Influence Of Learning Barriers On Academic Performance Of Sandwich Undergraduate Students

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Project and Seminar Material for Education


The study investigated how learning barrier influence academic performance of sandwich undergraduate student of University of Lagos. The descriptive survey research was adopted for the study. Three research question were generated while one hypotheses were postulated for the study. The population of the study comprises all the sandwich undergraduate student of University of Lagos. This study adopted stratified random sampling technique to select the respondents. The population of the sandwich students are 1448 and they are six departments under the sample comprised Art and Social Science 39, Adult education 18, Science and Tech 21, HKE18, Edu Foundation 32, Edu Administration 22, with the total of 150 respondent. The instrument used for data collection is questionnaire.

Data collected were analysed with percentage, and t-test. The findings shows that

  1. The adult learner find it hard to cope with their home and academic at the same time especially the female learner,
  2. The adult learner occupation does not give them chance often to come to class and the workload overwhelms them before getting home
  3. The adult male learner always have high performance on like the female learner because of their responsibility at home. Income 72(48.0%) of responded disagree that income affect academic performance which means that academic performance is not affected by income, occupation affect academic performance 87 (58.0%) of responded strongly agree that they want to be educated in other to be useful to themselves.

Home background affect academic performance and also school background affect academic performance; 47(37.3%) of respondent agree that their GPA is more than 2.5. There is significant different between socioeconomic on academic performance, there is no significant difference between home environment on academic performance, there is significant difference between school background on academic performance.

Based on the findings of the study the following recommendations were made

  1. The facilitator should try as much as possible to make things easier for the adult in terms of teaching and motivation.
  2. The adult learner should try to explain to their boss at work in other to be able to cope with their academic, also for them to be able to meet up with their classes.
  3. Female adult learner should take their children to day care or get a house keep that will help in the house work.
  4. The adult learner should learn how to cope with there home and academic by adjusting their time.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well being and opportunities for better living (Battle & Lewis, 2002). It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. This increase in productivity also leads towards new sources of earning which enhances the economic growth of a country (Saxton, 2000).

The history of sandwich programme at the University of Lagos cannot be separated from the university’s institution of education. The institution was established as an outreach unit to provide pre-service in service and continuing education for professional teachers and educators. As an instrument for furthering these objectives, the institute initiated the sandwich programme; under the leadership of professor Segun Adesina who became the director of the institute in December 1990, the sandwich programme took off, on the 20th of December 1993.The undergraduate progammesin education commenced on the 27th July 1996.These undergraduate programmes are of four, five or six long vacations duration depending on the entry qualification.

Perspectives on adult learning have changed dramatically over the decades. Adult learning has been viewed as a process of being freed from the oppression of being illiterate, a means of gaining knowledge and skills, a way to satisfy learner needs, and a process of critical self-reflection that can lead to transformation. The phenomenon of adult learning is complex and difficult to capture in any one definition (Cranton, 1994). Adult learners are those adults who engage in learning activities that may promote any sustained change in thinking, values, or behavior (Cranton, 1992).

Adult learners participate in many types of formal and informal education activities that they hope will help them function effectively in the changing world around them (Taylor, Marienau, & Fiddler, 2000) or for the purpose of achieving some personal sense of fulfillment, for bringing about improvement in their lives, or even for the sake of leisure or recreation (Mott, 2000). Some of the first studies which examined the reasons adult learners participate in educational activities of any kind were conducted by Houle (1961) and Johnstone and Rivera (1965). Adult learners have a different approach to learning.

The process of helping adults learn is called andragogy; Learning in adulthood can be distinguished from childhood in terms of the learner, the context and to some extent, the learning process (Merriam, 2007). Mezirow and his associates propose that the process of transformation is set in motion by a disorienting dilemma, such as a job loss, that may stimulate adults to reflect upon and examine their beliefs. This critical reflection may lead to reflective discourse with others, expanding adult learners’ historical and cultural understandings of their needs, wants, and interests, which may lead to new self-knowledge and further opening the door for future learning and development.

Understanding of adult learners have frequently focused on individual learners and psychological approaches to learning and development, but in the past 20 years, expanded understandings of learning have recognized broader contexts and structural factors that may impact learning (Caffarella& Merriam, 2000).

These structural factors include the role race, class, gender, ethnicity, ability, power, and oppression play in adult education programs and access to learning opportunities. Hansman (2001) explains that context structures learning through the “interactions among learners, the tools they use within these interaction, the activities itself formal learning activities in the 12 months prior to the survey: English as a second language (ESL) classes; adult basic education classes; apprenticeship programs; work related or personal interest courses; and college, university, and vocational/technical degree or certificate programs (Kienzl, 2008).

Other outcomes of the study showed that 72% of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree participated in formal education programs, while only 26% of adults with neither a high school diploma nor a GED credential participated in formal education. Adults with lower education levels also participated less frequently in work related and personal interest courses, and when they did participate, they took fewer classes, making it less likely for their participation to result in upward mobility or potential personal gain (Creighton & Hudson, 2001; Kienzl, 2008; NCES, 2007). The cost of participation in educational opportunities may be an essential barrier for adults with less education and less than full time employment, as adults employed full time may have employers who pay for at least some of their educational classes.

