On November 19, first-year students of the writing class taught by Mrs. Emilienne Akpan had an online combined class with students of Forman Christian College, Pakistan (FCC).
Ms. Akpan’s Pakistani counterpart, Prof Nadia spoke on paragraph development and writing an argumentative essay, while Ms. Akpan dwelled on additional aspects of the same topics for the benefit of the FCC students. The students also learned that plagiarism is equally frowned at in both institutions. At FCC, a first offense is recorded in the student's file, a second violation attracts a semester-long suspension, and a third verified charge calls for expulsion.
Each student in Ms. Akpan's class was assigned a partner from FCC whom he or she connects with and shares assignments. The face-to-face sessions offer the students the opportunity to meet, ask questions, and share ideas about cultural activities, academic pursuits, topics treated, and liberal arts education as a whole.
Both AUN and FCC are members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA), a consortium supported by the Great Lakes Colleges Association. Every year, faculty members in GLAA schools are given a chance to partner with one another on select topics. Ms. Akpan said that during such collaborations, students share ideas about specific tasks or work together depending on the nature of the assignment.
“Students get to know how liberal arts operate in another institution. They share ideas about their courses, and their cultures too. They also listen to and understand people in another region, and even discuss contemporary issues. The faculty members discuss pedagogy, syllabi, technological applications, how best to meet the needs of their respective students, and possible visits in the future.”
One of such students learning a new culture is Communications & Multimedia Design major, Ibrahim Yakubu. “I am getting to know more about Pakistan. I follow updates about their news. My partner in Pakistan told me a few things about their country. Then I went online to search for more information.”
Another student, a Software Engineering major, Musayyib Yusuf, said, “I have learned something from my peer, and he has learned from me too. I found out from the interaction that they are interested in Nigeria.”
Muhammad Mubarak Lawal said that from the interaction, he had experienced a new method of learning. “It is a major step up for us because we get to compare our methods of learning with theirs,” he added.
Fatima Abdulrahman Abba spoke in the same vein--that it was an opportunity to learn something from another person living in another country. “We also have their contacts. So we can reach them through email.”
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa