To be seen, and regarded as Supportive people, providing Support Services, playing Supportive roles, within supportive Structures to help Open and Distance Learners adjust to academic life in most painless manner to achieve their academic ambition within Open and Distance Learning environment.
Provide a non-time bound academic and socio-psychological service to students and staff of the University as well as provide usable information, to the entire public on the National Open University of Nigeria
Learner Support Services is one of the non-academic Directorates in the National Open University of Nigeria. There are six Departments.
COMPONENTS OF LEARNER SUPPORT SERVICES IN NOUN
A. Office of the Director
B. Study Centre Managers’ affairs unit
C. Student Counsellors’ affairs unit
D. Tutorial facilitators’ affairs unit
E. Special Study Coordinating Unit
F. General administration
The six sub-units earlier described operate across the various departments.
The Directorate, as of now, is made up of staff in the National Open University of Nigeria Headquarters and study centres:
FUNCTIONS OF THE DIRECTOR, LEARNER SUPPORT SERVICES
Among other things the general functions of the Director, and others include but are not limited to the following:
a) General administration of how Support Services for students are planned, packaged and made available to learners at the study centres and the NOUN Headquarters
b) keeping of records on learner support services rendered as obtained from the Study Centres and Headquarters
c) Monitoring of the functions of Study Centre Managers and the Students Counsellors and Headquarters to ensure that their activities conform with the Open University standard
d) Works with the staff in the Directorate to plan, organise and hold:
I. induction/Workshop for Managers and Student counsellors
II. workshop/seminars quarterly for the Study Centre staff to keep the abreast of the University’s programmes
e) General management of all staff and materials within the Learner Support Services Directorate
f) Attends meeting regularly as a member Committees of Deans and Directors and the University Senate
g) Visit the Study Centre periodically with a view to ensure that the way the Counsellors and Study Centre Managers discharge their duties roles and responsibilities conform with the expectations of the Open University Management
FUNCTIONS OF THE COORDINATOR OF SPECIAL STUDY CENTRES
a) Plays leading role in the establishment of Special Study Centres across the country
b) Plans, packages and makes available the nature of services that can be available to learners in the Special Study Centre
c) Monitors the activities of the Study Centre Managers and Counsellors who are in the Special Centres
d) Visits the Special Study Centre periodically with a view to ensuring that Study Centre staff follow the University rules and regulation in the services they render
e) Attends relevant meetings with the Senior Management and the Senate with a view to discussing issues that concern the Special study centres
f) Be involved in the day to day administration of the Special study centres
g) Receives information about study materials and their distribution to the special study centres within the period required
FUNCTIONS OF THE STUDY CENTRE MANAGERS’ AFFAIRS UNIT
a) Takes part in preparing and providing detailed information on how to organise and conduct orientation services for new students of NOUN
b) Takes part in preparing, organising and holding induction workshops for the Student Counsellors and Centre Managers
c) Takes part in preparing, organising and holding refresher courses for the Student Counsellors and Centre Managers regularly
d) Gathers relevant information from units in the University and sends as required to the Study Centre
e) Answers enquires routinely from students, who decide to visit the NOUN Headquarters and those who want to join the University
f) Communicates to the Study Centre Managers current information from the Headquarters bothering on the administration of the Study Centre
g) Represents the Directorate on academic board of School of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Science and Technology and Centre for Life Long Learning and Workplace training
FUNCTIONS OF THE STUDENT COUNSELLOR AFFAIRS UNIT
a) Renders guidance services particularly by providing academic information and counselling to students who come to the Headquarters and other members of the public who seek information on how NOUN is operated
b) Disseminating to the Students Counsellors at the Study Centres as quickly as possible by mobile phone and internet any relevant and current information that would enhance their job performance
c) Collecting, receiving and writing excerpt from weekly reports sent from the Study Centres which the Directorates presents to the CDD, and Management committee and the Senate
d) Provides referral services to students or members of the public who require academic and administrative intervention by sending them to the relevant units or staff of the University.
e) Keeping in constant touch with students on phone and sometimes face to face by providing counselling on how to wriggle out of difficulties and sole related proles in their studies.
f) provides on-line personal, social and academic support to students
g) Regularly attends meeting on behalf of the Directorate with the Directorate of Examination
h) Takes part in preparing, organising and holding workshop for student and Centre Managers quarterly
FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AFFAIRS - OFFICER
a) Receiving of mails on behalf of the Directorate
b) Updating information coming to the Directorate
c) Drafting of letters for administrative replies
d) Preparing of the Directorate’ requisitions and collecting of all needed materials for the Directorate
e) Taking charge of all Directorate documents and making sure that all mails are properly filed
f) Taking down of minutes during meetings
g) Administers the enquiry form on the students who have reported to the Directorate with complaints
h) Carrying out all other Registry related functions
FUNCTIONS OF THE SECRETARY
a) Typing and preparing letters, notes etc. regularly from the Director, Learner Support Services and the Coordinator of Special Study Centre
b) Typing and printing all the Directorate document
c) Receiving all electronic messages from the Study Centres
d) Sending electronic messages as required through the internet to the Study Centre managers and Student Counsellors
a) Filing all mails as directed by the Administrative officer
b) Despatching mail to all units of the University
FUNCTIONS, ROLES AND DUTIES OF THE STUDY CENTRE MANAGER
? In charge of the day to day administration of the centre and regularly liaise with the headquarters through the Directorate of Learner Support Services on matters relating to the distribution of instructional materials to distance learners and instructional facilitators.
