Relationship Between Teachers Factors And Usage Of Information Communication Technology In Teaching Business Education Courses In Nigeria Universities
The research work investigated the relationship between teachers‘ factors and usage of information and communication technology in teaching business education courses in Nigerian universities. Descriptive survey design was employed in the study. The population for the study was one hundred and sixty three (163) lecturers from seventeen (17) universities offering business education in Nigeria. The purposive technique was adapted to select one hundred and fourty (140) lecturers as sample for the study. Four rating scale structured questionnaire was employed in data collection. The researcher employed face to face method in distributing and retrieving of the questionnaire. One hundred and twenty seven (127) copies of questionnaire representing 91% were properly filled and coded into Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) for data analysis and mean scores and for answering research questions at index score of at least 2.5 for agreed. The SPSS was used to run Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) for the test of the six null hypotheses at significance level of 0.05. The study revealed among others that, availability and accessibility of ICT tools has significant effect on ICT usage in teaching business education courses among universities lecturers in Nigeria. It was recommended among others that universities management should make a commitment by supplying adequate ICT gadgets that will enable lecturers have continuous access to ICTs so that they can effectively use its usage for their teaching and research work.
1.1 Background to the Study
The 21st Century education uses technique encouraging students in ways not previously possible, creating new learning and teaching possibilities, enhancing achievements, enhancing child centre education, and extending global interactions by way of access to educational information on a larger scale than hitherto known before. No doubt, Information and Communication Technology in education has been influencing changes in techniques of teaching and learning and business education programme in Nigerian universities should not be an exception because of its focus on acquisition of employable skills (Lucas and Milford, 2009; Eghonghon and Ndama, 2012) for self-reliance and productive living. According to National Policy on Education, (NPE), (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), business education is an aspect of the total education programme offered in tertiary education levels in Nigeria to prepare students for careers in business. Thus, its aim is providing adequate general education, career specific and technical education needs at specific levels and in addition prepare youths for work (Lambrecht 2012; Udoye and Ndum, 2013; Okolocha and Onyeneke, 2013). In essence, it is that aspect of education that develops occupational skills that are capable of meeting the changing societal needs for self reliance as well as for socio-economic development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many schools have access to computers courtesy of the various government spear-headed initiatives, development partners and individual schools. However, the pace of ICT usage in Nigerian universities has not been fast enough. University teachers particularly those in the north are still rooted in the traditional instructional forms and as a result they are not making the necessary efforts to use ICT in teaching of Business education (Jones, 2001).
There are many efforts that have been made by the government of Nigeria to improve usage of ICT in various subjects. This includes initiatives such as in-servicing of teachers through workshops organized by various stakeholders in the Ministry of Education. Besides, the government through the Ministry of Education has put in place initiatives to facilitate usage of ICT in teaching and learning. For instance, the Intel-Teach Getting Started Course, which aims at developing teachers‟ basic computer skills, usage of ICT in teaching and the 21st Century approaches into teaching.
Although many public schools, among them schools in the north have received computers, their use in the classroom level is limited due to issues affecting usage (Yusuf & Yusuf, 2009) hence the need for the study to look into the teacher factors influencing usage of ICT in teaching of Business education in public universities in plateau, Nigeria.
1.3 Research Objectives
- To investigate the difference that ICT makes to teaching and learning.
- To explore how ICT affects teachers‟ confidence in the classroom.
- Examine the relationship between teachers factors and ICT usage in To teaching business education in universities.
1.4 Research Questions
To address the research’s objectives, the study seeks to answer the following questions;
- How confident are teachers in using ICT in the teaching and learning process?
