Assessment Of Internet Competency Among Students Of Tertiary Institutions In Nigeria
The internet penetration worldwide has reached over 3.4Billion with Nigeria ranked 7th worldwide, it is on this notion that the research examines the internet competency among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria with a particular reference to University of Lagos and Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos. Internet hosts lots of academic database such as google scholar, google book, Wikipedia, encyclopedia, and lots of research pages, libraries among others. In fact, almost everything on academic can be accessed free and premium (freemium). Survey research method was adopted coupled with 100 copies of questionnaires that were administered to 100 respondents that were drawn among the selected higher institutions using a simple random sampling technique. However, the data collected were analysed and interpreted using simple statistics (Frequency and percentage method with tables). As a descriptive statistics. It is recommended that every tertiary institutions should make ICT or computer a compulsory course while there should be a provision for wireless facility on campus to enable access to the internet while students are expected to use the internet for gain and not for vices.
1.1 Background to the Problem
One of the principal pillars in the Government of Nigeria vision is to create an educated and informed nation, using amongst other means, modern information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide access and increase the quality and relevance of tertiary education in a growing global information era. The goal is easier to implement as ICT and the Internet has developed rapidly as a potential for online course delivery platform and is relatively affordable and user-friendly. Many universities are embracing the technology and those institutions which seem slow in adopting the method may be left behind in the race for globalization, internationalization of higher education and technological development (Volery and Lord, 2000).
The rapid change in our entire life influences directly or indirectly the systems that controls our knowledge, skills and behaviour. The evolution of our culture is one of the major indicators for this change. Our educational system has been influenced by this rapid change over time and technology is increasingly used in learning settings. Assessment as a part of the educational system is exposed to the same changes. Using computers to assist assessment task has been an interesting research topic for decades. However, developments have mainly transferred traditional assessment approaches into computer environments, in order to automatically grade students‟ assignments, this types of assessment approaches have been further limited (Elliot 2008). Consequently, the rapid increase of using technology in learning settings expedites also the need for new technology-based assessment. Our life has been influenced by a revolution in the field of information and technology. As a result, peoples‟ mentality has changed significantly in the recent years and pedagogy has become affected and educationalists have also started redesigning educational systems (Prensky, 2001).
Student perceptions of the fairness of assessment, the issue of fairness, from the student perspective, is a fundamental aspect of assessment which is often overlooked or oversimplified by the staff. To students, the concept of fairness frequently embraces more than simply the possibility of cheating: it is an extremely complex and sophisticated concept which students use to articulate their perceptions of an assessment mechanism, and it relates closely to our notions of validity. Students repeatedly expressed the view that traditional assessment is an inaccurate measure of learning. Many made the point that end- point assessment or evaluations, particularly examinations which took place only on one day, were actually considerably down to luck, rather than accurately assessing present performance.
Often students expressed concern that it was too easy to leave out large portions of the course material, when writing essays or taking exams, and still do well in terms of marks. Many students felt quite unable to exercise any degree of control within the context of the assessment of their own learning. Normal assessment was done to them, rather than something in which they could play an active role. In some cases, students believed that what exams actually measured was the quality of their lecturer’s notes and handouts. Other reservations that students blanketed under the banner of ‘unfairness’, included whether you were fortunate enough to have a lot of practice in any particular assessment technique in comparison with your peers (Sambell, McDowell & Brown, 1997).
When discussing internet competence, many students believed that success more fairly depended on consistent application and hard work, not a last minute burst of effort or sheer luck. Students use the concept of fairness to talk about whether, from their viewpoint, the internet competence method in question rewards, that is, looks like it is going to attach marks to, the time and effort they have invested in what they perceive to be meaningful learning. internet competence was fair because it was perceived as rewarding those who consistently make the effort to learn rather than those who rely on cramming or a last- minute effort. In addition, students often claimed that internet competence represents a marked improvement: firstly in terms of the quality of the feedback students expected to receive, and secondly, in terms of successfully communicating staff expectations.
Many felt that openness and clarity were fundamental requirements of a fair and valid assessment system. There were some concerns about the internet competence, even though students valued the activity (Sambell, McDowell & Brown, 1997). It can be concluded that students’ perceptions of poor learning, lack of control, arbitrary and irrelevant tasks in relation to traditional assessment contrasted sharply with perceptions of high quality learning, active student participation, feedback opportunities and meaningful tasks in relation to internet competence (Sambell, McDowell & Brown, 1997).
The academic programs should work on building and assessing students‟ critical- thinking skills. In general, assessment has different strategies according to its purposes. The two main basic types of these strategies are formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment is part of the learning process, this assessment is used to give feedback to both students and lecturers in order to guide their efforts toward achieving the goals of the learning process. Where, summative assessment is performed at the end of specific learning activity and used to judge the students progression and also to discriminate between them (Bransford, Brown and Cocking, 2000). According to Bennett, (2002), technology is an essential component of modern learning system. As a result, technology is also increasingly needed for the assessment process to be authentic.
The issue of gender influnce on internet competence perception has been of interest to researchers (Bebetos and Antonio, 2008; Kadel, 2005). Gender is liken to a social attributes and opportunity associated with being male and female and the mutual relationship. These attributes and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes while technology development serves as forum for exploring the linkage between changing gender relations and technological development (Ewhrudjakpor, 2006).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
While ICT has been effectively applied to almost all human endeavours such as banking, health, postal services and of course education or what is better known as internet competence there still remains a very big vaccuum to be filled in many areas especially in the area of University education in Nigeria (Ayo, et.al 2007). The present information technology means of examining students is the use of electronic systems in place of manual or paper method which was characterized by massive examination leakages, impersonations, demand for gratification by teachers, bribe-taking by supervisors and invigilators of examinations.
