Technology in the Universities Colleges of Education and Polytechnics
HEAD OF UNITS OF TECHNICAL SERVICES
Electronic and Electrical.
Radio and TV studios
Research and Consultancy
HEAD OF UNITS OF INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
HEAD OF UNITS OF INSTRUCTION AND UTILIZATION
Training and Utilization
Research and Consultancy
Source : Federal Ministry of Education Lagos – JCC report 1991
Committee report on Educational Technology May,1991
One of the functions of CET in the tertiary institutions as indicated earlier include "providing, professional assistance to the staff and students in the design, production and administration of Media Materials for the improvement of teaching and learning.
A good resource centre therefore should have the following professionals.
- Educational Technologists;
- Language specialists
- Graphic Artists and Assistants
- Photographer and Assistants
- Librarian and Tutor librarians
- Reprographic Materials
The above Staffers can be grouped into:
(1) Professional Media Specialist Staff. This caliber of Staff must be university graduates with a good background as an educational technologist. The head of CET must be drawn from this Group: most of the time they are lecturers and Media Librarian.
(2) Administrative Support Staff. This group of staff is drawn from the registry Department. They include Administrative officers, Executive Officers, Clerical Officer Typists, Drivers and finance officers.
(3) Technical Staff: the technical Staff is drawn from the works Department in the area of design, installation, operation and maintenance. The staff may include Engineers, Technical Officers/Technologists and Craftsmen.
The above staff members in the CET management team are there for the needs of the primary and secondary pupils and student Instructional Need of School.
Instructional Needs for schools.
The essence of the new basic education has significantly the need for instructional materials at all levels of schooling. This is relevant since it is believed that instructional materials ensure the effectiveness of the teaching and learning through, among others concretizing ideas, engendering creativity. Such effectiveness is predicated in the obvious advantages which instructional materials inject into teaching and learning situations. In line with the foregoing Hoban et al in Nwosu (1991) & Ike, Chimezie & Iwu 2002 had asserted that when properly used instructional Materials could achieve:
1) Supply a concrete basis for conceptual thinking and reduced meaningless word responses.
2) make learning more permanent]they have high degree of interest in pupils
3) offer a reality of experience which stimulates self activity on the part of pupils.
Adequate use of relevant materials would help the teachers effort, such that he could be more efficient and effective in his teaching. For example, he can use the materials to guide thinking, when he wants to discuss concepts that are too abstract for the pupils level, like in the teaching space travels or the space exploration. The teacher can therefore use the needed materials to present the facts and information to his pupils. It is therefore expected that student-teachers in their design and production of instructional materials, they should be tailored to the curricular content of various levels of pupils in our schools. This is imperative because schools may request these instructional materials for their classroom instruction.
Production of Instructional Materials by Students-Teachers
No medium can be all things to all learners. The best that can happen is to meet his learning needs. To meet these needs. Local production is often required local production can be the result of definite request from primary and secondary schools. As it is done by staff demonstration schools at Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE)
The Locally produced media at AIFCE are more receptive to the three general characteristics of effectiveness. i.e relevance, fit and validation. The Local Production is accomplished better because it is supervised and conducted by a production specialist.
Special Services to Primary and secondary schools
Educational Resource Centre has the potentials to serve the educational Interests of Primary and Secondary Schools in Nigeria through Special Exhibitions, and Auditorium Programme.
Special Exhibitions of instructional Materials are designed to encourage self-instruction on the part of Young People. This approach was simple-narrative labeling, including audio-Visual devices aimed at attracting attention. Stimulating Interest and Providing graphic or dramatic explanation.
Auditorium Programmes according to Onyejemezi (1991) have been tried including educational and documentary films, illustrated with slides, Films, power points, Video Films, Compact Disc, Digital Video Disc. Lecturers offering social programmes for Pupils or teachers during Long Vacations, may use this as all enrichment exercise.
Another approach of offering School Services is through providing for Primary and Secondary Schools on a regular intervals, distribution of ERC materials which may be Used by the Teachers for Instructions.
Educational Resource Center is pivotal and highly needed in teaching and learning in our primary and Secondary Schools. Teachers in these Schools should be knowledgable both in content and resources needed to drive home the curricular content. In view of this we make the following recommendations.
- Head teachers and Principals should encourage their teachers to visit Educational Resource Centers of tertiary Institutions in their environment.
- Student-Teachers in our tertiary Institutions should be asked to produce instructional Material that will meet the instructional needs of a particular level of our School System.
- Students should be made to produce different types of instructional Material on a given topic or content.
- Centers for Educational Technology in our tertiary institutions should have an Educational Technologist as Head.
- Centers for Educational Technology should be Organised and Managed to meet the needs and challenges of its immediate environment.
- Primary and secondary School Teachers should be trained and re-trained in the art and science of teaching using the skills.
- Teachers in our school systems should be exposed to the appropriate Utilization and production techniques for effective teaching.
The concept of Educational Resource Centre in our tertiary Institution is anchored on the fact that it is one of the best strategies for creating institutional readiness for Instructional Innovation using the instructional materials.
In an attempt to ensure maximum teaching and effective learning in our schools, Centre for Educational Technology is mandated to design, produce instructional materials that are tailored to the needs of the pupils and student in our schools. These instructional materials are stored In a specialized place for the safe keep and easy retrieval system when needed.
This place called Centre for Education Technology is managed by highly professional staff who ensures that the objectives of the centre are maintained for the services of the students and immediate environment.
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