- Does this confidence and application vary between subjects?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study generated information on the relationship between usages of ICT and teacher factor in teaching of Business education in universities. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is recognized as one of the key pillars of education and training in the Sessional Paper No. 12 of 2012 (Reforming Education and Training Sectors in Nigeria), and this information would assist the Ministry of Education (MOE) to understand why there is need to develop appropriate ICT strategies for tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The findings of this study was useful to the teachers of Business education to assist them in re-evaluating their styles of teaching and therefore make necessary adjustments as they are the key implementers of the curriculum. The findings of this study was also useful to curriculum planners and developers at the Nigeria Institute of Curriculum Developers (KICD) to sensitize them on the need to in-service courses for teachers of Business education in line with the revised curriculum.
The information for this study was useful to the Ministry of Education (MoE) officers when planning for INSET programmes for university lecturers of Business education. The suggested solutions assisted both the head teachers and teachers of Business education to foster usage of ICT in teaching. This had an impact on curriculum development and teacher training colleges to offer ICT courses to the teachers that aim at addressing the need to respond to the ever-changing digital world.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
The major limitation was the inability to control the respondents‟ unwillingness to respond to research questions, perhaps due to their negative attitudes towards ICT. To counteract this challenge, the teachers‟ and students questionnaires and the head teachers‟ interview were validated by supervisors and other panel experts and a pilot study was conducted.
The respondents tended to give responses that covered up for their weakness in using ICT for the purpose of safeguarding their self-interests. Before administering of the questionnaires, the respondents were briefed so that they understood the purpose for the study. A rapport was formed to minimize dishonest responses for fear of victimization.
1.7 Definition of Significant Terms
The following terms are defined within the context of this study.
Information technology refers to the science of managing and process information using computers.
Information communication technology refers to a wide range of software technology components such as computer, telecommunication, internet, video and digital cameras that can be used by teachers to support their work (Wikipedia). ICT usage refers to a range of learning environments from a stand-alone computer in a classroom to a situation where the teaching is done by the computer through pre-packaged “teacher-proof courseware” (Laferriere, 1999).
Teacher attitude refers to the teacher‟s prevailing tendency to respond favorably or unfavorably to an object (person or group of people, institutions or events). Attitudes can be positive (values) or negative (prejudice).
Teacher demographics refer to qualities of teachers that are viewed as personal such as age, gender or experiential such as previous teaching experience. Teacher factors refer to the features of the teacher and the teaching profession that affects usage of ICT in teaching of Business education.
Teacher training refers to the professional preparation of teachers usually through formal course work and practice teacher.
Teacher workload refers to the total amount of time a teacher spends teaching, planning lessons and marking student work.
1.8 Organization of the Study
This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one covers the introduction that comprises of background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, purpose of the study, significance of the study, limitations of the study, delimitations of the study, basic assumptions of the study, definition of significant terms and the theoretical framework of the study. Chapter two entails the related literature reviewed discussing the teacher factors influencing usage of ICT in public universities, summary of literature review and the conceptual framework.
Chapter three covers the research methodology which includes research design, target population, sample size and procedure, sampling techniques, data collection instruments, data collection procedures and data analysis. Chapter four comprises of data analysis and interpretation of the data collected from the field both quantitative in the analysis of the collected data. Chapter five contains a discussion of the research findings, conclusions and recommendations derived from the research findings. Suggestions or further research are made in this chapter.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Research Question 1 – How confident are teachers in using ICT in the teaching and learning process?
Teachers‟ responses reflect a general confidence in ICT use, especially for the most basic and intuitive PC tasks. According to the classification used by the researcher, over half of the ICT skills or applications listed were rated as „high‟, with the remainder rated as „medium‟. Those skills which rated worst were the ones that we would most likely expect to see, tasks which are far more technical in nature. The overall mean for all the tasks was 3.71, which means that they were close to „confident‟.
Teachers‟ use of ICT in both the home and school is low, with a mean average of 2.31 (between occasionally and monthly) in the home and 2.26 in the school, describing their use of ICT in preparing for teaching practice and school-related activities. The results were reflective of what we might expect from home based ICT use in addition to school based ICT use. For example, they are more likely to „use the internet to obtain teaching resources‟ at home and „use an interactive whiteboard‟ at school.
