UTILIZATION OF LEARNER’S SUPPORT SERVICES BY STUDENTS OF NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA STUDY CENTRES IN SOUTH EAST OF NIGERIA.
The main purpose of this research work was to investigate the Utilization of Learner Support Services by the students of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Study centres in South East of Nigeria. The study was carried out at the four Study Centres of Nigeria Open University of Nigeria in the South East. Four hundred and sixty students of the study centres were selected using multi-stage sampling for the study. Six research questions and five hypotheses guided the study. The research questions include; to what extent has counselling services; library service; feedback on assignment; study kit; face-to-face tutorial as a learner support services been utilized in the promotion of learning at NOUN South East Study Centres? What are the problems associated with the utilization of learner support services by distance learners of NOUN at the South East Study Centres? The five hypotheses are on whether gender and marital status are significant factors on the extent counselling services, library service and face-to-face tutorial, study kit and feedback on assignment as a learner support services are utilized in the promotion of learning at NOUN South-East study centres. The result from the study has shown that counselling services, library services, face-to-face tutorial, study kit and feedback on assignment are utilized but not to a very high extent to promote learning at the NOUN South East Study centres. The findings of the study also revealed that there was low utilization level with regards to provision of timely and immediate feedback, untimely issuing of course texts rmaterials, low use of modern ICT facilities and lack of internet connectivity hinder effective utilization of some learner support service delivery. Based on these findings, recommendations were made which include that: NOUN should make provision for a more adequate media facility and equipment for counselling to ensure that students are guided as expected; the institution should provide constant in-service training for tutors to improve the quality of tutor-student interaction and good timely feedback, overcome isolation syndrome, increase retention and ensure more didactic learning. The provision of functioning internet facilities is vital to ensure quality learner support services at the different study centres. The NOUN should consider providing effective library service that will be open and distance learning oriented, especially in lending service and access audio and visual library resources to support learning in their various centres. The institution’s orientation exercise should be more comprehensive and relevant to ensure that students understand the importance of their responsibilities in their studies in use of learner support services.
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