A. Salatian1, J. Zivkovic1, F. Ademoh1, J.J. Shanan1, K. Ademoh2

1American University of Nigeria (NIGERIA)
2Plot 336 cadastral Zone A1 kuje (NIGERIA)
In recent years there have been a number of overseas universities opening campuses across Nigeria. These universities typically employ faculty with international experience to deliver many of their courses. Teachers often need to tailor their teaching approach to meet the needs of Nigerian students. This paper describes the adjustments made by American teachers to their teaching methods at an American style university in northern Nigeria. By discovering these teaching adjustments, we may suggest HR and school policy changes that directly impact the teachers and students.

The study was conducted to experienced American professors currently teaching at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa State. The institution is the first American-styled University in the West African sub-region and currently has over 1500 full-time students and around 95 faculty members. All the professors in our study are American citizens with teaching experience at a U.S. based university prior to their appointment.

In our study we aimed at determining what adjustments, if any, the American international professors had to make in four key teaching areas: grading, syllabus, teaching methodology, and assessment.

It was observed that 12 teachers had to reevaluate their grading scheme. Most teachers admitted that they had to increase the grade distribution to account for a wider range of performance.

It was observed that the adjustments to the syllabus were to include learning outcomes, AUN vow, as well as insert the cheating, attendance and plagiarism policy. One lecturer noted removing or reducing the amount of content, since students are not capable of covering the same amount of content in a 15 week semester as in the U.S..

Regarding teaching methodology, professors commented that they need to slow down the pace at which they is transfer new information to the student. One explanation offered was that students have difficulty grasping concepts that may be specific to the American audience.

Assessment included reviewing exams, coursework and other assignments in evaluating students. It was observed that teachers found that completing homework was virtually nonexistent; various reasons students do not seem to take this aspect of learning seriously and so teachers have had to re-evaluate their expectations.

From the study, it is apparent that both the students and teachers need to adapt quickly to their new surroundings, and so it is only reasonable to offer recommendations for students and the teachers that would enhance the teaching and learning experience. We propose three recommendations to be considered for implementation.

Firstly, cultural training sessions for new faculty in conjunction to the orientation and induction program is imperative. Secondly, we propose that incoming students are evaluated on the four English skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) with a follow-up session if necessary. Thirdly, we propose that students enroll in an induction course covering study skills and promoting the importance of attendance and academic integrity

Faculty that are privileged to teach at an American-style institute in Nigeria can prepare by the 3Rs; reflection, research and readiness.

The outcomes of this research is intended to provoke a healthy dialogue amongst academics and administrators so to support and create a healthy teaching and learning environment for all those involved.