Comparative Analysis of Operational Structures in Single- and Dual-Mode Distance Learning Institutions in Nigeria

Keywords: operational structures, single-mode, dual-mode, distance learning institutions, Nigeria


This study examined the similarities and differences in the processes and facilities for distance education at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), a single-mode distance learning institution, and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, a dual-mode distance learning institution. The study adopted a case study research design, with a population of administrators/facilitators and distance learning students at both NOUN and OAU. The sample for the study consisted of 38 key informants (30 administrators/facilitators and 8 students) selected using a purposive sampling technique. All the administrators/facilitators responded to a key informant questionnaire; 8 of the administrators/facilitators and all 8 students were also interviewed. The 16 interviewees were selected based on gender, institution, educational role, and mode of distance learning. The collected data were analysed using tabular juxtaposition and phenomenological analysis techniques. Results showed that similarities in the operational structures at NOUN and OAU included the use of blended learning approaches. Differences in operations included compulsory tutorial attendance at OAU and the deployment of part-time and quasi part-time facilitators at NOUN and OAU, respectively. The study recommended an increase in the use of information and communications technology (ICT).

Author Biographies

Taiwo Isaac Olatunji, Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology, University of Padua

Taiwo Isaac Olatunji is a PhD student of Pedagogical, Educational and Training Sciences at the University of Padua, where his curricular focus is research on inclusion, well-being and sustainability in education. He holds B.A.Ed. (English Language) and M.A. (Adult Education), both from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is also an Erasmus+ alumnus of the University of Würzburg. His research interests include distance learning/education, higher education, media/information literacy, migration learning, civic-political education, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Tajudeen Adewumi Adebisi, Department of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Dr Tajudeen Adewumi Adebisi obtained his Bachelor’s degree (Education/English), Master’s degree (Adult Education), and Doctoral degree (Adult Education) from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, where he is now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning.  He started lecturing in 2007 as one of the pioneer lecturers at Osun State University, Osogbo.  He is an expert and consultant in the field of Adult Education, with a specific interest in adult learning, distance and open learning, human resource development, workplace learning and vocational & technical education. He has written extensively on these areas in reputable scholarly journals.


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How to Cite
Olatunji, T. I., & Adewumi Adebisi, T. (2021). Comparative Analysis of Operational Structures in Single- and Dual-Mode Distance Learning Institutions in Nigeria. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 22(1), 59-77.
Research Articles