O. Adedayo

Federal College of Education (NIGERIA)
The paper gives a report of a comparative study carried out with respect to supervision of final year students in two distinct universities in Nigeria in the 2014/2015 session.One group of students was from a privately-owned university on a degree programme in Industrial Mathematics and were between the ages of 20 and 26 years of age.The other group comprises students from a government-owned university on the Distance Learning Program in Business Administration and were between the ages of 27 and 45 years.Despite the disparity in the program,type of Institutions and ages, some identical challenges were observed which the paper highlights. Among the identified challenges were:inability to state precisely the nature of the Problem and Contribution to Knowledge; inadequate grasp of research methodology and other rudiments of research;issues of not getting enough cooperation from Organisations and individuals in data collection, tendecy to plagiarise;poor analytical skills and poor interpretations of research findings.When students defended their projects before panels of internal and external assessors,there were disparities in the scoring of the students.Students from the private university had the advantage of availability of online facilities to access necessary research materials and also adequate time to browse ,unlike those on the Distance Learning Program who were hampered by family demands as well as challenges of the world of work.However the maturity of the older students on the Distance Learning Program helped them to be more focussed on their projects when compared with the younger undergraduates who had to be constantly chased by their supervisors to meet deadlines for completion of their projects.The paper calls for need for valid and reliable instruments for assessing students projects with moderation and discussion of scoring criteria to be done by assessors prior to assessment of the projects.Undergraduates should be well trained on the techniques of undertaking and reporting research.The strengths of the two sets of undergraduates should be identified and optimized to enhance their performance in project work.