The desire for greater self esteem and feelings of self worth also factor into adult participation in formal learning opportunities, particularly in English as second language and basic skills preparation classes O’Donnell (2006) found that the majority of English as second language participants reported having taken English as second language classes to either improve the way that they feel about themselves (95%) or to make it easier to do things on a day to day basis (93%). He also established that 78% of adults taking basic skills preparation classes reported doing so to improve the way they felt about themselves, although 55% viewed the classes as a way to gain employment with a different employer.

In addition, 45% viewed basic skills classes as the means to gaining a raise or promotion, 28%found the classes helpful for assisting their children with their school work, and 18%engaged in these classes to qualify for public assistance. These data show that adults recognize education as a path to advance their economic and personal lives. Barriers that are beyond the individual’s control are termed external, while barriers that reflect personal attitudes are termed internal (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 1999).

According to ESL Literacy Network 2014, learning barrier are problems or situation that prevent learners from accessing programs, make it difficult for learners to go to class or make it hard for learners to concentrate and learn. Adult educators distinguish between perceived barriers and actual barriers to adult learning and form these into three categories: institutional barriers (practices that exclude or discourage adults), situational barriers (arising from one’s life situation), and dispositional barriers (attitudes and perceptions about oneself as learner). If adult learners become motivated, internal barriers to participation decrease.

Many adults have experienced so much criticism, failure, and discouragement in their youth that their self confidence and sense of worth are damaged. In a new learning environment, adults often are anxious, fear failure, and dread rejection by their peer group (Kennedy, 2003). How will I juggle family, work and school? There are only so many hours in a day. Women, by characteristic, experience a greater amount of guilt about her student role if she feels it interrupts her responsibility for maintaining her role within the family. Consequently, if she feels too much strain during this time, she will ultimately give up school to make things easier (Shields, 1994).

While adult learners who have some academic skills can find learning opportunities to refresh these skills, those who have very poor literacy skills or who have difficulty communicating in the language of instruction may not be able to gain easy access to related programs (MacKeracher, Suart, Potter 2006).

Academic performance according to the Cambridge University Reporter (2003) is frequently defined in terms of examination performance. In this study academic performance was characterized by performance in tests, in course work and performance in examinations of undergraduate students. Academic performance is commonly measured by examination or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings.

A recent meta analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement has an important influence on academic achievement in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness. learners semi-structured home learning environment transitions into a more structured learning environment when learners start first grade. Early academic achievement enhances later academic achievement. According to Graetz (1995), one’s educational success depends very strongly on social economic status of the parents. The researcher adapted the systems theory input-output model advanced by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in the early 1950s.

This theory, according to Koontz and Weirich (1988) postulates that an organized enterprise does not exist in a vacuum but is dependant on its external environment thus the enterprise receives inputs, transforms them and exports the out put to the environment. In this study the university admits students (inputs) and then transforms them through teaching and learning which is reflected by the students’ academic performance (output). Another very important enhancer of academic achievement is the presence of physical activity. Studies have shown that physical activity can increase neural activity in the brain. Exercise specifically increases executive brain functions such as attention span and working memory. Adults have a need to be self-directed, deciding for themselves what they want to learn. They enter into the learning process with a goal in mind and generally take a leadership role in their learning.

The challenge for teachers is to be encouraging to the learner) but also reinforce the process of learning. The endpoint of learning cannot always occur quickly or on a pre-set timeline. The reasons most adults enter any learning experience is to create change. This could encompass a change in (a) their skills, (b) behavior, (c) knowledge level, or (d) even their attitudes about things (Adult Education Centre, 2005). Compared to school-age children, the major differences in adult learners are in the degree of motivation, the amount of previous experience, the level of engagement in the learning process, and how the learning is applied. Each adult brings to the learning experience preconceived thoughts and feelings that will be influenced by each of these factors. Assessing the level of these traits and the readiness to learn should be included each time a teaching experience is being planned. Adults have a greater depth, breadth, and variation in the quality of previous life experiences than younger people (O’Brien, 2004).

Past educational or work experiences may color or bias the patient’s perceived ideas about how education will occur. If successfully guided by the health care provider, former experiences can assist the adult to connect the current learning experience to something learned in the past. This may also facilitate in making the learning experience more meaningful. However, past experiences may actually make the task harder if these biases are not recognized as being present by the teacher. Theory of Educational Productivity by Walberg (1981) determined three groups of nine factors based on affective, cognitive and behavioral skills for optimization of learning that is influence by academic performance: Aptitude (ability, development and motivation); instruction (amount and quality); environment (home, classroom, peers and television) (Roberts, 2007).

