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POLICY DOCUMENT

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology as the name implies is a science and Technology Institution owned by the Governments of Oyo and Osun States in South Western Nigeria. It is located in Ogbomoso, a city of over a million inhabitants in the North of Ibadan. It is less than twenty minutes from ancient Oyo to the South and Ilorin to the North. It is thus surrounded by several cities and big towns with huge populations.

The idea of a Distance Education policy is to provide a conceptual framework that will form a basis for an institutional engagement of the ODL practice. A well thought-out conceptual framework and policy clarifications is a first step in this direction. The policy covers but is not restricted to Quality Assurance, Course Materials development; Use of Open Educational Resources; Course Delivery; Staff Recruitment and Progression; Learner Support; Information Advice and Guidance and so on. These are not presented in a linear order.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology is currently a single mode institution seeking to become a dual-mode one. There are peculiar challenges and opportunities presented by dual mode environments, which should be addressed by a vibrant policy platform. Some of the challenges are regulatory distortions, lack of parity of esteem, organizational inconsistencies and staff overload. There are however opportunities for integration of the face-to-face mode and the ODL mode in a dual mode system through an ODL platform in a way that is mutually reinforcing and cost effective.

The following policy document recognizes the opportunities and challenges presented by a dual mode system.

CHARACTERISTICS OF ODL ENVIRONMENT IN NIGERIA

Egbokhare (2009:2012) outlines the following as characterizing some challenges in the environment of ODL delivery:

*      Poor understanding of the concept and practice of ODL

*      Inadequate administrative and academic capacity

*      Organizational incongruence arising from the coupling of ODL and face to face operations in dual mode institutions; this leads to inconsistent scheduling and academic instability, delay in evaluation, assessments and feedback because of use of same staff for ODL and face 2 face modes; poor learner support; rigid and outmoded regulatory environment; lack of institutional support of Centres engaged in ODL

*      Poor quality input to the system due to failure of the basic education system; poor communication and reading skills as well as low literacy level

*      Poor internet penetration, poor power supply, low computer literacy levels of learners, excessive cost of computers

*      High cost of internet access, excessive bandwidth cost

*      Unsustainably low enrolment levels

*      Inadequate content in terms of quality and quantity

*      Lack of synergy and collaboration between participating institutions

*      Poor technology deployment leading to locationalization of student, transfer of excessive cost of inefficiencies to students and low morale. Also creates problem of completion for space

*      Poorly motivated clientele made up of people who come into the system as a last or only resort

*      Domiciliation of programs in academic departments lead to the relegation of ODL to a matter of convenience

The above impose certain fundamental considerations on an ODL policy among which are the need to take into account learner profile, expectations and actual needs, local context and challenges, regulatory environment, technology requirements, cost, parity of esteem of learners, institutional vision and capacity among other factors.

VISION

To be a centre of academic excellence and a training ground for a productive self employed, self sustaining and self reliant individuals passing through it; and to combine the ideas of excellence and research with a large dose of practical application development. To create a knowledgeable society by liberalizing access to science and technology education.

MISSION

To provide opportunity and access to flexible and quality learning environment for life-long education towards developing critical sense of innovation, excellence and technology driven knowledge for meeting life challenges.

·         Create opportunities for individuals to realize their full potentials through continuous and lifelong education

·         Provide access to a flexible learning environment that facilitates excellence, creativity, innovation and inquiry.

·         To work towards the social cultural and technological needs of the funding states i.e. Osun and Oyo in particular and Nigeria in general.

·         Provide access to high quality learning resources in Sciences through various ICT channels nationwide.

·         Ensure adequate exposure to experimental learning in order to prepare candidates for future challenges.

·         Develop candidates’ intellectual capability that would promote innovation.

·         Partner with governments, private sector and communities to provide quality and relevant content at all levels of education.

PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy of the LODLC is driven by an overriding desire to open up access to high quality, global standard and relevant education in an environment that is flexible, open, and humane and speaks to personal and collective realities. In pursuit of this, only appropriate technology shall be deployed and barriers to an engaging and satisfying learning experience will be minimized.

OBJECTIVES

The overriding objective is to create a platform for equitable and open access to education and opportunities. In doing this, we shall

·          Broaden access to Science and technology-based Education.

·          Increase access of people to formal and non-formal education in a manner convenient to individual circumstances.

·          Promote science and technology literacy in order to enhance socio-economic development.

·          Provide needs-driven and skills-based education

·         Promote Gender Equity in science-based disciplines


1.    POLICY ON FLEXIBILITY AND LIFELONG LEARNING

Flexibility and lifelong learning is based on the following overall priority:-

·         Foster access to lifelong education

·         Ensure that gender, age, race, marital status and financial constraints will not be barriers for knowledge/skills acquisition and updating.

·         Promote accessibilty in the sense that all categories of interested applicants who meet the basic admission requirments shall be given the opportunity to pursue education through open distance learning

·         Make learning flexible and customed-made service to our clients

·         As a dual-mode institution, LAUTECH will abide with acceptable policies in the areas of minimum admission requirements as prescribed by the National Universities Commission, the highest regulatory body for the University education in Nigeria

·         The Centre will in the nearest future introduce access-programmes that will prepare potential applicants who do not possess minimum admission requirements and thereafter proceed to achieve their educational goals.

