• Ekanem Ibokessien

Prof Comfort Ekpo Trains RU Lecturers on Effective Teaching

As part of a staff capacity building series at Ritman University, Prof. Comfort Ekpo – erstwhile Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo – has lectured as guest in an Effective Teaching Workshop on Tuesday 26 February 2019.

Ekpo explained that effectiveness in teaching entails an organized interaction in which objectives are clearly stated to meet learner’s expectation, learner’s interest is aroused and sustained, comprehension is aided, classroom management is enabled, peer learning is visible, variety of teaching and learning styles are productively employed, and visualization as well as practical learning experiences are aided.

Elucidating on preparation to teach, the professor said a teacher must analyze needs of learners, state learning objectives, select learning content and appropriate learning experiences. They should also select instructional materials and design instructional events. In execution or actual teaching, she said the delivery of lessons should be practical and strategic, with use of instructional materials and student management.

After delivery of lessons, the teacher was told to evaluate own performance by administering tests and quizzes, evaluating the instructional event, creating room for feedback as well as remedial measures and allowing learner appraisal. She also stressed that the teacher’s evaluation methods (tests, quizzes) should not be the kind that discourages students from further learning.

Citing Imojie (1999), Prof Ekpo identified four kinds of teachers which include the Mediocre Teacher who over-explains, Good Teacher who explains, Superior Teacher who demonstrates and the Great Teacher who inspires learners. She taught that the effective teacher encourages students even when they seem weak, disorganized and unmotivated. Such teacher loves teaching and uses a variety of instructional approaches, with deep knowledge and passion for the subject.

Moreover, effective teachers act as parents to students, listening patiently and trying to help them, showing respect and not humiliating them before peers. They do not exact on or extort students and are models of great moral values and punctuality.

Prof Ekpo observed that today’s learners are impatient, wanting immediate connectivity and lively communication that yields results. Hence, the teacher needs to add fun, novelty and aesthetics to learning events. She averred that traditional teaching approaches of lecturing, discussion and questioning using teaching aids must be adapted to suit today’s learners who don’t like it when the teacher is totally in control. She advocated a learner-centred approach embracing debate and discussion, brainstorming and problem-solving, peer learning or peer tutoring, with the teacher clarifying difficult parts. Also emphasized was the need to develop interest for creativity and innovative learning as well as reading and research, with an environment created for ICT use. Prof Ekpo advised that the learner should be given ample time to experiment, while the teacher should try to send them summary of lectures and assignments by email.

Edidiong Esara 26/02/2019

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