It is generally assumed that the learners who showed better or higher performance in the starting classes of their studies also performed better in future academic years at degree level. From the last two decades it has been noticed significantly that there is great addition in research literature and review material relating to indicators of academic achievement with much emphasis on this dialogue, whether traditional achievement measures of academic performance are best determinants of future academic gain at university or higher level or innovative measures. The daily routine of university life brings new sleeping and eating habits, increased workload, and new responsibilities. They must adjust to being away from home, perhaps for the first time, and maintain a balance between high level of academic success and a new social environment. The amount of stress experienced may be influenced by the individual’s ability to effectively cope with stressful events or situations (Zurilla and Sheedy, 1991).

Environment comprises factors that play a role in academic performance, home environment also influence the academic performance of students. There is a range of factors that affect the quality of performance of students (Waters & Marzano, 2006).

As at 2012, those that enroll into sandwich programme was 220 student and as at 2013,those that enroll into sandwich programme was at 156. According to the report the researcher got , it was due to the fact that the management did not make notification of the programme on time but before then, the enrollment into sandwich programme has reduce.

Keeping in view all these discussions, researchers conducted this study to examine the influence of learning barriers on the academic performance of sandwich student of university of Lagos Akoka Yaba.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

An Adult learner has different motives of enrolling into Sandwich Programme. Some enroll in order for them to continue their study and at the same time working, some enroll in order for them to be able to take care of their family. These adults are married, unmarried, employed, unemployed and self employed. They are engage in diverse things that occupy their time, and many of these learners find it hard to concentrate and learn due to their responsibilities which must be balanced against the demand of learning, else, adult may have barriers against participating in learning.

Some of these barriers include lack of time in order words adult learner lack the time to juggle family work and study at the same time, lack of confidence, lack of information about opportunities to learn. Looking at the enrolment into Sandwich Programme one will notice a sharp reduction in the student enrolment. As at 2012 those that enroll was 220 student and as at 2013 those that enroll was 156. Considering this reduction especially in Adult Education Department, the researcher sought to find out the challenges facing this learner and the reasons for their reduction. This research work therefore like to look at how learning barrier influence the performance of adult learner.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess learning barriers on academic performance of adult, in specific terms this study sought to;

  1. Determine the effect of socio-economic on academic performance of adult learners;
  2. Establish the effect of home environment on academic performance;
  3. Identify the effect of school background on academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the effects of socio-economic on academic performance of adult learners?
  2. What are the effect of home environment on academic performance of adult learners?
  3. What are the effect of school background on academic performance?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

In other to achieve the objectives of this research, the researcher makes the following hypothesis-

H01: There is no significant difference between socio-economics status and academic performance of adult learners.

H02: There is no significant difference between home environment and academic performance of adult learners.

H03: There is no significant difference between school background and academic performance of adult learners.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

The study will be helpful to both the adult and the facilitator. It will help the facilitator to understand the adult and their problems and how to help them design and implement policies and strategies to improve their academic performance and the quality of education by changing the attitudes of adult towards learning, and improving the teaching procedures.

The facilitator can use the outcome of the study to solve the adult problems; it may also create awareness among adults about their rights and responsibilities to achieve quality education. The report will also be a source of reference for other researchers intending to study academic performance of University of Lagos Sandwich students.

1.7 Scope And Delimitation Of The Study

The study focusing on the influence of learning barrier on academic performance of Adult learners, discussing how the socio-economic affect academic performance of adult learner, how home environment affect academic performance, and how school background affect academic performance.

The study was carried out on six department which comprises of HKE, adult education, educational foundation, educational administration, arts and social sciences, sciences and technology, Sandwich students of University of Lagos AkokaYaba.

1.8 Definition Of The Terms


In this research work, an adult is a grown up person who is continuing his or her education. An adult in this research maybe a married person or an adult that is not married who is an undergraduate of an institution. Also this adult can be self employed, employed by an organization or unemployed.

Adult Learner

In this research work, adult learners are those adults who engage in learning activities that may promote any sustained change in thinking, values, or behavior. This adult learner engaged into learning with different motives.

Academic Performance

In this research work, academic achievement or (academic) performance is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. In this research work, the adult academic achievement is measured by their performance in school and this is gotten from the text and examination of adult learners; which is the GRPA.

Learning Barrier

In this research work, learning barrier can be referred to as the obstacle that interrupts the process of learning. Learning barriers are those barriers affecting the adult learners and this maybe socially, economically, physically, financially, health wise, emotionally, for instance: lack of time, lack of motivation, etc.


In this research work, learning is the permanent change in behavior through experience. Adult have experience that they apply while learning in other for them to understand what they are learning; this bring about change in adult learners and when there is a problem in learning ,we will say that learning barrier has affected learning.


In this research work, performance is an achievement and accomplishment representation by action, the performance of a duty. Performance in this research work is simply how best the learner is able to study to have a good grade in school without been affected by barriers surrounding such learners.

Home Environment

In this research work, home environment is the environment the adult lives in and it involves things within the home.


In this research work, socio-economic is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or family’s economic and social position relative to others, base on income and education, and occupation.

School Background

In this research work, school background involves every activities in school, how school facilities, libraries, school settings and facilitators improve academic performance.

Influence Of Learning Barriers On Academic Performance Of Sandwich Undergraduate Students

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