·         Ensure access to financial assistance from government, non governmental agencies and also through public-private partnership

2.    POLICY ON QUALITY ASSURANCE

Quality assurance is the deliberate and conscious effort designed to ascertain that quality is maintained from input to output (Okunbe 2001:246). The LAUTECH ODL policy is guided by the need to adhere to global best practices and promote parity of esteem between graduates of ODL and face-to-face mode. Consequently, there is a conscious attempt to adopt same parameters for quality assurance while still recognizing the peculiarities of the ODL mode.

Ladoke Akintola University of technology will operate a Total Quality Management (TQM) approach which is bifurcated into quality assurance and quality control. This will necessarily mean that the structures, processes and service delivery are consistent with the vision and stated objectives of LAUTECH. The institutional structures for QA and QC are: Senate, Academic Board, Academic Departments where programs are domiciled, Quality Assurance Unit of the University and the relevant structures of the management of the Distance Learning. A servicom unit will complement the activities of the above in line with Federal Government requirements. Explicit QA parameters are ingrained in the curriculum, admissions requirement, course materials development and delivery, evaluation parameters and regulations in the University handbook, student support and technology policies described in this document. This notwithstanding, a QA officer shall be engaged to head a unit devoted specifically for the purpose in the Distance Learning Centre.

The curriculum development benefits from the prescribed minimum academic standards of the national universities commission. To ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, only programs that are duly approved for the face-to-face mode will be available in the ODL mode except where specific approval has been granted for a program to be run by ODL mode only.

2.1   MONITORING

LODLC will monitor quality of the programme by adopting an effective method and tool on both teachers' inputs and learners' throughput. This will be achieved using the following five steps

         

a.    Development of QA policy manual

b.    Self evaluation and priority setting for quality improvement

c.    Development of QA job manuals

d.    Implementation and revision of the QA job manuals

e.    Continuous evaluation of QA implementation

f.    Annual student evaluation of quality of service

3.    COURSE MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework, principles, and guidance for course materials development at the Distance Learning Centre of LAUTECH. Central to LODLC is the quality of course materials. It is imperative that the processes and structures are adequate to ensure that the highest qualities of materials are produced.   

Course materials were developed and will be revised in alignment with University strategic and operational educational plans and the needs of the society, using principles of learner-focussed approach, clear outcomes, and appropriate and accessible use of online and other technologies. The nine-phase course development process will be followed. Normally, course team lecturers/writers will be used to maximize the quality of the resulting course materials. All LAUTECH courses will have a syllabus that is readily available online to current and prospective students, other institutions, and the general public which will form the basis of course material development. This Policy and Procedures relate to the design, development, production, delivery, and maintenance of (print, electronic, and multi-media) course materials and course outlines for all courses.

 

The Nine-Phase Course Development Process

The nine-phase process of programme and course development is a planning and evaluation framework within which the course development process resides based on Open Education Resources (OER) policy.

Phase 1       General Programme Plan

                Phase 1 embraces the long-range institutional and educational plans that stipulate the criteria for development, revision, or cancellation of new or existing programs. These long-range plans are identified in two sets of plans: (1) the Strategic University Plan and sub-plans, and (2) the plans of both relevant faculties/departments and programme areas that flow out of that plan.

Phase 2     Brief Academic Programme Proposal

                Before the detailed Phase 3 Program Plan is prepared within the parameters set by the Strategic University Plan, a brief Proposal (Phase 2) for a new program is circulated for discussion among the relevant faculties/departments of the University. The Phase 2 allows for a full discussion of options to cross-list courses and modularizes others for adaptation for different disciplines; thereby helping to avoid duplication of effort before significant investment is made in program development.

 

 

Phase 3       Detailed Individual Programme Plan

                In Phase 3, a detailed programme plan is prepared that describes learning outcomes, courses, levels, and course relationships within programs identified in the Phase 1 General Programme Plan and the Phase 2 Proposal.

Phase 4     Preliminary Course Proposal

                Prior to the development of a course Phase 5 Proposal, a Preliminary Course Proposal is prepared. The Preliminary Course Proposal is then circulated to provide opportunities for cross-listing, modularization, and joint use of learning objects and avoidance of duplication. After the programme coordinators respond to the comments submitted by relevant faculties/departments, the Director then compiles the Preliminary Course Proposals.

Phase 5     Individual Course Plan for Design, Development, and Delivery

                A course team is formed comprising the Phase 4 authors and multimedia instructional design, editing, and visual design professionals. The programme coordinator submits a Phase 5 Report for all new courses and for course replacements. As appropriate, the Report describes such planning details as major course components, learning objectives, instructional strategies, online learning activities, estimated costs, selected textbooks, supplementary library materials, and other required resources. The Phase 5 Report includes a sample course unit. The Report is circulated for discussion and recommendation among the relevant University committees (curriculum and development committees). Upon the recommendation of these Committees, the Senate approves the Phase 5 Report.

