Globally, teaching and learning methods have been done through physical engagement. Over the years with technology advancement, some form of remote/virtual communication began, which has progressed into various forms of online mediums and less of physical contact for educators and students to leverage. Nigerian tertiary institutions have not adopted much of online mediums to communicate with students, especially in public institutions with mid-level tertiary education institutions occupying the bottom rung of the ladder of online education.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is one recent stressor to systems, sectors and spheres which has inadvertently changed the face of teaching and learning in mid-level tertiary education institution. This also affected the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Nigeria’s usual means of engagement. In view of this, our medium of physical (in-person) education and training, also changed to remote engagement to achieve agricultural education and training (AET) objectives in Nigeria.
A series of support provided by F2F Nigeria to the faculty and administrators of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH & PT) in the Summer of 2019 set the pace for the commencement of online teaching and learning. This began with a set of recommendations provided by Winrock F2F volunteer expert (Mr. Richard Wills) on ‘AET Institutional Assessment and Action Plan Development.’ Mr. Wills recommended that ‘… at some point in the future the college consider having a course or two that is taught using an eLearning approach.’ During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the college adopted this recommendation and supported by other assignments ‘building faculty pedagogical skills to effectively deliver aet curricula’ and ‘Integrating Critical Thinking into Physical and Online Classrooms’ to widen scope of interaction and knowledge sharing with students, enable effective time management as well as increase the capacity of teachers and learners. This led to the adoption of online education during the lockdown, preventing the outright discontinuing of learning as it was recorded in many public tertiary education institutions across Nigeria.
Part of the feedback received from the college was that the adoption of F2F volunteer expert recommendations shone a great light in the institution and led to the greatest achievements in recent years.