Issues and Challenges in Enhancing Quality Assurance in Open and Distance Learning in Nigeria

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF5 Sub-theme: Cross-cutting Themes // With the increasing acceptance of Open Distance Learning (ODL) as a major channel of widening access to higher education in Nigeria, it has become increasingly necessary that Quality Assurance (QA) process is developed and maintained if the ODL provision is to be relevant and recorgnised as complimentary to conventional higher education. With the emergence of many higher institutions, what used to be correspondent was turned to distance education, which in most cases constituted an integral part of existing institution with the exception of the National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna, which was established in 1976 as solely independent distance leaning institution in Nigeria today. // The issue of quality provision has been emphasised by stakeholders including the governments, private groups, individual and the society involved in an expanded system of higher education. The onus of quality assurance falls mainly on the government because it controls the regulatory bodies like National Universities Commission. This is why it is essential for the government agencies to conduct regular monitoring and evaluation activities in order to ensure the desire quality in all the programmes as well as the institutions with a view to enhancing learning outcomes and performance of distance learners. The difficulty of recommending a universally acceptable quality assurance strategy can not be denied because the issue surrounding distance education, the background of the clienteles, the extent and level of programmes covered vary from one country to another. Despite the difficulties, the underlining principles that should guide quality assurance is that the quality of course delivery should influence the quality of learning which in turn promotes quality delivery. // This paper therefore provides a synergy on quality assurance demand as a policy stand on the establishment of institutions, the type of programmes, the quality control and entry requirements on the programmes and also calls on appropriate regulatory bodies to ensure quality assurance in Open Distance Learning in Nigeria. // Paper ID 628