Phase 6     Course Materials Preparation

In Phase 6, the programme coordinator oversees preparation of course materials according to the course specifications described in the Phase 5 Report. Before submitting the Phase 6 materials for editing and online production, the programme coordinator reviews them to ensure their integrity and completeness. Phase 6 materials are submitted for editing, complete with assignments, exams, reading file materials, required visual elements, and designated supplementary materials. The Phase 6 course materials are edited by the University's course materials editors, or by editors approved as meeting these standards. During this phase, visual design is applied and online activities are developed. The authors of the materials will be remunerated with the 10% of the profit from the sales of the materials by the Centre. The student learning materials should be peer reviewed by two (2) reviewers who are at least senior lecturers in that field before proceeding to Phase 7.

Phase 7     Course Materials Production

At this stage the edited materials will be produced in both printed and electronic formats for easy access for the learners. There should be a policy guiding the production of materials either in-house or through outsourcing based on the capacity to deliver.

Mechanism should be put in place to ensure high quality print of the course materials produced

Phase 8     Ware house/Course Material Distribution

                Phase 8 focuses on warehousing and the distributions of course materials at LAUTECH Open and Distance Learning Centre and other designated distribution centres. In addition, courier services will be used on request for students that may not find it easy to collect at designated centres.

Phase 9     Course Evaluation and Revision

                Evaluation includes a feedback process for the purpose of making the course more effective. It involves collection of data from a variety of sources (e.g., students, program reviewers, tutors, Library Services, and others as appropriate). Evaluation[O1]  results are reported to the Centre Academic Board of Studies and Senate. [O2] A course team is formed comprising the Phase 9 author and multimedia instructional design, editing, and visual design professionals.

Course revisions occur during Phase 9 and are the responsibility of the programme coordinator. Each course is assessed annually by the programme coordinator according to such criteria as relevance of the material, currency and availability of the textbooks and other purchased materials, rigor of the course content, accuracy of the materials, currency of the exams and assignments, aesthetic and instructional effectiveness of the online materials and activities, adequacy of library resources and services, and transferability to other universities.                       

Phase 10    Review

The shelf cycle of a course material shall be five years which corresponds with the period of mandatory review of curriculum. However, once every three years, an updating of course materials shall be undertaken.

4.   POLICY ON STAFFING

The LODLC will maintain a full time Academic, Administrative and Technical staff as well as staff from the University to facilitate courses. The effective use of distance learning technologies demands that staff be properly trained in using distance learning education as a delivery mode. A number of training activities and sensitization workshops were held over a period of three years. The services of a consultant and training outfit to assist in steering the University towards applying for an ODL license.[O3]  A number of trainings were conducted on course materials development and use of multimedia technology for teaching. Some of the trainings were done in Lagos while others were done at the University campus. A sizable number of academic staff was involved in this effort. The University has also funded some training culminating in the Stakeholders’ Sensitization Workshop which took place last year. Large number of staff are familiar with teaching and resource requirement in an online environment. From time to time, experts will be invited to train and retrain staffs on the current e-learning trends and equip them with applicable knowledge.

NOTE: CAREAR STRTUCTURE MUST BE INCLUDED

 

A total of 17 members of the academic staff attended training on the fundamentals of ODL. This was followed by a second set of 145 staff. 45 individuals were trained in content development. This was to be a train-the-trainers intensive workshop involving various tools and multimedia devices. There was a training on ODL policy formulation and two capacity building workshops for e-tutors and learner support teams organized by LAUTECH. These trainings were done with the ODL guidelines proposed by NUC in mind.

LODLC had developed a training regime towards a successful Distance Learning operation through engaging and training a crop of core academic staff (e-tutors and facilitators) in which some of them were adopted from the University as adjunct staff of LODLC to be responsible for delivering and coordination of the various programmes to be established

Administrative and Technical staff would be available to render administrative and technical support on the operations of the Centre. At least 2 administrative staff and 1 technical staff shall be available for each programme to be established and a staff profiling and structure will be developed in the academic, administrative and technical cadres

The centre will encourage and support all the staff financially to acquire higher academic qualifications with relevance to open and distance learning

 


5.    POLICY ON COURSE DELIVERY

The successes of our students are founded on a well designed courseware with an effective and efficient facilitation. Course delivery shall be by a blended mode, which means that technology delivery will be supplemented by a short period of residency not exceeding four weeks including examination for those demanding it.

LODLC will use the best possible mix of media to support the core functions which include:

i.   Technology Infrastructure

A reliable, scalable and secure technology infrastructure is crucial to the support of online courses.  The use of Internet technologies to deliver a broad range of solutions that enhance knowledge and performance will be used to facilitate the process of teaching and learning. LODLC will use a combination of virtual classrooms combined with audio/video and texting facilities with interactive assessments to deploy its advanced synchronous delivery.

Asynchronous technologies such as blogs, social networking media (facebook, twitter) will be used effectively to support teaching and learning. Interactivity will take place between students and teachers, students and students as well as students and contents.

ii.  Print Media

Courseware will be well written according to ODL Instructional Designed format. It will facilitate access to information. Courseware materials will prepare the students for learning, develop the necessary skills, attitudes and knowledge that the students need, guide the students through the learning process and include sufficient and appropriate learning activities to enhance knowledge.

