PRE- SERVICE STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION ON THE USE OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR LEARNING IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN.INTRODUCTIONBackground to the studyLearning is one of the life- activities imperative for the optimal functioning of the human race. Houwer, Barnes- Holmes and Moors (2013) defined learning as changes in behaviour of an organism that result from regularities in the environment of the organism. A review of past definitions of the learning process has shown that there exists a dynamic relationship between the learning process and the environment in which learning takes place. In a university the inter- relationship between learning, resources available for learning and the environment in which learning takes place is very important because of the university’s mandate of producing individuals who are to solve the problems of society. Ogbulogo, George and Olukanni (2014) affirms that universities are mandated to teach, carry out research and engage in community service. The effective process of learning requires that the learner understands what is being taught and make behavioral applications. Learning generally takes place in a community which may be physical or virtual, Dada (2013) argues that a community can be many things including people who live in the same neighborhood or city, people with the same interest or background or even organizations or communities that have something in common. Seen in this light, the university is a community because it is a geographical area and a group of people with common goals and characteristics.Every community have resources which could be physical or non- physical and which either provides general or specialized services to the members of the community. The role of community resources as enhancing factors in an effective learning process have being established. According to Dada (2013) ‘community services are a group of services and/or assisted programs that are provided to the members of a community for free or at an affordable price’. Community resources can be tangible or intangible and they include the necessary tools or instruments that meet the need of the community by providing assistance, ideas and solutions. A resource is termed a communal one if it is available to members of the community for use, Castek (2012) suggests that a community resource is made available to community members to help them become self- reliant and maintain their well- being. Learning does not occur in a vacuum, it needs the structure of an environment which is most times derived from community resources. Community resources can also be considered to embody the human and non- human materials that are within the geographical milieu of teachers and learners (Abolade, 1997). Providing physical evidences for the application of knowledge is a major function of community resources. Community resources serve the crucial function of demonstrating what is being learnt in the classroom. The type of community resources available vary from one educational setting to another and from one geographical area to another, Kochhar (2012) however opined that the importance of community resources to education cannot be over- emphasized and it becomes a major responsibility of teachers to investigate resources that lends understanding and experience.An effective learning process involves the transference of ideas, impressions or knowledge from one individual to another. It is important to note that learning occurs when an individual engages the senses of sight, smell, touch, feel and sound. Community resources help in the process of making sense impressions and reinforcing learning. Omosewo and Oyedeji (2012) argues that community resources serve as an extension of the classroom in facilitating the teaching and learning process. Community resources in their varied forms provide concrete examples for the abstract principles which are often discussed in the classroom. The continuing neglect of the educational sector by the government have led to an inadequacy of the various infrastructures that make the teaching and learning process adequate. In most universities, such facilities like classrooms, laboratories, zoological gardens, museums, theaters and studios do not often meet up to international standards. The availability of community resources can bridge this gap in an effective manner. According to Dada (2013) ‘resources which include factories, health institutions, culture, infrastructure, business offices, and religious institutions are veritable sources of course content and experiences’. Learning is also connected with the social development of an individual, such development is accelerated when community resources are effectively engaged in the learning process. The inclusion of community resources in the learning process provide a means for observing in real terms social processes and social problems.In a university, various community resources are utilized in the effective transference of knowledge from one individual to another. The dynamics between the learner and the community resources helps in bringing about changes in behavior which is the principal goal of learning. Examples of community resources in the university include; churches, mosques, libraries, zoological and botanical gardens, museums, archives, banks, CBT centers, instructional materials, equipment and facilities- these can be categorized as non- human community resources. Examples of human community resources involved in the learning process includes teachers, learners, curriculum developers and parents.Statement of ProblemLearning is a sensory process and as such much of learning happens through the dynamic interaction between the students and community resources available for learning. It is however important to note that the effectiveness of community resources in bringing about a dynamic learning process is shaped by the perception of learners toward the use of these resources. Okebukola (2010) have identified community resources in addition to the students, staff, facilities, curriculum, finance and instructional materials as the key inputs to the education process. The effective use of community resources will help educational institution in coping with the constraints of student overpopulation, inadequate infrastructure and non- availability of facilities that plague the learning process. If students were able to have a favorable perception on the use of community resources, the process of learning will be made more effective and satisfactory.In many countries, educators and planners have realized that the immediate community and the varying resources it contains is a wonderful curriculum laboratory which can provide dynamic, interesting and real life opportunities for learning activities.The perception of students toward community resources dictate the utilization of these resources and the dynamics of the mutual relationship between students and the community in which learning takes place. Different studies (Anikweze, 1995 and Taiwo, 2000) have focused on the perceptions and attitudes of teachers towards the use of community resources. However there is a gap in the research literature that addresses the perception of students on the use of community resources, this study seeks to fill this gap.Research questionsThis study seeks to answer the following research questions;What are the socio- demographic characteristics of pre- service students in the study area?What are the community resources for learning available to pre- service students in the study area?What are the perceptions of pre- service students on the usefulness of available community resources in the study area?What are the opinions of pre- service students on the ease of use of available community resources for learning?Objectives of studyThe general objective of this study is to evaluate the perception of pre- service students on the use of community resources for learning while the specific objectives are to;Evaluate the socio- demographic characteristics of pre- service students in the study area.Identify the community resources for learning available to pre- service students in the study area.Examine the perceptions of pre- service students on the usefulness of available community resources in the study area.Evaluate the opinions of pre- service students on the ease of use of available community resources for learning.Hypothesis of StudyH01: There is no significant difference between students’ perception and utilization of community resources for learning in the University of Ilorin.Significance of studyCommunity resources have being identified as an integral part of the learning process and as such represents a strategic option for improving the learning process. This study will serve as a guiding tool for decision- makers, educators, students and other stake- holders in the education sector. It will serve as a foundation for further research into the dynamics between the learning process and community resources. Finally the study will be a valuable addition to the research literature on learning in the University of Ilorin.Scope of studyThis study will be limited to the study of perception on use of community resources for learning among pre- service students in the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Definition of TermsPre- Service Students: Pre- Service students refer to university students who have not undergone the National Youth Service Corps Programme (NYSC) or who are yet to be actively engaged in the labour sector.Perception: Perception refers to the way in which a phenomenon is regarded, understood or interpreted. It signifies the views and opinions of an individual or a group of people pertaining to a subject matter or phenomenon.Community: A community is a group of people living or working in the same geographical area and having common interests or goals.Community Resources: community services are defined as services, facilities, equipment, places of interest and assisted programs that are provided to the members of a community for free or at an affordable priceLearning: Learning is defined as a process by which an individual through his own activities becomes changed in behaviour. Learning is a mental activity through which skills, knowledge, attitudes, habits and ideas are acquired, retained and utilized resulting in changes in behaviour.