The Nigerian Universities Commission has said that only 12 Nigerian universities have been granted approval to operate both conventional and Open Distance Learning (ODL). Distance learning is a method of studying in which lectures are conducted by correspondence without the need to attend a school or college.

While dual-mode refers to universities that can offer instructions in the conventional class room that is face-to-face and it can also offer instruction on open and distance learning. Notably, distance learning makes use of multimedia as well as online.

9 out of the 43 federal universities are licensed for both conventional and ODL are:

  1. Ahmadu Bello University – federal university
  2. University of Abuja – Federal University
  3. University of Maiduguri – Federal university
  4. Modibo Adama university of Technology – federal University
  5. Obafemi Awolowo University – Federal University
  6. University of Lagos – Federal University
  7. University of Ibadan – Federal University
  8. University of Nigeria, Nsukka – Federal University
  9. Federal University of Technology, Minna – Federal University
  10. Lagos State university – State University
  11. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology – State University
  12. Joseph Ayo Babalola University – Private University

N/B: The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) operates a “uni-mode learning system.”

The uni-mode system NOUN is operating simply means that it can only run the open and distance learning mode. The institution was not licensed to operate dual-mode like the other 12.

Difference Between Online Learning and ODL

The NUC spokesperson, Ibrahim Yakassai, said there is a provision for-face to-face interaction with the instructors at some point in ODL called contact session. “Somehow through the programmes they have few instances where they would meet their instructors or teachers unlike online which is 100 per cent online.”

“ODL started a very long time ago but before they were doing it on cassettes, CDs, handouts, and on instructional materials that were taught in modules. In open and distance learning, they normally write their exams in a centre but nowadays because of the internet in addition to the other multimedia equipment they use, radio station, television programmes. Also, the materials structured in modules can also teach online.”

He also added that online classes are 100 percent online and require a lot of data consumption which a lot of students in public universities may not afford. “Most students in public universities live in rural areas, some do not have access to the internet and the students will need to use applications, such as Skype and Zoom for online learning.”

Finally, the NUC spokesperson stated that a call has been made to all Nigerian universities to explore the possibilities of online learning. “So the students will start from where they stopped once school resumes, they have a syllabus to complete and they must complete it. The online lectures are different from face-to-face, it has its own style, and the internet must be sufficient, students must have browsing phones that can be used in their online classes.”

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