Today, internet competence is being used in almost every human endeavours; employers are conducting aptitude tests for their job seekers through electronic means; the Universities and other tertiary institutions are registering and conducting electronic examination for their students through the Internet, intranet and other electronic and networking gadgets, various examination bodies in the country like the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), National Board for Technical Education (NABTEB), among others are now registering their students through electronic means, recently electronic examination has been widely adopted by nearly all the Nigeria Universities for post Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) otherwise called pre-admission screening, Olawale and Shafi‟i (2010).
Richard and Thomas, (2008), worked on computer-mediated exams: student perceptions and performance. The results of their findings reveal that students believed the traditional pen-and-paper examination enhanced their performance while the computerized exam had a negative effect.
Olubiyi, (2010) carried out a research on perception of learners on electronic examination in open and distance learning institutions: a case study of national open university of Nigeria. The results of his finding revealed that the difference in students‟ perception lies on reduction of examination malpractice, wide coverage of the scheme of work, students‟ academic performance, age factor to the use of IT, and inadequate facilities.
Tenson (1999), opined that Information and communication technology (ICT) for female users has been cited as an important factor in determining their attitude and anxieties towards its usage. Some studies carried out have found gender disparity in ICT achievement in favour of males (Ajunwa 2000; Awodeji, 1997, and so on). Others have found none (Anaekwe, 1997; Madu, 2004). Hence, gender differences in ICT perception are inconclusive.
However, despite the fact that University of Lagos has commenced internet competence examination since 2007/2008 academic session, there has not been any research work carried out to determine whether it is generally acceptable by the students across faculties and whether students‟ field of specialization has influence on their perception of the internet competence platform. Hence this study seeks to find out students‟ perception on internet competence in the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
- To assess the extent of students internet use in learning in Unilag.
- To obtain students response on the challenges in changing to embrace the new innovation of ICT in learning in Unilag.
- To determine the internet competence level in training, operation and manipulation among students in learning in Unilag.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the extent of students internet use in learning in Unilag?
- What are the Students response on the challenges in changing to embrace the new innovation of ICT in learning in Unilag?
- What are the internet competence level in training, operation and manipulation among students in learning in Unilag?
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study shall be limited to assessment of internet competence among students in University of Lagos. Students would be selected from Humanities and Science. A total of 500 students shall be selected from Humanities and Science to form the population for this study. Twenty five (25) male and female respondents shall be selected from each faculty for the study, while simple random sampling technique we be used to select the respondents.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The outcome of this study would be of use to lecturers, students, universities management, curriculum developers, school administrators, professional organization and researchers. Significantly, this study may create awareness to lecturers in the universities in Nigeria to know students‟ perception on internet competence. The study would also help the universities to find out what has been the students constraint in the use of computer based test or any form of internet competence and to also improve on their mode of setting question in internet competence to measure the course contents. This study would also provide the universities with useful information on the level of ICT literacy of students hence, assisting them in training and retraining of the lecturers to help teach the skill to their students.
The outcome of this study could also be beneficial to various professional bodies and trade unions such as Nigeria association for Educational Media and Technology (NAEMT), Science Teacher Association of Nigeria (STAN) Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) among others in the area of providing members with necessary ICT infrastructures, research facilities and organising workshops and seminars to update their professional standard especially in the area of internet competence. The study would provide curriculum developers with information on the advantages of internet competence and enable them to formulate policy that would make internet competence a way of assessing student.
Finally, the findings of this study could eventually be a source of reference for all stakeholders in the area of educational processes and products for planning befitting educational programmes for our nation in the nearest future. The study may provide researchers in all areas of study with the opportunity to access emperical evidence in their quest for further studies on perception of students and lecturers of internet competence in Nigeria Universities.
Conclusion and Recommendations
There is difference in the opinions of teachers of polytechnic, universities and colleges of education on the extent of the use of ICT in teaching Unilag of Nigeria.
Significant differences exist in the difference in the opinions of teachers of polytechnic, universities and colleges of education on the ICT skills competence level in training operation and manipulation among teachers in teaching Unilag of Nigeria.
This shows that significant differences exist in difference with regards to their ICT skills competence level in training operation and manipulation among student in learning Unilag of Nigeria. Therefore the null hypothesis which states that there is no significant difference in the opinions of students of polytechnic, universities and colleges of education on the ICT skills competence level in training operation and manipulation among teachers in learning Unilag of Nigeria is hereby rejected.
Exposure of the various ICT devices will enhance teachers to use ICT in their professional practice and students in their contextual task.
Using relevant educational software packages that meet the need of teachers and students will evoke positive use and competence from the teachers and students as they use technology.
Federal Government, State Government and private sector should help in the provision of computers and other equipment that should facilitate the use and skills competence of ICT in tertiary institutions. This will help the students to acquire necessary and relevant skills. Private sectors should do more by partnering with the government in providing ICT centres in tertiary institutions.
Tertiary institutions management should ensure that the few available ICT facilities are well maintained and they should service and install and update antivirus to avoid crash or damage within short period.
Parents and all the stake holders should be informed on the cost and benefits of using ICT in tertiary institutions and educate them on the need to be financially committed to sustain internet use.
Government should practically work out a sustainable power supply in institutions of learning for effective implementation of ICT programme.
The curriculum should be reviewed in tertiary institutions to have a general curriculum in the teaching and learning of ICT to enhance use and competence in training, operation and manipulation of ICT. The study revealed that the use of ICT enhances teaching and learning ICT in various disciplines based on this finding, there is urgent need by the Federal State Government and Private owners of tertiary institutions to install ICT in various departments in all the tertiary institutions.
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