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Background to the Study
Information and communication technology [ICT] plays a vital role in the development of any nation. It has been an instrument for achieving social, economic, scientific and technological development (Adedeji, 2010). ICT has greatly influenced the education sector, especially on teaching, learning and research. The application of information and communication technology (ICT) is not only emphasized in business organizations and in industrial sector, but is an essential part of education at all levels (Allen, 2011). Information and communication technology, including computers are generally believed to make learning much easier. Information and communication technology (ICT) encompasses the use of equipment and programmes to access, retrieve, convert, store, organize, manipulate and present data and information in a more simpler way [Gray and Blads, 2005). The terminologies Information and communication technology (ICT) and information technology (IT) can be used interchangeably.
Information can be seen as an “idea” conceived in the human mind, while communication is the transfer of that information from the original source to the destination where it is needed with the intention of producing a change in behaviour of the receiver. When information and communication drifts away from the orthodox, verbal and print media towards the more recent electronic media, then the concept is known as ICT. This is why Badru (2002) defined “ICT” as the science and activity of processing, storing and sending information by using computers. The author further defined communication technology as the use of hardware and software to enhance communication. In other words, there is an overlap between the function of information technology and communication technology.
According to Badru (2002), it is due to the great similarity in the functions of IT and ICT that the two became fused into ICT. Information and communication technology, therefore, is the means of accessing or receiving, storing, transferring, processing and sending ideas, perception or information through computers and other communication facilities (NCET, 2005). Information Communication Technology comprises of those tools used basically for collaboration, searching and exploring, processing information and storing of data. ICT, therefore simply means the unification and application of technological devices and resources used to process, store, retrieve and disseminate information electronically. It is also through the use of on-line digital libraries, organized practical work, individualized instruction, instructional games and simulation, projector screen, CD-ROMs, internet facilities and mobile technologies such as I-pod, smart phones, mp-player, e-book reader, et cetera that information could be disseminated electronically.
The National Policy on Information Technology Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), 2004) envisaged the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) at all levels of education. This was to ensure the actualization of the goals of education as stated in the National Policy on education Federal Republic of Nigeria, (2004). The goals include: contribution to national development through high manpower training, development of individual intellectual capability in order to understand their immediate environment and other goals are the provision of opportunities for the acquisition of physical and intellectual skills for individuals to be self-reliant and become useful members of the society to which they belong. The policy statement identified ICT as the bedrock of national survival and development in a rapidly changing global environment. Information and communication technology has provided innovation for teaching and learning, and has engendered advances in research about how people learn, thereby bringing about rethinking the structure of education (Lopez, 2003).
The prevalence and rapid development of ICTs have transformed human society from the information age to the knowledge age. Thus its use in education is becoming a necessity. The pace of change of ICT currently exceeds the pace of progress of making effective use of ICT in education. There is an international consensus on the importance of intellectual input in creating value, underlining the need for investment in education and skills in general with a special focus on ICT skills and research development (Gilbert, 2000). ICT has changed the face of modern researches, requiring research organizations to be linked to each other through advance network that is connected to the rest of the world. ICT provides a lot of service for students including those in distance education programmes (Okuta, 2010).
Today, lecturers and students get relevant materials needed for their academic pursuits through the internet. Such quality materials are used in equipping the students and upgrading their knowledge in their fields of study. ICT brings some very powerful aids toward translating theory into practice. Two of these aids are computer-assisted learning and distance education.
These days, computers with internet connectivity have become common household items. Students often have access to educational tools which are designed specifically to provide instruction to help the user learn faster using ICT communication tools, including e-mail, web, encyclopaedia, books, and other reference materials. It also serves as entertainment tools for students. For instance, cellular phones, computer games, electronic toys, television, CD players, recorders and video tape players are used by students during their leisure as entertainment. When students grow up in an ICT environment, they may gain many hours of experience using ICT facilities (Robinson, 2007). ICT has proven to be a valuable aid to solving problems and accomplishing tasks in education, business, industry, science and many other human endeavours so quickly.
