Education is the bedrock of civilization of any economy. Therefore, for any country to grow, educating its citizens is the surest means of achieving this. This should be more considered by countries that are still backward-developing continents like Africa, Asia, Latin America and even the Middle East; especially for a country like Nigeria with a vast growing population. Meaningful and sustainable development can be achieved in Nigeria if much preference is made to education in Nigeria. Education is a viable universal tool, adopted and accepted by the people in tackling the challenges of life like poverty (Sangai, 2004). Even as proven by economist and social scientist that the major cause of poverty is illiteracy. The benefits of having a literate population are enormous. It is with confidence to say, that the first-three points of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are easily achievable with a literate population. The points are: eradication of extreme poverty; achievement of universal primary education; and, promotion of gender equality and women empowerment.

Positive transformations in the political, economic, social, intellectual and technological spheres of Nigeria can only be achieved when right education policies are rightly implemented (Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA, 2002).

One of the education policies in sub Saharan African countries is the traditional education system which in interpersonal in nature (interaction between the student and teacher), structured courses of study, fixed locations for learning, fixed time schedules, and a certification system. Bearing the traditional education system in mind, none of the sub Saharan African countries has been able to fulfill the “education for all” policy, due to the use of the tradition or conventional education system (ADEA, 2002).

However, the lapses in the traditional education system gave birth to the evolution of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system in the sub-saharan African countries. The increasing recognition of the role of open and distance learning was identified in the 2004 revised Nigeria’s National policy on education. The revised national policy had specified the goals of distance education as follows (Ojokheta, 2010):

To provide access to quality education and equity in educational opportunities. To meet special needs of employers by mounting special certificate courses for their employees at their workplaces. To encourage internationalization, especially of tertiary education curricula. To ameliorate the effect of internal and external brain drain in tertiary institutions by utilizing Nigerian experts as teachers regardless of their locations or places of work.

Away from the aforementioned, distance learning helps to fill the gap made by students who for one reason or the other were cut-off at one stage of their education; with other benefits like low cost of learning, flexibility, and convenience of not having to return to the classroom; as against the traditional or conventional system of government that requires a student’s presence in school, well registered and must be students from recognized institutions of learning.

Distance learning is a teaching method that allows a student to gain knowledge beyond the barriers of space, time and without being in close contact with the teacher. Distance education gives a student a high degree of independence-it is the student that decides when, how, and what to learn. Currently with the advent of technology, distance learning has been going on smoothly with no stress with the aid of the internet, computer, and even the media.

Open learning is broader than distance learning though has the major challenge of being difficult to implement. It involves all kinds of education and training that are achieved through different approaches. Thus in order to achieve this, there is need for integration of approaches-formal and conventional approaches (Komba et al, 2006). The open system entails constant reviewing of restrictions on students and doing away with them when necessary. Openness is considered in relation to intake, participation, progression, completion and achievement. Barriers include the student’s economic circumstances, socio - cultural factors, academic qualifications as well as teaching approaches.

Tertiary institutions in Nigeria can be transformed through distance and open learning, as it is very obvious that through these approaches the literacy level of Nigeria will increase, sustainable development will be achieved and possibly, Nigeria by 2020 can be one of the leading economies of the world.

In addition to this, due to the high level of poverty in Nigeria, many youths will like to opt for distance and open learning as it will give them the chance to combine hustling for their daily needs and education.

Although the major problem of these approaches is the proper implementation of the policies of distance and open learning across countries in sub Saharan Africa. It is therefore due to this that this study is carried out in other to examine how distance and higher learning can transform tertiary institutions for mass higher education in Nigeria.


The major problem with distance and open learning is the non-implementation of policies and ethical practice of open distance learning in Nigeria; as these policies are not very pronounced in Nigeria.

Other notable problems are problem of financing adequate provision, outdated structures for education and training, lack of expertise in the practice of Open Distance Learning models and lack of documentation.

These are the problems this study seeks to proffer solutions to.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                          

The major objective of this study is to examine Transforming Tertiary Institutions for Mass Higher Education through Distance and Open Learning Approaches in Nigeria.

                Other specific objectives include:

To examine the significant relationship between distance/open learning approaches and national development. To examine the relationship between distance/open learning and high level of literacy. To investigate if distance and open learning encourages students’ of Nigerian tertiary institution to be unserious. To identify the challenges of distance and open learning approaches in Nigeria. To proffer means of tackling these challenges.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS                             

        The following research questions are generated to guide this study:

What is the significant relationship between distance/open learning approaches and national development? What is the relationship between distance/open learning and high level of literacy? Does distance and open learning encourage students’ of Nigerian tertiary institution to be unserious? What are the challenges of distance and open learning approaches in Nigeria? What are the means of tackling these challenges?


H0:   Distance and open learning does not encourage students’ of Nigerian tertiary institution to be unserious.

