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ICT AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ECONOMIC STUDENTS: A CASE STUDY OF EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING, UNIVERSITY OF UYO, UYO
1.1 Background of the Study
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICThas become an integral part of man’s culture in recent years. In particular, students in tertiary institutions have adopted ICT for information access and exchange. There is no doubt that ICT impact on students’ academic performance. The application of Information and Communications Technology (ICTs) in education has revolutionized teaching and learning. Students with diverse learning styles are able to maximize their learning potential when instructors use Information and Communications Technologies to support their teachings. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) which include radio and television, as well as latest digital technologies such as computers and the internet have been as potentially powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTs are said to help expand access to education strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others, helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life. It enables the learners to be more independent, reflective and self-regulated in their learning process. In addition, ICT makes it possible to deliver virtual instruction to students outside the classroom. Stephen, Thomas and Cook (2002), stated that using technology teaching strategies are often based on cognitive view of teaching and learning. Teachers here are viewed as facilitators and collaborators with students as they learn, rather than as experts imparting knowledge. There also tend to be strong emphasis on the use of problem-solving and research skills as students take more active role in defining and developing their ideas. However, areas teachers can use ICTs in teaching economics are broad, as with most developments in technology, new tools and techniques are developed every day. Even though such teaching strategies are very expensive to come by, they are exciting. Examples of such facilities are the use of multimedia, C.D Rom, web-based instructions (WBI), the intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), Virtual reality (VR), Audio visual aid, computer-assisted instruction and a host of other recent development network (Stephen, McPake and Plowman, 2010).
The impact of ICTs on studying economics is in relation to use of digital media, primarily computers and internet to facilitate teaching and learning. ICTs are the technologies used in conveying, manipulation and storage of data by electronic means. They provide powerful tools that help in transforming the present isolated teacher-centered and txt-bound classrooms into rich-student-focused, interactive knowledge environments. To meet these challenges, learning institutions must embrace the new technologies and appropriate ICT tools for studying economics. The direct link between ICT use and students’ academic performances has been the focus of extensive literature during the last two decades. Some of them help students with their learning by improving the communication between them and the instructors (Valasidou and Bousiou, 2005). Leuven, e.; Lindahl, m.; Osterbeek, h.; Webbink, d. (2004), stated that there is no evidence for a relationship between increased educational use of ICT and students’ performance. In fact, they find a consistently negative and marginally significant relationship between ICT use and some student achievement measures. In support of these, some students use ICT to occupy their leisure time and have less time to study. Online gaming and increased communication channels do not necessarily mean increased achievement. On the other hand, Abdulla, Al-Hawaj and Twizell (2008) stated that ICT has the potential to transform the nature of education, where and how learning takes place and the roles of students and teachers in the learning process.
Karim and Hassan (2006) noted the exponential growth in digital information, which changes the way students perceive study and reading and in how printed materials are used to facilitate study. Based on the extended usage of ICTs in education the need appeared to unravel the myth that surrounds the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as an aid to teaching and learning, and the impact it has on students’ academic performance. It is generally believed that ICTs can empower teachers and learners, promote change and foster the development of ‘21st century skills. There is widespread belief that ICTs can and will empower teachers and learners, transforming teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher-dominated to student-centered, and that this transformation will result in increased learning gains for students, creating and allowing for opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher-order thinking skills. It is believed that specific uses of ICT can have positive effects on student achievement when ICTs are used appropriately to complement a teacher’s existing pedagogical practices. Computer Aided (or Assisted) Instruction (CAI), which refers generally to student self-study or tutorials on PCs, has been shown to slightly improve student test scores on some reading and mathematical skills, although whether such improvement correlates to real improvement in student learning is debatable. ICTs are seen to be less effective (or ineffective) when the goals for their use are not clear. While such a statement would appear to be self-evident, the specific goals for ICT use in education are, in practice, often only very broadly or rather loosely defined. However, according to Ward, Stocker and Murray-Ward (2006) academic performance refers to the outcome of education; the extent to which the student, teacher or institution have achieved their educational goals. Motivation for this study is based on the fact that some students studying economics have high academic performance while some students’ academic performance is extremely low. When such variations in academic performance are traced, it is more often discovered that information communication technologies are major contributory factor such as computer, television and mobile phone.
It is therefore important that the levels of such contributions and the effect be examined so that useful suggestions to parents, teachers, educational planners and government could be made.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The academic performance of students’ studying economics education constitutes a great source of worry and serious concern as well as discomfiture to parents, lecturers in the Department of Educational Foundations, Guidance and Counselling and policy makers. Students’ learning remains central in any academic achievement. ICTs provide a window of opportunity for educational institutions and other organizations to harness and use technology to complement and support the teaching and learning process. Access to information is a key for academic performance of students. With the advent of ICTs, student have acquired additional source for getting information along with the libraries in the university. Experience has shown that among the economics education students, there are some differences in their academic performance, such as some students’ being able to pass courses while others are not. In the light of this problem and in locating the root cause of the problems posed by the relationship between the students use of computer, television and mobile phone on their academic performance, it is pertinent and imperative to ask, does ICT impact on Economics education students’ academic performance in the Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Uyo Nigeria.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main objective of the study is to determine the impact of ICT on students’ academic performance-case of economics education students in the department of Educational Foundational, Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Specific objectives of the study include:
1. To examine the influence of knowledge of computer on economics education students academic performance.