Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Research in Education
Acceptability of online facilitation in National Open University of Nigeria
Lifelong learning is a form of adult education that is self-directed, self-paced and selfstudy learning which occur outside the formal school system. In this type of education, there is no limit to age, no significance to the notion of success and failure. Lifelong is both market-driven and demand driven, individual, government and organisations need it for various reasons. According to Wikipedia (2019) the free Encyclopedia, it does not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also selfsustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability. It is a way of life and it is also continuous this is why some people refer to it as life wide. Lifelong learning will continue to be relevant as long as man lives and as long as development occurs, aspirations and desire will always necessitate its demand. Lifelong learning as stated by Okediran & Sarumi (2001) was perceived as an alternative means to the failures and lapses of the traditional school system in the past but today necessities demand by development and complexities of the twenty-first century, increased longevity, global warming, information explosion and insecurity to mention a few account for the unending demand and relevance of the concept. All aspects of traditional African education are non-formal in nature, they take place outside the four walls of the classroom. Learners in lifelong learning ranges from out-of-school to individuals to people with degree qualifications who desire new placement in their jobs, higher-paying occupations, life fulfilment, inclusion in community programmes, interests in new areas completely (Javis, 2008).Okenimkpe (2003) opined that adult learners by nature have self-concept, they have wealth of experience and have the motivation to continue learning in order to meet up with expectations and aspirations. He added that some of them might have been experiencing some symptoms of aging like decreasing speed of reaction, decreasing vision, decreasing hearing and emergence of some minor health issues which may be either as a result of a person’s way of life or heredity. This may hinder their performances in some ways if not well controlled. Online facilitation seems to be the way out for learners as it gives them the opportunity to showcase their ideas and experience during discussions. This mode of teaching is friendlier than the traditional mode that everybody is used to, the moderator is usually liberal, attentive, impartial, patient and affirmative. Australian National Framework (2003) described online facilitation simply as the act of managing the learners and the learning through an online medium. The learners are given content in form of question or statement to brood over and discuss with the facilitator who ensures that the session is not rowdy or hijacked, he must always be in control. Salmon (2005) offered a 5-Stage important model of Online Facilitation as mechanism to use when organizing and moderating successful online session. Meaningful learning that can enhance performance takes place with the 5-stage Model. The first stage which is at the lowest part of the ladder is ‘setting up system’- when gadgets are fixed and the moderator can start the class by welcoming and encouraging participants. The next stage in ascending order is ‘online socialisation’ – familiarizing and providing bridges between cultural, social and learning environment. The next one is the stage of ‘information exchange’- this means facilitating tasks and supporting the use of learning materials. The fourth stage is ‘knowledge construction’ – facilitating processing or conferencing. The last and final stage of the ladder is ‘develop’ – supporting, responding, at the same time providing links outside the chaired conferencing. Salmon also used shades of colour to indicate the amount of the roles of support system, participants and the moderator.Online facilitation can be interesting and fruitful if well moderated, it can easily boost learners’ performance because the rate of retention will be high especially with the opportunity to record and play back. It can also boost enrolment when benefactors spread the news of the fun they had, the knowledge gained and having good result to show for it.
Keywords: affordability, conferencing, connectivity, moderator, participants.