 

iii. Interactive Multimedia

Technologies with interactive possibilities will be included in the delivery of the courseware. Digital media will be used to facilitate the process of teaching and learning. Multimedia CDs, DVDs, audio and video conferencing, discussion fora and chats through the Learning Management System present new possibilities for facilitating interaction in open and distance learning education. Access and availability as well as pedagogical appropriateness will be the criteria for the selection of media.

iv. ICT Infrastructure

To support flexible delivery, interactive and engaging learning and promote a robust student support, the following ICT infrastructure shall be provided:

·         A robust dedicated ODL Portal

·         A computer Based Centre with a minimum of 500 systems

·         A close user group mobile telephone facility

·         Radio station with online broadcast enablement

·         Multimedia Learning Resources production facility

v.   Laboratory and Library Access

Students shall be required to fulfil requirements for practical during the residency period on campus during and before interactive sessions. Similar approach shall apply to other activities requiring field supervision. When capacity for virtual laboratory is acquired this aspect shall be reviewed.

Virtual Library access shall be supplemented through a relationship with libraries in the nearest localities of the students, most especially, the National and State Libraries.

 

6.  OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR E-LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

This policy accommodates both the operation of e-learning in the face to face and distance mode. It is necessary to accommodate both modes given the university’s need to integrate its multi-campuses and deploy ODL to wider audiences.

The goal of the e-learning policy is to provide a learner-centreed experience in a flexible, recursive and effective way that meets the needs of learners, teachers and partners, of the Centre. E-learning will be deployed as an efficient and effective resource for innovative learning, delivery and quality assurance.

The following principle will drive the e-learning practice of the Centre

a.  Flexibility:

The provision of e-learning will promote flexible and independent learning experiences. This will integrate both on-site and off-site learners, national and international settings. It will also accommodate both blended and fully e-learning courses.

b.  Equity:

Promotion of equity of opportunity. This will ensure that learners through the e-learning mode suffer no disadvantage compared with those utilizing the more traditional modes. It will thus ensure that there is an alignment of its recruitment, administrative and support procedures to the needs of the e-learner.

c.   Interoperability of system:

Provide a managed Environment for learners. Both manual and electronic system would be interoperated in order to provide learners with an effective and individualized learning environment.

d.  Partnership:

Promoting Private Public Partnership.

In order to ensure that appropriate and most cost effective solutions are obtained, Private Public Partnership will be pursued.

e.  Accessibility:

The Centre will strive to provide access to both facilitators and learners e-learning content, University Resources, and web-based resources from the point of need.

f.   Quality Assurance

The University will institute a quality process that ensures that learning resources are engaging, interactive and entertaining and that they meet the standard, defined globally for such resources.

g.        Pedagogy

Provide appropriate environment for creativity and innovation in e-learning pedagogy. To ensure that the potential of e-learning to innovate learning and meet the needs of a diverse range of learners is realized.

h.        Evaluation

Provide appropriate expertise and tools for measuring practices and processes. The Centre will monitor and evaluate its learners’ e-learning experiences, to ensure that practice, policy and strategy are responsive to lessons learned in addition to identifying and eliminating barriers that impede or retreat effective e-learning.

The above e-learning policy can only be executed with appropriate technology policy.     

  1. TECHNOLOGY POLICY

The strategy is underscored by the following objectives:

a.            To create an appropriate IT infrastructure and connectivity that will support learning, research, interaction and community service as much as the realities of local national infrastructure can support:

b.            e-literacy and IT Education;

To ensure that facilities are available for training and massification of IT skills among students, facilitators and administrative staff.

c.            Regulatory Issues, Implementation and Monitoring

To draw up appropriate regulatory framework for efficient and effective use of Infrastructure in order to prevent misuse and abuse and protect intellectual property rights, patents and trademarks in addition to having an administrative framework for implementation and monitoring of IT.

6.2   Core Objectives:

The core objective of the IT Policy of Centre includes but not limited to the following:

·                     The learning resources/media unit is charged with the responsibility of providing the Centre with educational and developmental resources in terms of e-books, open source materials, journals, presentation slides, digital documentaries and research and course work materials

·                     Provide proper digital archiving of lectures and other University events for later retrieval for study and research purposes

The IT Unit shall:

·                     Provide a secure e-transaction and online registration portal for students and an up-to-date information about registrations and admissions

·                     Provide a robust and formidable database of records of students and staff of the Centre

·                     Provide the Centre with a robust communication platform to share resources via the data and VoIPs network

·                     Educate staff and students on the use of computers and other different relevant I.T. devices and applications in their academic activities

·                     Recommend, maintain and make available ICT infrastructure necessary for staff and students educational practices

·                     Provide guidance in “The Proper Use and Acquisition of Information Resources, Information Technology and Networks” to all members of the Community

The policy shall be driven by an IT Unit and a learning resource/media unit that is staffed by competent and highly professional and committed staff.

