Dele's Research trip to Nigeria

On 7th Feb, I was delighted to travel to Nigeria to collect some evidence for our impact case study. I conducted interviews with government officials, principals, headteachers and teachers involved in the world bank’s DIGISTEM project in which Northumbria University was the research and evaluation partner. This was a 3-month pilot programme delivered by Stemres learning initiative using the model of science education and engagement designed by the NUSTEM and NUDLL teams at Northumbria. Details of the project are available on digistem.ng. While I was there, I also organised a workshop for teachers in Ekiti and Lagos states. The workshop which was co-organised with Stemres learning initiative (stem.ng) gave me an opportunity to talk about NUDLL’s research interests in digital game-based learning, information and digital literacy, STEM aspirations and widening participation.  Up until now, our work in Nigeria has been focused on Ekiti State, where we have engaged with over 3000 teachers in 4 years. However, working with teachers in Lagos state for the first time reinforced the importance of context in both our outreach and research work. After engaging with the teachers (n=85) for a couple of hours, it was apparent that they had different needs compared to teachers in Ekiti state. For example, most of the teachers I interacted with have functional email addresses and also appeared confident in surfing the web, although they still needed information about useful websites and resources for the CPD.  One possible explanation is the level of development available in Lagos (as the business capital of Nigeria) and the training teachers have access to compared to Ekiti State. The better internet penetration in Lagos as compared to other parts of Nigeria is also a possible reason for the difference observed. This understanding is particularly significant when evaluating impact. The concept of distance traveled helps to explain the baseline (start of engagement/intervention) and the ending as well as guide the design of interventions tailored to serve different audiences. We are now looking at building more engagement opportunities with teachers in Lagos state in order to better understand their needs and be better positioned to assist them in leveraging technology for and enhanced teaching and learning experience.

 

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