Today, ICT provides knowledge based system that includes knowledge acquisition, knowledge incubation, knowledge amplification and knowledge dissemination (Robinson,2007).The use of new information technology can serve three main functions in the national educational growth. These according to Robinson are (a) to deliver all or part of the learning experiences to learners; (b) supplement and extend content provided in different forms other than printed or hard copies; and (c) provide a two-way channel of communication for exchange between tutors and students with their peers for feedback or for learning, problem-solving, advice, debate, and reports. Governments all over the world are harnessing the rich potentials of ICT and are using ICT as a tool for educational developments, economic recovery and wealth creation (Okonta, 2006). ICT is very useful in tackling the ills and problems facing the educational system. No nation can attain its height educationally, economically and socially without ICT. Consequently, education and the business environment are challenged by demands and opportunities characterized by ICTs and globalization.
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are faced with the challenges of incorporating the new technologies into their programme. This places increased competitive pressure on business educators to differentiate themselves and compete distinctively by adopting the new technologies in their programme to meet the needs of students who must be prepared adequately to fit into ICT permeated environment (Okuta, 2010). Business educators are professional teachers of business who are constantly aware of the state of the art in education “for” and “about” business. The advent of ICTs demands that business educators should adequately possess ICT competencies needed for them to impart knowledge effectively to the students (Okeke & Ezenwafor, 2011). Business educators are male and female lecturers who teach students the fundamentals, theories and processes of business. Some of them teach in colleges of education and universities with so many years of experiences. Some are found in rural and urban areas and are not gender biased.
The use of ICTs in the educational institutions has continued to pose a serious threat to the students and business educators alike. It has been observed that there has been a persistent poor performance in ICT courses in higher institutions in the past years. Also, it has been observed that students on graduation still go to register with private ICT training centers to learn ICT skills, before they can function well in any ICT environment. Research from Okoro, (2009) also showed that the trend of poor performance in ICT has constituted a source of concern to the school authorities and business educators alike as it affects adversely the production of the much needed manpower for the technological development of Nigeria. In view of the above, there is therefore the need to find out techniques perceived by business educators for improving the teaching and learning of ICT in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
Statement of the Problem
The advent of ICT demands that business educators should adequately possess the ICT competency required to impact knowledge to students for effective performance. Business education students are expected to be competent in ICT before graduation. Observation has shown that business education students still go to register with private ICT centres for ICT skills update. Research conducted by Okoro,(2009) also showed that the trend of poor performance in ICT has constituted a source of concern to the school authorities and business educators alike as it affects adversely the production of the much needed manpower for the technological development of Nigeria. Many at times, a good number of students are seen standing by the windows and doors during ICT lectures, waiting to collect poorly written notes from their course mates who managed to get seats inside the lecture hall. The fact still remains that most of the ICT teachers use lecture method of teaching coupled with the fact that most of them are not professional teachers (Okoro, 2009). In view of these shortcomings, students perform poorly in ICT courses. Most of them find it difficult to operate in an office equipped with ICT facilities as found in modern day offices.
The major problem of this study is that business education graduates find it difficult to handle jobs requiring information communication technology skills on graduation unless they go to private training centres for ICT skill update. It is as a result of these that this study is therefore conceived to ascertain business educators rating of techniques for improving the teaching and learning of information communication technology in tertiary institution in Anambra state.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to ascertain business educators rating of techniques for improving the teaching of information and communication technology in tertiary institutions in Anambra State. Specifically, the study seeks to ascertain from the rating of business educators the suitability of:
Significance of the Study
The study when published would be of immense benefit to the curriculum planners, government, workers and the students. The result of the study would generally help them to see the knowledge information and communication technology as very important to society since no one can live effectively in this information age without ICT knowledge and skills.
The result would help the curriculum planners to make more provisions in the teaching of ICT in all fields of studies. This would help institutions to inculcate in students ICT skills that would make them employable after graduation.
The results of this study would enable government to make legitimate efforts towards establishing well equipped ICT centres in all tertiary institutions. This would enable the students to have access to computers while still in school and as well acquire necessary ICT skills for effective adaptability into the labour market that is now ICT driven.
Workers on their own part would benefit from the results of the study as they will come to fully grasp the need to effectively know more about ICT. The result would enable them to get relevant information on the use and application of ICT in their various offices which would in turn help them to access information online. On the part of future researchers, the results would serve as a resource for material and reference.
Scope of the Study
The study covers the techniques for improving the teaching and learning of ICT tertiary institutions as perceived by business educators in Anambra state. The study will look into the extent business educators perceive organized practical work, project method of instruction, individualized instruction and instructional games and simulation as suitable techniques for improving the teaching and learning of ICT in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
The following research questions guided this study.
The following null-hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.