A Quest for Increased Interactivity in the Print Instructional Resources of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Institutions in Africa: Writing the Study Units of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Print Course Materials
Learning resources (mainly self-instructional materials, SIMs) remain the most important pedagogic tool in the open and distance learning (ODL) mode. The SIM character is for learners to study with minimum physical or face-to-face contact with the teacher. Distance learning in Africa has however, for the most part been delivered by the operating institutions as part-time learning especially with the increase in required contact hours. This is obviously a quest for the learners to have a dose of the interactivity that is missing in the pseudo-conventional ‘textbooks’ instead of SIMs, made available to them. The existing print course materials should be modified by interrogating the contents. A comprehensive content review would for instance reveal the inadequate interactivity in the print course materials made available to learners at present. As SIMs, the print course materials which are the most pervasive means of instructional resource delivery in African ODL institutions at present need an increased dose of interactivity. This paper will examine the language in selected print course materials of the National Open University of Nigeria, identify their inadequacies in interactivity and suggest ways of making them more interactive against a conceptual framework of communication theory.
Keywords: study unit, interactivity, ODL, print, communication.