Sociodemographics and Psychosocial Experiences of Distance Learners in Nigeria: A Comparison of Single-mode and Dual-mode Universities
Keywords:distance learners, adult, psychosocial experiences, single-mode, dual-mode, universities
The study explored the psychosocial experience of distance learners at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife. Psychosocial experience refers to the aggregate outcome of events and feelings that define or affect a person’s knowledge and perception of their prevailing social environment. The study adopted mixed-methods phenomenology research design. We deployed multiphase mixed-method sampling involving a quota sampling technique to select 182 respondents, and a purposive sampling technique to select eight interviewees selected from the initial respondents—four students from each of NOUN and OAU. Two researcher-designed instruments—a questionnaire and an in-depth interview guide—were deployed for data collection. The collected data were analysed with frequency counts, percentage analysis, and phenomenological analysis. Analysis of their sociodemographic characteristics showed that the profile of the students at the dual-mode university (OAU) reflects characteristics of conventional distance learners more than does the profile of the students at the single-mode university (NOUN). Distance learners at NOUN and OAU had both similar and different psychosocial experience. Their experience was largely positive—only 14% and 12.3% of NOUN and OAU students (respectively) had considered dropping out. Factors affecting learners’ experience in both institutions included personal motivation, the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of distance learning, insufficiency of facilitator-led tutorials (at NOUN), and difficulties due to work and family responsibilities (at OAU). The study concluded that Nigerian distance learners possess the requisite psychosocial capacity to negotiate meaning and acquire knowledge in single-mode or dual-mode institutions.
Copyright (c) 2022 Tajudeen Adebisi, Taiwo
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