Whilst low levels of ICT use in the home may be a comment on teachers‟ dedication to the role, or expectations from the schools on them, the low levels of use in schools is startling. As used as an example in chapter 6, the modal group of „never‟ to describe the use of interactive whiteboard provides a glimpse into the failings of the Nigeriai education system to embed such „standard‟ ICT tools such as this into their system. Whilst some of these results are at odds with the findings of the interviews, albeit the low numbers of interviewees may be a less reliable measure of the findings than the questionnaires.
In spite of teachers‟ lack of ICT use, they are quite positive about the potential impact of ICT, and the advantages of using ICT. In terms of potential impact, a mean average of respondents of 2.68 (between „a little‟ and „somewhat high‟) described the extent they believed ICT changes their teaching methods. This clearly describes a situation where teachers believe ICT can change the nature of learning in the classroom, for good or bad. When invited to contextualise the nature of that impact, teachers were favourable about the advantages associated with ICT and generally disagreed with any negative statements.
Teachers clearly believe that ICT can have a positive impact on teaching and learning. However, they agree most strongly with those statements which are a reflection of the „technical‟ or motivational aspects as outlined in the research, over any prevailing „pedagogical‟ motives. This suggests that many teachers are still working on a basis that ICT impacts pupil learning through look and feel, as opposed to any deeper impact on learning. However, the interviews reveal a belief from many teachers that ICT does offer „deeper‟ benefits than simply making lessons more attractive to students. For instance, interviewees suggest that ICT offers increased opportunities for participation, group activities and constructive, real-life examples. This depicts a situation whereby some teachers clearly show „buy-in‟ to the student-centred paradigm of constructivism, and the opportunities offered by ICT to embed this.
Therefore in attempting to answer this question, the research shows a situation in Nigeria where teachers believe they are high skilled in ICT, yet do not employ it extensively in their use for teaching and learning (be it in the home or at school) and whilst many see that ICT offers clear advantages to the teaching process, a selection are positive about the pedagogical impact that ICT can offer.
Research Question 2 – Does this confidence and application vary between subjects?
Reflecting upon the discussion and analysis associated with the teachers, some significant (and often surprising) variations by subject were shown. Firstly, teachers with an Business education specialism are more confident than others in their ICT use, and notably moreso than mathematicians. This has a huge implication for the skill level, and resulting possibilities in professional development, of the profession in the country. In terms of ICT use, we can see that science specialists are more likely to employ ICT use in school over the other subjects and again mathematicians are the weakest in employing the use of ICT – potentially a reflection of their weak ICT skills. Whilst we might recongise that science as a subject lends itself to the application of ICT, it could be argued the same for practical mathematics, and as such this emphasises the relative strengths and weaknesses of these subject areas.
In terms of variations about the impact of ICT, a few significant differences were shown. Mathematicians were again less positive about some of the statements, namely around ways of using ICT in ther teaching and how interesting ICT makes lessons. These variations clearly depict mathematics as a subject as weak not only confidence or skills, but also in the beliefs and values of the teachers, something key to successfully embedding ICT into the curriculum and altering the pedagogical beliefs of the teachers implementing it.
For the discussion in chapter 6, the research summarised the main findings of the research are shown below. Based on both negatives and positives of these findings, the researcher has made recommendations in the form of a ‟10 point plan‟ for the Nigeriai government and practitioners in the country to resolve these issues.
- Teachers are broadly confident about their use of ICT and its applications.
- In spite of their confidence, their use of ICT to influence teaching methods, both at home and at school is relatively low, which is especially surprising in established areas such as the use of Interactive Whiteboards.
- The use of ICT is met with positivity from teachers, contradictory to its actual implementation and application.
- When ICT is used, some teachers believe that it encourages more constructivist approaches in the classrooms and increases the diversity of pedagogical approaches.