6.3   Specific Initiatives

In order to operationalize the foregoing, the Centre shall do the following:

i.             Install a C-Band VSAT

ii.            Develop a Local Area Network Intranet that will support a robust administrative and communication infrastructure

iii.          Install a Close User Group mobile phone facility and infrastructure that will support mobile learning and communication

iv.           Provide a Portal that creates opportunities for the integration of social networks as learning tools

v.            Digitalize  learning resources and make them available online as text, MP3 audio files

vi.           Develop capacities to capture classroom events in multimedia format and make them available synchronically and asynchronically. Each college shall have a smart class room with necessary recording facilities.

vii.         Develop podcasting capacity

viii.       Broadcast lectures via radio and stream audio files for students outside broadcast range online

ix.          Convert learning resources to Braille format to promote access to visually impaired

x.            Invest in Computer Based Testing Facilities through partnership so as to provide opportunities for students to take their examinations in a modern and flexible environment

xi.          Promote access by entering into partnership with organizations with requisite IT infrastructure to enable students acquire inexpensive IT literacy training and access course wares and register for courses without impediments

xii.         Ensure that all students of the Centre are computer literate

xiii.       Ensure that within 5 years, 75% of Distance Learning Centre Tutorial and Student support will be technology driven

xiv.        Install video conferencing facilities at such a time when it is reasonable to do so.

The IT policy will leverage upon outsourcing opportunities in the areas of infrastructure provision and software development.

ICT Infrastructure

To support flexible delivery, interactive and engaging learning and promote a robust student support, the following ICT infrastructure shall be provided:

·         A robust dedicated ODL Portal

·         A computer Based Centre with a minimum of 500 systems

·         A close user group mobile telephone facility

·         Radio station with online broadcast enablement

·         Multimedia Learning Resources production facility

Laboratory and Library Access

Students shall be required to fulfil requirements for practical during the residency   period of on campus during and before interactive sessions. Similar approach shall apply to other activities requiring field supervision. When capacity for virtual laboratory is acquired this aspect shall be reviewed.

Virtual Library access shall be supplemented through a relationship with libraries in the nearest localities of the students, most especially, the National and State Libraries.

 

8.       POLICY ON OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

This is a policy for the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) that are freely available. LODLC has undertaken to provide an enabling environment for teaching and research. The centre is committed to dynamic knowledge generation, leadership in innovation and a culture of excellence and integrity in learning. 

LAUTECH is aware of the concept of Open Educational Resources as freely available, reusable and adaptable materials and its use in higher education suitable for all forms and levels of education, and appreciate the global practice of open access and collaboration between educational providers.  However, LODLC will prefer to tailor-make its learning materials to suit its local environment. Against this backdrop, LODLC will develop and make use of its own instructional and learning materials developed by its course experts.

However, LODLC will adopt and encourage the use of Open Educational Resources for its students and tutors alike who will want to use such materials as additional or further reading and reference materials as it encourages professional capacity building

The term OER will be used to refer to teaching, learning or research materials that are freely online to use and adopt by educators such as:

·         Learning objects (quizzes, crossword puzzles, flashcards, animations, interactive maps, timeliness etc.)

·         Curriculum

·         Audio lectures

·         Audiovisual lectures

·         Images

·         Sounds and music

·         Collections of e-journal articles and institutional repositories

·         E-books

In accordance with the existing practice and law guiding copyright and plagiarism, LODLC will ensure that its students and lecturers alike acknowledge and certify all materials sourced from the Open Education Resources.

The criterion for selection of OER materials is such that the quality, content, and timeliness among others must be in line with the current global best practice.

9.       POLICY ON LEARNER SUPPORT

The Learner Support Unit will oversee the processes of learner support in compliance with established best practices.

The LODLC  will provide a range of support services and resources to help learners succeed in their studies and to manage other areas of life that may impact on their study.

8.1   Supports Available to Learners

LODLC will give the following supports:

  1. Support provided prior to enrolment in the programme
  • Provide creative support and advice to prospective learners
  • Provide career counseling, guidance, information and advice to help prospective learners plan for the future.
  1. Support provided during the programme.
  • Provide creative support and advice to learners
  • Programme specific Information, Advice and Guidance (IA&G) will be provided for each programme to provide adequate support and guidance to Learners
  • Helpdesk officers will be available to help and support Distance Learners
  • Ensure the effective service delivery, continuous improvement and quality management support services.
  • Provide a range of support services and referrals as at when required and in a timely manner.
  • Assist learners in developing their personal skills and qualities necessary for success in their academic pursuit.
  • Provide continuous support on assessment monitoring and submission within the stipulated time/period.
  • Provide career counseling, guidance, information and advice to help learners plan for the future through the provision of Counselors and programme specific Information, Advice and Guidance (IA&G)  for each academic programme
  • Provide opportunity for feedback on LODLC operations including quality of support, course material course delivery etc.

 

  1. Support provided after the programme has been completed.
  • Individuals will be supported to identify other possible learning opportunities and the ways in which these opportunities could be accessed.
  • Provide support promptly to graduate requests for documents and employer’s request for confidential reports on our old students.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IA&G Policy)

LAUTECH ODL will provide platforms through which Programme specific information Advice and guidance would be offered to the following categories of people that have business with LAUTECH ODL These are:

  • Prospective students/Applicants
  • Existing students
  • Alumni members

The mode of operations and benefits for each of the categories identified above as follows:

Prospective students/Applicants

These are the various applicants that show interest in coming to LAUTECH ODL.

