Murang’a University of Technology (MUT) Open, Distance and eLearning (ODeL) Directorate was established in the year 2020. The Creation of the Directorate was borne out of University’ cogent desire to spearhead access to quality higher education through technology enabled learning and provide innovative opportunities to complement the face-to-face teaching and learning methods.
Through blended and fully-ODeL modes of study, MUT ODeL Directorate has ensured that learning moves out of the classroom into the learner’s environment both real and virtual. Blended mode of study offers opportunities to regular, evening and weekend students to access high quality learning resources and interact and collaborate with course Lecturers and fellow learners using learning management systems and web conferencing platforms. Fully ODeL mode of study purpose to provide opportunities to students to study at different time through self-directed learning.
To ensure quality in eLearning and teaching of the different online modes of study, the ODeL Directorate has conducted capacity building to University Staff to empower them deliver high quality content via the various online resources and develop quality interactive content and learning materials for learners. The Directorate conducted training for all University Academic Staff in three phases i.e. in the period of 23rd to 26th November 2021, 25th to 27th January 2022 and 19th to 21st April, 2022 on e-content development and delivery. The Lecturers were trained on how develop interactive modules to conform to international standards for online learning. The training enabled the MUT teaching staff to acquire the necessary skills of developing interactive modules for use by students under online and blended modes of learning. Development of interactive modules for online and blended learning is ongoing. In addition, to ensure effective and efficient online learning facilitation, any new teaching staff recruited to teach in the University on full-time or part-time go through the rigorous training to handle students in an online environment.
The Directorate resolute is to continuously train and upskill academic and support staff in acquiring necessary new skills in eLearning. This is to enhance greater online learning experience therefore producing graduates who are able to compete globally. Currently, the Directorate of ODeL supports learning by offering a platform for blended learning for both post graduate and undergraduate programmes. As precaution against COVID 19 pandemic all University common units for undergraduate programmes are conducted virtually. Post graduate blended learning entails students attending classes virtually at the same time but in different places using either synchronous mode of delivery and complemented by asynchronous mode of delivery where learning resources are available in the University Learning Management System. Post graduate programmes under blended learning include PhD and Masters programmes in Information Technology, Computer Science, Business Administration, Hospitality, Tourisms, Education, Mathematics and Physics. Through blended learning the University has seen an increase in enrolment in post graduate programmes. More so, the Directorate is in the advanced stage of rollout both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes through fully-ODeL programmes, where learners through self-directed learning study will learn at different time and different places. The goal of fully –ODeL programmes is to allow learners to learn at their own convenient irrespective of time and place.
In cognizance of the importance ODeL the University has put up in place the necessary ICT infrastructure to support all ODeL and blended learning programmes. The University is in the process of establishing a multimedia recording studio and ODeL computer lab to support eLearning activities. The Directorate is also in the process of collaborating with other Universities and private organizations in order to explore a wider online learning experience.