? Participates in the recruitment, training and supervision of part-time tutors and makes sure that there are adequate facilitators for courses on offer at the centre
? Plans ,coordinates and executes of tutorial facilitations at the centre
? Gives one day induction workshop or talk on facilitation in ODL to the facilitators before the commencement of facilitation
? Provides a time -table for facilitation
? Makes sure that there are available classrooms, laboratories for theory and practical lessons
? Supervises and monitors regularly the work of the facilitators involved in NOUN programmes delivery at the study centre
? keeps daily attendance of facilitators; that is each facilitator must sign the attendance register after each facilitation session
? Makes sure that the course materials are available to both students and facilitators promptly
? Provides library facilities and resource materials at the centre. Where not possible he liaises with the host institution or neighbouring higher institution whereby NOUN students can have access to the resource materials
? Provides common room or rest rooms for the facilitators
? keeps the records of all the Tutor Mark Assignment and examinations at the centre
? Supervises the marking of examinations at the centre
? Devises a means of regularly monitor the conduct of each facilitator
? Monitors the turn-around of Tutor Marked Assignments and tutorials.
? Coordinates the use, by distance learners the multimedia information and communication technology available at the Study Centre.
? Liaises with course developers, examiners, assessors and advisory groups within the locality of the Study Centre
? Ensures that the contact sessions and tutorial lecture periods in the centres are problem free and adequately well arranged.
THE ROLES OF STUDENT COUNSELLORS
? Provides regular guidance and counselling with respect to several aspects of their studies including enrolment, choice of programmes and courses, when and how to study, and when to seek for special clinic for academic guidance.
? keeps in constant touch with distance learners and to provide early warning signals regarding difficulty with studies in order for prompt remedial actions to be taken by the University, distance learner and other related service providers
? Guides distance learners in the selection of and registration of programme and courses of study at the National Open University
? Devises, develops and manages student database for the purpose of providing counselling and guidance services;
? Liaises with study centre manager and with the NOUN headquarters regarding counselling, examination and assignment related matters.
? Delivers by hand to learners study materials as they register for their courses at the study centre
? Assists the centre manager in preparing facilitation time -table
? Facilitates courses such as Study Skills and The Good Study Guide
? Takes attendance during facilitation and monitors attendance of every student
? Administers Tutor Marked Assignments on the students and submits the scripts to the facilitators concerned and collects the marked scripts from the facilitators for onward distribution to the students after recording the scores
? Keeps records of students assignments, type of work done, when assignment is due, when submitted ,how many students have or have not submitted assignments etc
? Maintains and communicates up-to-date information about the learners’ progress, and any special needs to other support staff.
? Invigilates examinations at the centre
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF TUTORIAL/INSTRUCTIONAL FACILITATOR
Woven around the issue of tutoring, specifically, the duties of the Facilitator include:
a) Provides quality learner support which includes guidance about course choice, preparatory diagnosis, study skills etc.
b) Facilitates students’ learning of instructional materials, regular formal and informal learning such as access group, learning in seminar and tutorials
c) Undertakes the delivery of specified course contents using the study centre for purposes of face-to-face interactions with distance learners.
d) Develops and manages essential feedback mechanism characteristic of effective open and distance learning.
e) Reviews, assesses and provides feedback on assignments regularly submitted by students as part of the distance learning instructional package and transmits same through the study centre managers to the NOUN Headquarters.
f) Participates in regular orientation programmes for new students and staff of the NOUN.
g) Monitors distance learners academic progress as/and when necessary or due.
h) Reviews, adapts and prepares instructional facilitation materials for use by the School.
i) Liaises with external examiners, assessors and advisory peer groups.
j) Undertakes examination duties including, where and when called upon to do so, the preparation of examination papers and monitoring of assessment procedures.
k) Provides on line learning support for students who have access to and prepares the web-based learning environment of the NOUN
l) Engages in creative and innovative roles and activities which will develop and incorporate a range of local needs for support to the communication and discursive requirements of particular courses or programme and learning groups.
m) Keeps records of students’ progress, maintaining accurate records of each learner’s work, including assignments and examination and submitting these records to the appropriate School or Centre through the Centre Manager
FUNCTIONS OF THE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGISTS
a) Develops and supports the University’s management information system including project management system analysis, design, programming user liaison technical support and documentation for internet and need technology projects;
b) Constructs, manages and constantly update the university’s web-site and web-based learning environment
c) Undertakes users training for the university’s staff and students
d) Uses java programming especially with flash and multimedia in course development;
e) models, stimulates and visualises communications and simple queuing theories (example coding and decoding time and frequency domain representations, convolutions CMSA/CD, M/M/I, M/M/2 etc)
f) Develops computer applications using internet and client/server technologies as well as the provision of technical and user support of computer systems;
g) Uses and instructs others in the use of a range of software including UNIX/Linux, Windows, Apache/IIS, Tomcat/OAS, Java Servlet/Applications, XML; Per/PHP/ASP, Flash, Photoshop, Dream weaver, NT/2000, Oracle PL/SQL, Developer 2000 and COBOL
h) Set-up, tests, maintains and operates audio visual and editing equipment at Educational Technology and Publishing Units
i) Works on irregular hours and/or shift duties
j) Implements and maintains different A.V. and computer systems including hardware installation and configuration and software problem solving;
k) Assists in the production of multimedia and on-line components such as computer animations and streaming videos and test various hardware and software on different OS; (NOUN,2004)