VIRTUAL COMMUNITY AS A STRATEGY FOR SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE FOR DIASPORA GHANAIAN FACULTY ASSISTING TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN THE CENTRAL REGION OF GHANA
North Carolina A&T State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The education systems of Sub-Saharan African countries are in extreme stress due to outdated instructional materials, equipment, and inadequate number of qualified faculty in very critical areas, especially in tertiary institutions. One strategy these institutions could adopt to enhance faculty development at a relatively manageable cost is to tap into the resources of their skilled diaspora and other foreign intellectuals that are willing to provide instruction via distance learning. This paper proposes the concept of VC (Virtual Community) as a strategy for skilled Ghanaian diaspora in the state of North Carolina to assist in faculty development at the universities of Cape Coast and Winneba via distance learning employing the mechanism of VC. This strategy may be viewed as a pilot which, if successful, could be used as a model for skills training for faculty in Ghana’s tertiary institutions.
The paper is divided into four sections. The first section provides background information on the universities at Cape Coast and Winneba, including some of the instructional problems faced by these institutions. The next section reviews the VC concept, its creation and functioning. The latter portion of the section considers VC in the context of the universities of Cape Coast and Winneba. The third section explains how instructional sessions would be delivered and monitored and how feedback would be shared and implemented to modify and improve teaching. The fourth and final section identifies some of the challenges associated with the instructional delivery strategy and provides some suggestion for managing these challenges. It also provides brief summary of how the VC concept could be replicated at the macroscale to train faculty in tertiary institutions across the entire country of Ghana.
Keywords: Cape Coast, Virtual Community, Sub-Saharan Africa, Distance Learning, Tertiary Institutions, Faculty Development.