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F. Idachaba

Covenant University (NIGERIA)
The large number of candidates applying for the limited number of available slots in Engineering departments in Universities in Nigeria has resulted in an over population in the classes. This coupled with the lack of attraction the academia has had to young graduates over the years has resulted in a shortage of lecturers in many of these departments. This trend is however being reversed as the downturn in the labour market especially in the choice industries such as the oil and gas, banking and telecommunications is now causing young graduates to consider careers in the academia. This sudden influx of young graduates into the academia has led to an improvement in the students to staff ratio but the lack of experience of the young faculty in managing large classes or lecture delivery is threatening both the quality of teaching and learning the students are exposed to. This paper proposes a rapid mentoring scheme where the senior faculty teach the large classes while simultaneously mentoring the younger faculty. The senior faculty will be responsible for the development of the curriculum, course materials, test and examination questions and also teaching the large classes. The younger faculty will be responsible for developing the tutorial questions and answers which will be vetted by the senior faculty, they will also be responsible for taking the tutorial classes and marking the test and examination question papers. The senior faculty will teach the large classes with the junior faculty in attendance both to learn the principles of class management and undergraduate teaching and also help with class control. The class is then broken into smaller groups and assigned to the different younger faculties assigned to the senior faculty for the course and they will undertake the tutorial sessions. These sessions are to be held within the same week so as to reinforce the lectures undertaken within the week. The key benefits of this system includes the fact that the students will benefit from the quality and experience of the senior faculty. The senior faculty will have sufficient support to introduce simulations or demos into the class, the junior faculty will receive mentoring as well as an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the course through the setting of the tutorial questions. The students will have a more personal interaction in the smaller groups with the younger faculty during the tutorial sessions and be able to ask questions which they couldn't ask in the larger class. The system is capable of providing a rapid mentoring path for young faculty while enabling the students benefit both from the experience of the senior faculty and the availability of the younger faculty resulting in very high quality engineering education