- Business education teachers are more confident in their use of ICT, whilst science teachers are more likely to employ ICT in the classroom. Teachers of mathematics are less likely to be either confident in ICT use or apply methods using ICT, or believe in its value.
Recommendation One: Setting a Strategic Direction for ICT use in Nigeria
One of the implications of the research is that the existing Nigeriai ICT and education strategy has failed in some of its core purposes. Given this, a new strategic direction needs to be set by Government for schools and teachers. There needs to be a common understanding of the ways in which ICT should be implemented and to what extent it should be used in schools.
Recommendation Two: Ensuring Teachers are Sufficiently Skilled
Whilst the research here suggests that teachers are generally confident about their ICT use, there must still be recognition that this is a self-audit and therefore liable to issues of over- confidence or lack of awareness. Therefore teachers should be subjected to an audit test of ICT knowledge, with a „gap‟ analysis used to develop a national programme of training to sufficiently deal with the weakest areas.
Recommendation Three: Moving from Skills to the Classroom
One of the biggest problems that the analysis shows is that whilst teachers feel confident in their ICT use, they fail to utilise it in the classroom. The analysis also suggests that where it is used, it is not necessarily being used well. The Nigeriai Government could approach this in a number of different ways, from direct guidance to schools, to training courses or ICT „champions‟ in districts of Nigeria. Whether one of these methods, or a mixture are employed, there needs to be more specialist advice and support for teachers in using ICT in teaching and learning.
Recommendation Four: A Specific Focus on Mathematics
Mathematicians are significantly less confident than their counterparts in other subjects, and also less likely to use ICT in teaching and learning. The Government needs to address this problem, similar to the methods above, but with a specific focus on teachers of mathematics, and with advice and support tailored to the subject area.
Recommendation Five: Delivering ICT on Entry
One of the most effective ways of embedding a culture within a profession, is to deliver a programme of training and education on entry to the profession for teachers. Similar to that described in the UK, teachers should (a) have to aware of the possibilities of ICT use, (b) have a clear acceptance of the benefits for it, and (c) be tested on their skills before being allowed to become a teacher.
Recommendation Six: Putting the Student at the Heart of Learning
If learning and teaching in Nigeria is to move towards a more successful, student-centred paradigm, then the Government need to emphasise this through appropriate regulation and inspection regimes for both public and private sector schools. Without a credible threat, it seems unlikely that Nigeriai education is advanced enough to move towards this approach on its own.
Recommendation Seven: Closer Regulation of Private Schools
The results showed significantly less use of ICT in the classrooms of private schools as opposed to public schools. Standards and exposure to ICT should be standardised and the same opportunities provided for all students in Nigeriai classroom. Any regulation or inspection regime should be associated with the private sector, in addition to the public sector.
Recommendation Eight: Auditing Schools’ Resources
Whilst this research does not enquire about the resources of the school (and recognises this as a shortcoming), the Nigeriai Government should perform an audit of school ICT resources to ensure that ICT facilities are available to a good standard across all schools in Nigeria. Thereafter, financial support should be targeted to those schools needing it most.
Recommendation Nine: Monitoring the Performance of Boys
Whilst this research takes no performance measures, it does show that boys are less confident about their use of ICT than girls. Whilst this is yet to be represented by grades or results, if this trend is representative of Nigeriai schools, then within a few years we might expect it to be evident in school results. To avoid this, the Government (through schools) should closely monitor the performance of boys with ICT use, and ensure that appropriate interventions are taken to develop their skills.
Recommendation Ten: Planning Ahead
One of the failings of the previous strategy has been to carry forward a strategy to implementation. To achieve this, they need to put in place the associated operational elements of strategic delivery. They include an appropriate planning mechanism, delivery of clear targets and performance measures, with local and regional ownership. There should be appropriate measures and clear opportunities for in-depth review, built into any plan – thus affording them the opportunity to revise the strategy should they need to.
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