Extent Of Use Of Email Services By Undergraduate Students In Universities In Anambra State

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Extent Of Use Of Email Services By Undergraduate Students In Universities In Anambra State


Abstract


This study was carried out on the extent of use of email services by undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State. The population size comprises of mass communication students in two selected university in Anambra State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 600 respondents and 500 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores, while the hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services is high. The study also revealed that the extent to which email services are being utilized among undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State is low. Further findings showed that the use of email services facilitates effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State. And the factors which influences students use of email services includes: Perceived usefulness, ease of use, perceived risk, privacy and web security. Therefore, it is recommended that email services have gone beyond sending of text and documents, there are other new spaces such that facilitates voice call, video calls, group chats and conference calls. Therefore the students should be enlighten about these new updates and how their can leverage on them to facilitate communication among themselves and even the lecturers. Students should be encouraged to use email in official endeavors, in saving their paramount documents and engaging in learning activities.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The internet can be conceived as a rich, multi-layered complex ever-changing text for information dissemination and a medium for collaborative interaction between individuals and computers without regards for geographical limitation of space [1]. The internet today is a worldwide entity whose nature cannot be easily or simply defined. To many, the internet is a large computer network linking together millions of smaller computers at numerous sites in various countries belonging to thousands of business, government, research, educational and other organisations.

To the internet users, the internet is a global community-one with a very active life. The awake magazine (1997, June 22) has it that internet began as “an experiment by the US department of defence in the 1960s to help scientist and researchers from widely dispersed areas work together by sharing scarce and expensive computer and files. This goal required the creation of a set of connected networks that would act as a co-ordinated whole”.

The internet is a relatively new channel for scholarly resources and contain vast quantities of information that vary a great deal regarding its content, aim, target, group, reliability. Hence, it is important that the end user is aware of the diverse information available on the internet and educated in the criteria by which the information content should be accessed. The internet is one of the beneficial tools in this era of IT world not only for business but for academic point of view and enhances the skills and capabilities of student which assist them in studies and in professional life. Students use the internet as a hub for research in their various fields of study. This can be seen by the way the students consult the internet for assignments, presentations, research works and examinations.

Use of technology has become a common phenomenon in our daily life. Applications of nowadays technology are diversified and expanding. Practically, all sectors of economy and in the society-at-large utilize available technology productively and it is expected that the more advances technology achieves, the wider the magnitude and scope of its utilization. Academic institutions are no exception, as there are many facets of modern technology in use. Such includes, but not limited to: use of smart classrooms, PowerPoint presentations, preparation and saving of electronic course and official materials. Many tools are utilized to enhance communication among all members of a given college or university, among which is that between teachers and their students. These include, among others, establishing of sites for discussion groups and the use of blackboard.

However, one of the most widely used means of communication in academia is the e-mail system – especially for disseminating information to its community and for receiving feedback. E-mail has been reported to be a beneficial tool in education. A conceptual framework for integrating e-mail in a variety of courses for independent learning situations was illustrated some years ago (Hassett et al., 1995). More reports on uses of the e-mail system in academia have emerged ever since (Campbell & Lom, 2006; Hu, 2006; Weiss & Hanson-Baldauf, 2008). It is believed that the use of e-mail can enhance communication between faculty members and their students (Forrest; Hannon) and, thus, enhances the education process (Weiss & Hanson-Baldauf, 2008).

University students would be expected to be self-learners and should be encouraged to be such. While educators strive to achieve the set student learning objectives for the courses they teach, they also are expected to play a significant role in the personality and professional development process of their students. Encouragement of students to be self-learners is practiced by all teachers, for which creative teaching approaches are devised. Among the instruments that are used relative to self and engaged-learning in many of the courses that the author of this paper has taught is the use of e-mail for communicating with students over the past 5 years.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Email communication, which represents a means of interpersonal communication (Absalom & Marden, 2004), has been used widely in tertiary education (Huang, 2011; Robinson & Stubberud, 2012). Since email communication has more correct, detailed, arranged and longer expression, it has been seen as the most useful and preferred tool for computer-mediated communication (Levy, 1997). Despite the rapid growing of the popularity and user acceptability of other social mediums (e.g. Mobile phone and Facebook) the overall trend of the use of email communication by university students has been increasing significantly since its inception (Judd & Kennedy, 2010; Li, Finley, Pitts, & Guo, 2011; Littlejohn, Margaryan, & Vojt, 2010). Although email is considered a ‘low-tech’ communication medium (Gonglewski, Meloni, & Brant, 2001), students mostly depend on email communication as an alternative to face-to-face meeting for course-related conversations and discussions with their peers and teachers (Vrocharidou & Efthymiou, 2011).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this study is to examine the extent of use of email services by undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State.

Other aims of this study are:

  1. To find out the level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services.
  2. To find out the extent to which email services are being utilized among undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State.
  3. To find out whether the use of email services facilitates effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State.
  4. To identify the factors which influences students use of email services.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. What is the level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services.
  2. To what extent does undergraduate students utilize email services?
  3. Does the use of email services facilitate effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State?
  4. What are the factors which influences students use of email services?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses will validate this study:

H0: The extent email services are used by undergraduate students in universities is low.

Ha: The extent email services are used by undergraduate students in universities is high.


1.6 Significance of the Study

The study could be beneficial for students as well as for the institution. The valuable feedback gotten from respondents should help students to realize the benefits of internet in their education. Institutes can invest more in internet facilities to enhance the academic performance of their student and produce better results. Note that the relevance of internet facilities is measured by how effective, sufficient and accessible it is to students and users. The research will also provide in-depth insight into the various internet facilities and how students can be able to use them to improve academic performance.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the extent of use of email services by undergraduate students in universities in Anambra state. Specifically, this study focuses on finding out the level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services, finding out the extent to which email services are being utilized among undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State, finding out whether the use of email services facilitates effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State and identifying the factors which influences students use of email services. The respondents for this study will be obtained from two selected universities in Anambra State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Internet:

A global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

Email:

Electronic mail is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronic version of, or counterpart to, mail, at a time when “mail” meant only physical mail.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the extent of use of email services by undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the extent of use of email services by undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State. The study specifically was aimed to find out the level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services, find out the extent to which email services are being utilized among undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State, find out whether the use of email services facilitates effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State, and identify the factors which influences students use of email services.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 500 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are mass communication students in two selected university in Anambra State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. The level of students’ awareness towards usefulness of email services is high.
  2. The extent to which email services are being utilized among undergraduate students in universities in Anambra State is low.
  3. The use of email services facilitates effective communication among students in universities in Anambra State.
  4. The factors which influences students use of email services includes: Perceived usefulness, ease of use, perceived risk, privacy and web security.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Email services have gone beyond sending of text and documents, there are other new spaces such that facilitates voice call, video calls, group chats and conference calls. Therefore the students should be enlighten about these new updates and how their can leverage on them to facilitate communication among themselves and even the lecturers.
  2. Emphasis should be made on the need to ensure a tight security of students email space. They should be enlighten on the possible ways to ensure their privacy and protect their accounts from being hacked.
  3. Students should be encouraged to use email in official endeavors, in saving their paramount documents and engaging in learning activities.

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