1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.
Distance learning is a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom. In the UK such learning has its roots in students learning through correspondence courses. At undergraduate level distance learning usually means students engaging with learning materials at home or work. The introduction of ICT into the educational system has redefined teaching and learning processes or endeavors thereby giving rise to contemporary medium of learning termed "E-learning" (Agbonlahor, 2005). E-learning is an innovative approach for delivering electronically mediated, well designed, learner centered and interrative learning environments to anyone, in any place and at anytime, by utilizing the internet and digital technologies (Hedge and Hayward, 2004).
Presently, some institutions in Nigeria are using E-learning to deliver distance education (DE) and lifelong learning due to the fact that Nigerians struggle to obtain qualification through higher education for social and occupational mobility (Jegede, 2003). However, in a country of different dimension such as Nigeria, distance education has emerged as a mediated form of instruction, and has all the attributes to become a major ally in overcoming of the serious challenges faced by the Nigerian Society.
Presently, some institutions in Nigeria are using e-learning to deliver distance education (DE) and life-long learning due to the fact that Nigerians struggle to obtain qualification through higher education for social and occupational mobility (Jegede, 2003). However, in a country of different dimensions such as Nigeria, distance education has emerged as a mediated form of instruction, and has all the attributes to become a major ally in overcoming one of the serious challenges faced by the Nigerian society. It was based on this that the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) was established to run on an e-learning platform so as to meet up with contemporary challenges of providing education for Nigerians irrespective of their location. This has led to huge investments for the deployment of state-of-the-art e-learning facilities in all of NOUN’s study centres. This, it was believed would enhance teaching and learning and guarantee students’ satisfaction. However, little empirical studies have been carried out on satisfaction of e-learning in Nigeria.It was based on this that the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) was established to run on an e-learning platform so as to meet up with contemporary challenges of providing education for Nigerians irrespective of their location. This has led to huge investments for the deployment of state-of-the-art e-learning facilities in all of NOUN’s study centres. This, it was believed would enhance teaching and learning and guarantee students’ satisfaction. However, little empirical studies have been carried out on satisfaction of e-learning in Nigeria.
Users’ satisfaction of e-learning system is a benchmark in justifying the huge investment on a system. Leclercq (2007), found that the relationship between the IS function and the users as well as the quality of support and services provided by the IS function had an impact on user satisfaction. Venkatesh et al. (2003), found a significant relationship between user satisfaction and actual usage. Another study by Leonard-Barton & Sinha (1993) found that the technical performance of the developers (based on their responsiveness to problems) was positively related to user satisfaction. Wang et al., (2007) also observed that a single measure, such as user satisfaction does not give a comprehensive view of e-learning systems success.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
Since the Internet and the use of ICT technology is employed in the course structure of distance learning, additional problems may arise ranging from student’s perception of the technology as assisting or impeding the learning process to their level of satisfaction in distance learning. However there is need to find out the determinants of student satisfaction in a distance learning environment and determine their level of satisfaction with such environment.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
To ascertain the level of student’s satisfaction with the learning environment in distance learning Universities in Nigeria.
To examine the determinants of students satisfaction in a distance learning environment
To analyze the factors that can enhance students satisfaction in a distance learning university.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What is the level of student’s satisfaction with the learning environment in distance learning Universities in Nigeria?
How can the level of students' satisfaction in distance learning be improved in University of Ibadan?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of the study;
This study will be useful for policy makers in education sector on the challenges faced by students that is associated with the learning environment in distance learning universities, a case study of university of Ibadan.
This will also prepare students in university of Ibadan to cope with any challenges faced as a result of the gap created by the distance between the lecturer and the students.
This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied, it will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY.
This study focus basically on students satisfaction with learning environment in distance learning institute in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Agbonlahor R.O. (2005). Utilization level of attitudes towards information communication technology among Nigerian University lecturers (Doctoral thesis), Africa Regional center for information science. University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Pp56.
Artino, A. R. (2007). Online military training: Using a social cognitive view of motivation and self-regulation to understand students’ satisfaction, perceived learning, and choice.
Hedge N. and Hayward L. (2004). Redefined roles, University e- learning contributing to lifelong learning in a networked world. E-learning 1: pp 128-145.
Islam M.T. (1997). Educational technology for 21st century, observer magazine, Ohaka. May 9, 1997, pp3.
Jegede, O., Fraser, B. J., & Fisher, D. L. (1998). The Distance and Open Learning Environment Scale: Its development, validation and use. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Diego, CA.
Jegede O. (2003). Taking the distance out of higher education in 21st century Nigeria. Paper presented at the federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra state, on the occasion of the convocation ceremony. Pg 28.
Kaminski, K., Switzer, J., & Gloeckner, G. (2009). Workforce readiness: A study of university students’ fluency with information technology. Computers & Education, 53 (2), 228-233.
Kvavik P., Robert B., Judith B., Caruso B., and Morgan G. ECAR, Study of students and information Technology. 2004. Convenience, connection and control.
Leclercq A. (2007). The perpetual evaluation of information systems using the construct of user satisfaction. A case study of a large French group. The data base for advances in information systems 38(2), 27-60.
Leonard-Barton D. And Shiha D.K. (1993). Developer-user interaction and user satisfaction in internal technology transfer. Academy of management Journal 36(5) 1125-1139.
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance education: A systems view . New York, NY: Wadsworth.
Parsad, B., & Lewis, L. (2008). Distance education at degree-granting postsecondary institutions: 2006-07.
Puzziferro, M. (2008). Online technologies self-efficacy and self-regulated learning as predictors of final grade and satisfaction in college-level online courses. American Journal of Distance Education, 22 (2), 72-89.
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 8 (3), 191-202.
Ventatesh V., Morris M.G., Davis G.B. and Davis F.D. (2003). User acceptance of information Technology: Towrds a unified View, MIS Quarterly, 27(3), 425-478.
Walker, S. (2002). Measuring distance education psychosocial environment. Retrieved 22 January, 2003. Wang Y., Wang H.and Shee (2007). Measuring E-learning system success in an organization context: scale development and validation. Computers in human behaviour 23(4), 1792-1808.
Wang Y.S. and Liao Y.W. (2007). Assessing e Government system success. A validation of the Delone and Molean model of IS success. "Government Information Quarterly. In press, corrected proof. Available online. 15th August 2007.
Yukselturk, E., & Yildirim, Z. (2008). Investigation of interaction, online support, course structure and flexibility as the contributing factors to students’ satisfaction in an online certificate program. Educational Technology & Society, 11 (4), 51-63.