Quality Assurance in Open and Distance Learning: The Approach of National Universities Commission of Nigeria
AbstractÂ The origin of distance education at the university level in Nigeria dates back to 1974 with the transformation of what used to be correspondence studies to distance education by the existing conventional universities thereby making them become Dual-Mode institutions. While a single mode open and distance learning at the university level was introduced in 1983, it became functional in 2001. However, the issue of quality assurance was not in place until 2009 when the National Universities Commission (NUC) in charge of the quality assurance in Nigerian universities established a unit to ensure quality in open and distance learning. Although NUC is specialised in regulating the activities of conventional universities, the unit convened a stakeholders workshop to develop guidelines for open and distance learning in Nigerian universities with resource persons from the Open University, United Kingdom. The outcome of the workshop was the development of programme evaluation form for open and distance learning programmes.Â Â Â Â This paper critically analyses the evaluation procedure by comparing it with critical areas that any framework for managing open and distance learning quality should address as proposed by the Common Wealth of Learning. The strengths and weaknesses of the NUC evaluation procedures were determined and suggestions were offered on how to improve the evaluation procedures by taking into cognisance of Nigeriaâ€™s present technological and infrastructural challenges.
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