  • A comprehensive and detailed Career Module will be mounted on LAUTECH ODL Portal and made accessible to all applicants.
  • The Career Module will be the online version of what an off-line Counselor does when prospective university students come for pre-application and admission counseling.
  • All programmes that are available in LAUTECH ODL will be made available on the platform for the applicants to access and see the ones they are qualified to apply for.
  • An applicant for pre-application counseling will be able to select the programmes he/she intends to apply for while the portal supplies him/her with the requirements (O’ Level subjects) for the programmes
  • Conversely, the applicant can as well be given the opportunity to enter all his O’ Level subjects and grades for the portal to show him/her all the programmes he is qualified to study in LAUTECH ODL.
  • A platform with at least 5 Help lines will be available for them to talk to counselor and will as well have live-chart with a counselor.
  • An applicant will fill the application form online after he/she has had proper understanding of the programme (s) he/she is qualified to offer.

Existing students.

  • Provide creative support and advice to learners
  • Ensure the effective service delivery, continuous improvement and quality management support services.
  • Provide a range of support services and referrals as at when required and in a timely manner.
  • Assist learners in developing their personal skills and qualities necessary for success in their academic pursuit.
  • Provide continuous support on assessment monitoring and submission within the stipulated time/period.
  • Provide career counseling, guidance, information and advice to help learners plan for the future.
  • Provide opportunity for feedback on LAUTECH ODL  operations including quality of support, course material course delivery etc.

 

Alumni

·         Graduates of LAUTECH ODL  shall be allowed to have access to the counseling module which adresses their programme outcome

  • Individuals will be supported to identify other possible learning opportunities and the ways in which these opportunities could be accessed.
  • Provide support promptly to graduate requests for documents and employer’s request for confidential reports on our old students.

8.2   Monitoring and Impact Measurement of the available supports

The effectiveness of the Support for Learners will be subject to ongoing monitoring by the Head of Learner Support Department and subject to annual review by the LODLC Board of Management.  This policy will be developed/amended accordingly. Annual monitoring of the effectiveness of the support systems against retention and achievement data for students who receive additional learning support will be used as an impact measurement tool. The impact will be measured by the number of students who access the various support systems available to them and the number of staff who attend development sessions on support for learners. Systems will be developed and used to monitor the retention and success of students who receive additional learning support.  

10.    POLICY ON LODLC ACADEMIC STANDARD AND ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Senate of the University remains the organ responsible for academic programs. Quality assurance is maintained by relevant organs of the University. Programs of the centre are approved by Senate and conform to the Minimum Academic Standards and staff-student ratio prescribed by the National Universities Commission. The Domiciliation of programs in academic departments provides the first line in the quality assurance process. The Academic Board of the Centre is responsible for ensuring that all University requirements for standards and quality are met. The Centre will maintain strict compliance with minimum matriculation requirements as defined in the relevant instruments of the University. Other measures taken to reinforce Quality and Assurance are:

a.    All applicants are to apply through the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board

b.    Only those who score up to the minimum pass mark will be considered for admission, notwithstanding whether such candidates already possess the minimum O/L requirement

c.    All applicants will be required to fill out a questionnaire prior to application to enable the centre evaluate their needs and expectations

d.    All applicants shall be placed at levels determined by their performance at a literacy and communication competence test

e.    Work load in the first year shall be dominated by General Studies, Communication, Computer and Technology Literacy, Writing and Life Skills Training

Academic staff members will be employed as subject experts for each discipline according to prescribed ratio.

 

11.          PROGRAMME ADMINISTRATION

The Centre will take off with the following ODL programmes based on the accreditation status of the host departments. B.Sc Accounting and B.Sc Computer Science. Other programmes shall be included when necessary infrastructure have been provided.

Matriculation and Orientation

Matriculation and Orientation shall be done on campus. All students will be required to be present physically. This is necessary for proper identification, biometric data capture and exposure of the students to university ethos, culture and traditions.

Residency Requirement

Students will also be required to be physically on campus during examinations and for four weeks for revision and interactions prior to examinations. During this period, the centre will assist to liaise with private hostel manager for accommodation for willing students at their own cost.

Duration of the Programme

Minimum duration for the ODL Degree programmes shall be four (4) years

Maximum duration of a 4years study is 8years, and so on. No candidate may spend more than twice the normal allowable minimum duration for any program.

Suspension of Studies

Candidates may not suspend their studies for more than two years consecutively. A candidate may not suspend his or her study for more than three alternate sessions.

A candidate is required to pay 15% of their fees during sessions when their studies are suspended.

Fast Track

Holders of first degree, HND or NCE may fast track. This means that they may complete their studies in the same duration as regular students if they can carry the prescribed work load.

Admission Requirements

5 credits at TWO sittings including mathematics, English and other three (3) relevant cognate subjects. Higher degree holders and University Diploma holders may be admitted irrespective of the cognate subjects provided they pass a pre-selection test.

Admission to 200 Level by Direct Entry is based on the performance at the GCE ‘A’ level Examination or its equivalent. Applicants with any of the following qualifications may be considered for admission by Direct Entry, Third class degree, Msc. With HND/relevant professional qualifications and ND/NCE at credit level in relevant subjects (with Upper Credit) provided all the five subjects at ‘O’ Level are obtained at not more than two sittings: ND with Upper credit, HND/NCE at credit level in relevant subjects (plus UTME requirements).

