Students’ Voices on Flexible Learning Materials in a Fixed Learning System

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Ogunsola-Bandele, Mercy
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Open University Malaysia (OUM)

With the variety of faculty, wide range of expertise and the continuous review process involved in producing flexible distance learning materials- the quality of output should not be debated. But there are other issues that should be considered with these learning materials -which range from access to usability. As regards the latter, it was discovered that four faculty members in the school of education in a conventional university, north of Nigeria are so 'glued’ to the use of the flexible learning materials. If students voices have been a challenge to schools and researchers, then there is need to respond to the voice of these students in education and research (Keeffe & Andrew 2015) The study was conducted between September 2015 and May 2016 and data collection by interviewing some of the students/faculty is still on going. The university was selected by purposive and convenience sampling method from a population of 128 universities in Nigeria. One hundred and eight of the students under the tutelage of the faculty interacted with the 20 item validated instrument which were put into five major categories namely: Introduction and objectives, presentation of content, assessment, flow and use of language and the attractiveness of the curriculum materials. The analysis shows that over 70% of the students agree that the logical presentation of the contents into modules/units and the inbuilt assessment have been more helpful in the flexible learning materials than the conventional. On the other hand, the most affected category in this study included the introductory aspect and the language. But if it is true that the introduction to any material indicates either ‘to read on or take a break’, then there is a great need for developers of these flexible curriculum materials to put in greater effort to arouse interest of the learners who are at a distance. Some of the students’ voices were also captured in the open statements on their feelings with the use of these flexible learning materials. Of paramount importance were the feelings expressed on the in-built interactive assessment. Since learning materials make up necessary components in all distance-learning systems, the need for the various sub-sections to be well developed should be emphasized for its sustainability. // Paper ID 209

Flexible Learning,Self-Learning Materials (SLMs)