Prof. Rob Paton, a lecturer from the Open University Business School in the United Kingdom, has stated that in learning, practical experience comes first. Prof Paton said this at the first public lecture, organised by the Zenith University College in Accra, under the theme “It's learning Jim, but not as we know it.”
He said the new mode of learning must be self-directed, and must be done as a competitor studying for an award. “Studying for an award makes you a better person –it's not about dealing with every day problems,” he noted.
He said learning means acquiring and remembering new information, and the integral part of learning is what remains after one has forgotten what he or she was taught.
Prof. Paton said learning was multifaceted, explaining, “We learn our own, even if we are with others, as in a class, we learn from and through each other.”
He said humility was primary a ingredient in seeking knowledge, adding that it was important following instructions of authority, and that anyone who thought he knew better than his/her boss would get him/herself into trouble.
He said one of the credible benchmarks of learning was confusion.
“If you are not confused, then you still don't understand the challenges we are facing,” he stressed.
He said as organisations were changing jobs, new capacities were required, and added that “the universal job description for a middle manager must be self-directing in the face of multiple, vague and conflicting expectations. In these myriads of conflicting expectations, Information Technology is an enabler.”
He identified the limitations of the traditional teaching and learning as inflexible limited learner control, dependency very high, currency and relevance, costs, quality and non-scalable, as against the new modes of learning, which according to him, must be lectures and directed readings, seminars and discussions, learner-centered teaching, didactic learning, students projects and dissertations.
The Rector of the Zenith University College, Prof. Akolgo Nettey, said lack of resources for the public universities made it impossible to admit even half of the applicants who applied each year.
He said this was an indication that government was not ready in supporting the public universities fully to provide the needs of students, hence the need for private universities.
He said Zenith University College was established a few years ago, as a tutorial College for some foreign universities, but was now a University College offering many first degree courses, including LLB.