The Blended Learning Experience in Nigeria
One thing I enjoy about visiting Nigeria and working with our partners who regulate and promote laboratory science is helping institute change to the Nigerian health system. In an article from the Nigeria Tribune, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) points out that according to the 2011 Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index, Nigeria’s health service ranks 51st out of the 54 countries in Africa.
My recent trip to Nigeria focused on continuing K4Health’s assistance in the development and use of eLearning courses and a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) policy for Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS). One of our partners, the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), recently approved the CPD policy described in my last post on eLearning as a Vital Component of Continuing Professional Development.
The progress made by the MLSCN reflects the adoption of CPD among health systems across the developing world as outlined in a technical brief by CapacityPlus.
Our other partner, the AMLSN, has also made great strides, releasing four eLearning Courses, authored for and by Nigerian medical laboratory scientists: Good Medical Laboratory Practices, Update on HIV Diagnosis, Update on Malaria Diagnosis, and Update on TB Diagnosis.
Professor Anthony O. Emeribe, Registrar and CEO of the MLSCN, describes how the work of the government body he leads is complemented by the work of the professional association representing medical laboratory scientists.
The eLearning component of the CPD program is going to have a significant impact on the competency of MLS in Nigeria. It will help them deliver quality and efficient medical laboratory services in Nigeria.
Just as the MLSCN has shown it is keeping up with trends in CPD, so too has the AMLSN shown they are innovating along with leaders of other sectors to incorporate blended learning strategies in broader training strategies.
Blended learning is the combination of a variety of learning media (face-to-face, online, print) and learning environments (instructor-led, teamwork, individual work). It enables more opportunities for application and support to learners than the stand alone courses.
Given that Logistics requires lifelong learning, our strategy is to have so many certifications and programmes to give the students what we call The Multimix Advantage. Students can take courses at night, on weekends, online, or in traditional classrooms -- whatever suits their learning styles and accommodates their busy schedules.
Students can even mix and match, opting for a blended learning opportunity, in which, say, an online course is complemented by an on-site workshop that affords the chance for students and teachers to troubleshoot scenarios.
The Vanguard Nigeria also published an article on eLearning in the context of knowledge management among World Trade Organization stakeholders to share evidence based trade data and information.
Professor Mustapher Sadni Jailab, Head of Unit WTO Reference Centre, stated that the Reference Centre was WTO Secretariat’s Strategy put in place for coherent WTO training paths based on a progressive, multi-modular approach, e-Training and e-Learning.
It’s clear that the adoption of a blending learning approach to professional development is a great way to keep the Nigerian workforce proficient. The commitment of the K4Health partners to be among the forerunners in eLearning and continuing education shows that medical laboratory science will help lead the Nigerian health system up in the rankings.