Maturity criteria for admission

Normal criteria for admission may not apply with respect to mature candidates.

AGE: For a candidate to be regarded as mature, he or she must have attained a minimum of 30years of age. Professional certificates may be used as advantage with regard to maturity criteria. Experience may also be used for admission. A committee for the purpose shall define criteria for senate to consider for the purpose.

 

Placement Test

 

The admission process shall be preceded by a placement test to determine candidates’ level of preparedness to confront the ODL Mode and the level of literacy and communicative competence.

Prior to the test, a curriculum shall be published for the purpose and appropriate content made available for student interaction via the portal for at least three months before the test.

 

Computer Literacy

All candidates will be required to show evidence of computer and ODL literacy at  the end of the first session or they will be required to suspend their studies. The ODL centre shall provide necessary support for students to comply.

 

Course Distribution

Course offerings in the first session shall be primarily General studies and Use of English and a minimum number of basic courses at the level. This is to help the candidates break in into the ODL mode of study. All GES courses are therefore to be re-ordered to bring them forward.

Transfer Cases

There will be provision for students to switch from face-to-face mode of study to Open and distance Learning. Such students will continue from the same level.

Withdrawal

First year candidates with less than 15 units pass shall be asked to withdraw. Second year students with less than 30 units pass shall be asked to withdraw and so on. Non-registration for a session shall earn a withdrawal. Two consecutive suspensions of studies shall lead to a withdrawal.

Probation

Less than 1-0 CGPA; TWO CONSECUTIVE warnings will earn a withdrawal.

 

Students’ Registration

Shall follow same procedures applicable to the face-to-face programmes.

Parity of Esteem

ODL students shall not be discriminated against in any way. No distinction shall be placed on their certificates or transcript to differentiate them from other modes.

 

Curriculum Adjustment

All GST courses shall be delivered in the first year and minimal academic workload in the subject area of the candidate of not exceeding six units shall be available to students. This is to enable them adjust effectively to the peculiarities of ODL.

SWEP/Teaching Practice/SIWES

·         Students will be required to fulfill NUC requirements for SWEP/Teaching Practice/SIWES for 5 years courses.

·         MOUs shall be signed with designated institutions and laboratories in respect of laboratory and practical requirement.

·         Community service requirement shall be prescribed as a component of practical exposure to inculcate spirit of community service.

·         MOUs shall be signed with public libraries and libraries of institutions close to locations of sizeable population of students to enable them access learning resources and conducive space for reading.

Graduation

Graduation of LODLC candidates shall take place at the same time as that of face-to-face students. The certificates obtained through LODLC will be the same certificate obtained by those in face-to-face university mode. The courses are exactly the same and the lecturers for ODL courses are the same lecturers who facilitate the same courses in face to face mode.

As part of the requirement for graduation, all candidates will be expected to take 20 hours of community service for two sessions in their locality under supervision. Details to be worked out by relevant committee. A recognized/certificate shall be provided by the University.

Number of Units Required For Computing Results Of Non Graduating Students

No candidate shall register for less than 24 units per session.

12.      POLICY ON LODLC TEACHING STAFF CAREER DEVELOPMENT

The following define the skill areas for staffing in the centre. Each heading corresponds roughly to an appropriate unit.

Course Design and Development

·         Curriculum Developers

·         Course Designers

·         Subject Matter Specialists

·         Writers

·         ODL Instructional Designers

·         Assessment Specialists

·         Media/Technology Specialists

·         Course Development Administrator/Coordinator

·         Administrative Support Staff e.g Administrative officers, Data Capturers, Clerks

·         Resource Librarian

13.      RESEARCH AND EVALUATION POLICY

LODLC is committed to effective teaching/learning and the promotion of   scholarships.

Scholarly Research can assist in:

·         Describing and analysing current ODL trends.

·         Identifying challenges and barriers to effectiveness in ODL delivery.

·         Interrogating potential contributions of ODL to socio-economic development.

·         Recognizing strategies to improve student academic performance.

·         Evaluating impact of ODL practices.

 

Research Staff

·         Researchers

·         Staff involved in Research e.g. Course Development Administrator, Course Team Leader and Members

·         Research and Evaluation Coordinator

·         Administrative Support Staff e.g. Administrative officers, Data Capturers, Clerks

Course Production and Distribution

·         Course Materials Preparation

·         Course Materials Dispatch Coordinator

·         Information Coordinator/Program Promotion

·         Senior Administrator

·         Administrative Support Staff e.g. Receptionists, Data Capturers, Clerks

Course Presentation and Learner Support

·         Tutors

·         Tutor Coordinators/Programme coordinators

·         Facilitators of CLCs - Centre Coordinators, Career Guidance/Counseling Staff

·         Information Advice and Guidance (IA&G)

·         Enrolment Coordinator

·         Student Services Administrator

·         Administrative Support Staff e.g. Helpdesks,  Receptionists, Data Capturers, Clerks

 

 

The LODLC will continually ensure that:

·         Her teaching staff have the opportunity for an academically acceptable career development and part for all category

·         Opportunity is given for continuous development of skills and knowledge, and trainings  of teaching staff

·         Programs are ingrained to facilitate retention of categories of teaching staff

Category Identification

The various teaching staff of LODLC can be categorized into Full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty members (see Policy on staffing for explanation)

a.      ALL Teaching Staff  – General Guidelines

·         Training for all levels of online distance education instructors from the beginners to other distance learning educators who are interested in continuing their professional development. Keeping training opportunities available to this group will help them stay ‘fresh’ and let them know they are being considered and valued. This should include continuous training in the form of workshops and seminars where academic staff can also deliver research papers. The workshop topics should be varied (i.e., Author-ware, online course development, course management systems, computer literacy).