H1:   Distance and open learning encourages students’ of Nigerian tertiary institution to be unserious.


This study is meant inform, educate and enlighten the general public, the government and tertiary education administrators on transforming tertiary institutions for mass higher education through distance and open learning approaches in Nigeria.

This study aims at informing and encouraging the general public, especially students of tertiary institutions on the benefits of distance and open learning; bearing the economic situation of Nigeria.

For the government, the study seeks to remind them on the need to review the policies made as regards distance and open learning and the effective implementation of those policies.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.


This study is restricted to transforming tertiary institutions for mass higher education through distance and open learning approaches in Nigeria.

Limitations of study

1.        Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). 2.        Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


TRANSFORMING: The process of making a marked change in the form, nature, or appearance of something.

DISTANCE EDUCATION: Distance education on the other hand is less a philosophy and more a method of education. Students can study in their own time, at the place of their choice (home, work or learning centre), and without face-to-face contact with a teacher. Technology is a critical element of distance education.

OPEN LEARNING: Open learning is primarily a goal, or an educational policy. An essential characteristic of open learning is the removal of barriers to learning. This means no prior qualifications to study, and for students with disabilities, a determined effort to provide education in a suitable form that overcomes the disability (for example, audio tapes for students who are visually impaired). Ideally, no-one should be denied access to an open learning program. Thus open learning must be scalable as well as flexible. Open-ness has particular implications for the use of technology. If no-one is to be denied access, then technologies that are available to everyone need to be used.  project topics   final year project topics and research materials 

HIGHER EDUCATION: Higher education, post-secondary education, or third level education is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after secondary education. Often delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology, higher education is also available through certain college-level institutions, including vocational schools, trade schools, and other career colleges that award academic degrees or professional certifications. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education.


Sangai, S (2004). Open and Distance Education – Emerging issues and concerns. OSAC Journal of Open Schooling. Vol. IV No.2, 100-108..

Association for the Development of Education in Africa, ADEA

(2002), “Distance Education and Open Learning in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Literature Survey on Policy and Practice”, A Report of the Working Group on Distance Education and Open Learning, February.

Komba, D.A, Willy Komba, and Charles Senkondo (2006).

TCU Guidelines For Evaluation, Recognition And Accreditation Of Programmes Delivered Under Open, Distance And Electronic/ICT Mode. A Report Submitted to TCU.

Ojokheta, K. O (2010) “Reflections on Policy and Practices of Open and Distance Learning in Nigeria: Towards a Renewed Invigoration”, Malaysian Journal of Distance Education, vol. 12, no. 1.


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How To Write Chapter Three Of Your Research Project (Research Methodology)

  • Methodology In Research Paper

    Chapter three of the research project or the research methodology is another significant part of the research project writing. In developing the chapter three of the research project, you state the purpose of research, research method you wish to adopt, the instruments to be used, where you will collect your data, types of data collection, and how you collected it.

    This chapter explains the different methods to be used in the research project. Here you mention the procedures and strategies you will employ in the study such as research design, study design in research, research area (area of the study), the population of the study, etc. You also tell the reader your research design methods, why you chose a particular method, method of analysis, how you planned to analyze your data.

    Your methodology should be written in a simple language such that other researchers can follow the method and arrive at the same conclusion or findings.

    You can choose a survey design when you want to survey a particular location or behavior by administering instruments such as structured questionnaires, interviews, or experimental; if you intend manipulating some variables.

    The purpose of chapter three (research methodology) is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study. Some supervisors do not understand this and require students to write what is in effect, a textbook.

    A research design is used to structure the research and to show how all of the major parts of the research project, including the sample, measures, and methods of assignment, work together to address the central research questions in the study. The chapter three should begin with a paragraph reiterating the purpose of research. It is very important that before choosing design methods try and ask yourself the following questions: Will I generate enough information that will help me to solve the research problem by adopting this method?

    Method vs Methodology

    I think the most appropriate in methods versus methodology is to think in terms of their inter-connectedness and relationship between both. You should not beging thinking so much about research methods without thinking of developing a research methodology.

    Metodologia or methodology is the consideration of your research objectives and the most effective method and approach to meet those objectives. That is to say that methodology in research paper is the first step in planning a research project work.

    Design Methodology: Methodological Approach

    Example of methodology in research paper, you are attempting to identify the influence of personality on a road accident, you may wish to look at different personality types, you may also look at accident records from the FRSC, you may also wish to look at the personality of drivers that are accident victims, once you adopt this method, you are already doing a survey, and that becomes your metodologia or methodology.

    Your methodology should aim to provide you with the information to allow you to come to some conclusions about the personalities that are susceptible to a road accident or those personality types that are likely to have a road accident.

    The following subjects may or may not be in the order required by a particular institution of higher education, but all of the subjects constitute a defensible in metodologia or methodology chapter.

    Click here to complete this article - How To Write Chapter Three Of Your Research Project (Research Methodology)


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