Improving Employability through Open, Online and Flexible Learning Environments: A Case Study of Distance Learning Institute, University of Lagos, Nigeria

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

Contemporary society has developed to a level that the education offere d in institutions of higher learning in most countries is incompatible with the skills requirement of industries. The reason is that institutions utilize teaching approaches that have been in use for millennia with new dynamics. Although many of the method s of content delivery in use today were effective in time past, their relevance in the modern era appears to lack credibility. Products of the institutions lack relevance to the contemporary market demands, thus hampering their employability. The huge inve stments that go into the provision of higher education make the reconsideration of teaching methods pertinent. A potential alternative in this context is Open and Distance Learning (ODL). This education mode involves delivery of content to the learner, us ing modern technologies like the internet. The approach is effective in providing the needed knowledge base, skills, attitudes in the subject area, and also develops in the learner, the much

needed skills, commonly referred to as 21st Century skills, which have become the focal point for greater employability in the modern market. This paper therefore centers on approaches to improve the employability of learners in open, online and flexible learning environments for 21st century work skills in Nigeria. A s urvey technique was carried out using questionnaire administered to students using purposive sampling technique. Descriptive statistics, logistics regression and Chi

squared test were used for the analysis. The result shows that critical thinking skills, c ommunication skills, using technology as a tool of learning, decision making skills, and problem solving skills have significant influence on the employability level of ODL graduates . The study has demonstrated that ODL if deployed effectively will provide the skills needed in the work place. // Paper ID 60

Employment,Lifelong Learning,Online Learning,Flexible Learning