Utilitarian evaluation of the National Open University of Nigeria
Authors: Peter James Kpolovie and Isaac Esezi Obilor
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This study employed Utilitarian Evaluation Design and Discrepancy Evaluation Model, which are the most suitable in educational programme evaluation, to evaluate the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) from its commencement of admission in 2003 to 2013. The study covered headquarters and all the 49 Study Centres of NOUN throughout the six geopolitical regions in Nigeria. A sample of 902 was drawn from students of NOUN, and staff of NOUN, National Universities Commission and conventional Federal Universities in Nigeria. A highly valid Utilitarian Evaluation Questionnaire with reliability coefficient of 0.86 was developed for data collection. The research questions were answered using measures of central tendency, and the hypotheses were tested with One-Way Analysis of Variance and independent samples t-test at 0.05 alpha. Results indicated that though NOUN has been partially implemented as defined with aspects of the objectives achieved; great disparity exists between the expected and actual outcomes; and that NOUN is significantly inadequate in addressing the ‘higher education for all in need’ intervention for which it was established. It was recommended among others that funding of NOUN be increased, more Study Centres established, and a National Open and Distance Education Commission be established to supervise, monitor and regulate the NOUN.
Keywords: Utilitarian evaluation design, Summative evaluation model, National Open University of Nigeria, Higher education, Open and Distance learning, Life-long learning.