Volunteer Lecturer Program
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Survey Michael Nakamaye, VLP 2010 at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

A. Name of your university, name of volunteer lecturer and dates of his/her lectures:

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Professor Michael Nakamaye, 10th-31st October, 2010

B. What was the subject of the course taught by him/her?

Symmetry groups, Introduction to real analysis, Introduction to Topology

C. The goal of the Volunteer Lecturer Program is to provide intensive 3- to 4-week courses at universities in the developing world at the advanced undergraduate level. These courses should have a student audience of 20 or more, be controlled, with examinations, and be part of a regular degree program at the university at which they are offered. Was this goal achieved?

Yes, this goal was achieved. During his 3-week stay, the volunteer lecturer taught undergraduate students who registered for MTH208, MTH306, MTH314 and MTH404. These populations of these classes are 32, 53, 32 and 17 respectively.

D. The volunteer lecturer should be assisted by a local mathematics professor who prepares the students beforehand, assists when necessary during the course, and takes care of any necessary follow-up. Was your local assistant provided, and was his/her work satisfactory?

Yes, the local assistance was adequately provided. The students were prepared beforehand by Dr. G. Akinbo, Dr. M. O. Olatinwo and Dr. T. G. Jaiyeola. Moreover, Professor Nakamaye's graduate student, Martha Byrne, was always around during the course to help students through their classroom exercises. Dr. Akinbo was also around to provide other necessary assistance.

E. Did the volunteer lecturer develop or follow a prescribed syllabus or did he/she write his/her own? Was it available to the students before the course or when the course began?

One week before his arrival, the volunteer lecturer made a soft copy of his course contents available to the Department. This was in perfect agreement with the existing Departmental syllabus that was being used to prepare the students beforehand.

F. Did the volunteer lecturer use any books, classroom material, audio visual aids, or other technology-based materials?

The volunteer lecturer used whiteboard, various textbooks, well-prepared lecture notes and tutorial questions. The lectures were video-recorded for references.

G. What type of assessment tools did the volunteer lecturer use?

Classroom exercises, assignments and questionnaires.

H. What are your principal observations concerning this experience?

Responses from students who participated in the program revealed that they gained deeper understanding of the subjects. According to them, the lectures were very expository. More importantly, they have been motivated to become independent thinkers.

I. Did you feel that the volunteer lecturer's contribution was useful and appreciated?

Yes, his contributions were not only very useful and well-appreciated, but also invaluable. The lectures were adjudged excellent by many of the students.

J. What did you like the most about this experience?

The programme afforded the students an opportunity of interacting with, and learning directly from, an outstanding Professor from the USA without leaving the shores of their country. They gained new insights into the basic concepts of Algebra and Analysis.

K. What did you like the least about this experience?

The time was too short to accommodate research activities with interested graduate students and lecturers.

L. How could this experience be improved?

Sponsoring bodies may also support experts to the developing countries for research purposes, if that will not be at variance with the focus of the program.

M. How would you evaluate the overall utility of the work to your students?

Very Good

N. Any other thoughts?

Volunteer lecturers could be encouraged to spend their sabbaticals in Africa. Interested lecturers from developing countries could also be sponsored to the developed world for collaborations.

last updated: 2011-08-09