·         Training should be at no cost to the staff and they should receive stipend for each workshop completed.

 

 

 

b.      Full-Time Instructors

·         Must be given the opportunity to aspire to move up the institutions hierarchical organogram based on agreed institutional criteria

·         Opportunity to attend relevant academic and career trainings, seminars and workshops locally and internationally yearly to enhance their career opportunities

c.      Part-Time / Adjunct Instructors

Opportunity to attend relevant academic and career trainings, seminars and workshops locally and internationally periodically, that will enhance their understanding of ODL and enhance delivery of their courses

14. POLICY ON ASSESSMENT

The assessment approach:

·         Will include formative assessment which is designed to support the teaching and learning processes. 

·         Will include summative assessment that will be used to measure the achievement of the learning outcomes.

·         Will ensure that students develop effective cognitive, reflective, self-management and practical skills.

·         Will assist students and tutors monitor their learning in relation to formative assessment tasks and feedback.

Examinations and assessment process will comply with approved senate regulations and as defined in the minimum academic standards for Universities. Specifically, continuous assessment shall carry no more than 30% of the evaluation while end of session or semester examination will be no less than 70%. Examinations will adopt both computer based method and conventional methods depending on the requirements of the discipline. Appropriate credit shall be assigned to fieldwork and laboratory experimentation. The rules and regulations guiding examinations shall apply similarly to ODL programs as it is for the face-to-face mode.

 

15.         ORGANISATIONAL FRAMEWORK

Academic staff will be employed for specific programs as full time ODL staff with opportunities for progression according to University Appointment & Promotion standards. The following figure illustrates proposed organisational framework that will support the Centres operations.

The functions of each category of staff are defined in the staff handbook. However, the Deputy Director Academic shall undertake responsibilities pertaining to student support and program administration, content development and other technical matters. The chosen nomenclature aligns LODLC with LAUTECH’s convention and practice.

 



16.         POLICY ON RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP

LODLC is committed to effective teaching/learning and the promotion of scholarships.

Scholarly Research can assist in:

·         Describing and analysing current ODL trends.

·         Identifying challenges and barriers to effectiveness in ODL delivery.

·         Interrogating potential contributions of ODL to socio-economic development.

·         Recognizing strategies to improve student academic performance.

·         Evaluating impact of ODL practices.

 

17.      PROGRAMME ADMINISTRATION

Governing Board

The Governing Board shall be made up of not more than ten persons; the board shall be chaired by the Director and shall include a representative of Senate, Deans of participating faculties, a representative each of the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar, Librarian, Director Academic planning and Deputy Director, one influential Information Technology expert, immediate past Director.  The board may be expanded to accommodate other interest groups as may become necessary.

The board shall set the corporate agenda and associated priorities as the policy maker of the Centre.

 

 

 

Finance Committee.

There shall be a finance subcommittee of the Board. It shall be chaired by the Director. It shall be made up of two members of the board, Audit officer and the finance Officer of the LODLC, while the board secretary shall serve as the secretary to all the Committees in the centre. A tenders subcommittee of the finance committee shall be headed by the Director and have other members appointed from time to time by the Governing Board.

Financial Autonomy

The LODLC shall be administered according to the financial guidelines prescribed by Council in accordance with the university’s Act. The Vice Chancellor as the chief finance officer of the University shall ensure compliance with financial regulations and procurement standards. LODLC shall operate as a self-accounting unit of the University. To this end, it shall be assigned a finance officer of appropriate rank depending on the volume of its financial transactions.

The University shall charge the LODLC for utilities and other charges applicable to self-accounting units of the University. LODLC shall present a budget to the Development Committee of the University for consideration and approval early enough before the commencement of a financial year. The following sharing formula shall subsist:

30% to the University, while 70% goes to the LODLC

This shall apply to the Net income. LODLC shall reserve its share for technology replacement costs, training, capital development and such other expenses that may required in the course of its development.

The chairman of the Board of the LODLC shall have an approval limit of One Million Naira (N1, 000,000:00) naira only. This is without prejudice to compliance with extant financial regulations.

Academic Board

The Academic Board shall be chaired by the Director. Other members are the Deputy Directors, Deans of participating faculties, coordinators of programmes and LODLC academic staff. The LODLC Secretary shall serve as secretary to all committees and Boards of the Centre.

The academic board shall develop distance learning policies on student advice, counseling, library, material delivery, textbooks, training, students Assessment, examination, proctoring and other academic matter.

The academic board shall take decision on all academic matters of the centre and make recommendations to senate for consideration and approval.