President of the University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan, says that the usage of the university’s Sakai learning management system has been challenging for lecturers as it is also in the case of students.
Dr. Nkumbaan, in an interview with UniversNews, explained that among the challenges was with the issue of internet stability.
We can guarantee the challenges that come with it in terms of reality or the fact that the internet stability is not as we expected to have. Certainly, lecturers also have issues with the Sakai platform where when you log on, it logs you out or you have set quizzes for students and then you keep getting complaints of the fact that the system logs them out,” he said.
The UTAG President said that even though some of his colleagues attempted to use other platforms to engage their students online, the challenges persisted.
“Even the others that go using Zoom and Microsoft teams, there is still a challenge of having to do a couple of minutes and then you have to re-sign in and it is not able to take many students at a time. It is not a challenge only for students but also for lecturers,” he emphasized.
Despite these challenges that rocked the undertaking of academic activities online, Dr. Nkumbaan believes that students are getting ready to sit for their end-of-semester exams.
He says that the performances of students in their interim assessments have been fairly good, hence, his assertion that they are prepared for exams that will be taken on-site.
“Under the circumstance, we are poised and we’ve been teaching as we have to and assignments have been given. I can guarantee that some of the responses have been very good, except for courses where the certainty of whether or not it is your student taking the exam is a cause of worry for some of our colleagues but the responses have not been as bad in terms of student performance. I should think that students are getting themselves ready under the circumstance. Lecturers certainly will deliver the exam. We can only wish them the best,” he said.
Dr. Nkumbaan also called on university authorities to “take cognizance of the challenges of Wi-Fi system and work towards improving the internet access.”
“We should also be willing under the circumstance to invest in other teaching modes such as Zoom so that at least even if we can take up to 300 students without having to be logging in and out of the system. Management, as well as students, must look at dynamic ways of learning under the circumstance so that we can have the academic year done in good time,” he mentioned.