UTILIZATION OF E-LEARNING FACILITIES IN PREPARING OFFICE TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENTS STUDENTS IN POLYTECHNICS IN NIGERIA
Utilization of e-learning facilities in preparing office technology and managements students in polytechnics in Nigeria. Descriptive survey design was used and the population which formed the sample for the study was all the Lecturers in the eleven (11) Polytechnics in the North-Central Geo Political Zone, Nigeria. Owing to the low number of the population of one hundred and thirteen (113), the whole population was used for the study. Five specific objectives, five research questions as well as five null hypotheses were raised for the study. The theoretical framework used for this study was Roger‟s Diffusion of Innovation Theory (2003). The instrument used for collection of data was a four-point scale rating questionnaire. Findings revealed that e-learning resources were hardly available and inadequate thus the few lecturers who were proficient in its usage had no access to it. Based on the findings, the study recommended that adequate funds should be made available to institutions by the government for the purpose of procuring adequate e-learning resources. The study also recommended that workshops, seminars, and
comprehensive training and re-training programmes on e-learning resource utilization should be organized by institutions for office technology and management lecturers at the Polytechnic to enable them gain current knowledge of the resources. The research concluded that owing to the fact that most e-learning resources were not accessible to the lecturers for use; students were deprived of the benefits of learning with e-learning related resources which could have improved their skills competence required for the office of today.
1.1 Background to the Study
Information and Communication Technology in education has been continuously linked to higher efficiency, higher productivity, and higher educational outcomes, including quality of cognitive, creative and innovative thinking. e-learning is said to enhance the quality of education in several ways: by increasing learner‟s motivation and engagement and by facilitating the acquisition of basic skills (Wadi and Sonia, 2002, Adeosun, 2010). Rapid developments in e-learnings have led to many changes in the
responsibilities of the academics in tertiary institutions as the traditional methods of doing academic work are fast becoming inappropriate. Thus, e-learning resources have been looked upon as a tool for lifting up the standard of education.
The growth of Information and Communication Technologyis dramatically reshaping teaching and learning processes in higher education (Pulkkinen, 2007). Nigeria, having observed the trend of events and change in the dimension of and pursuant of education with emphasis on e-learning in other developed nations, has taken necessary steps by establishing National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA). The agency is saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the integration of e-learning in key areas of the economy, education inclusive (NITDA, 2008). One of the pillars of successful implementation of effective Office Education programme at all levels is the availability and adequacy of teaching resources. This is in form of facilities, equipment and services needed to foster instructional deliveries and skills development to make for standard and quality products.
Educational experts maintain that e-learning resources have a lot to do with achievement and performance in the teaching and learning process. Resources refer to something that can be used to help achieve an aim. It needs to be made available in adequate quantity to facilitate educational goals attained. According to Bongotons and Onyenwe (2010), availability and adequacy of e-learning resources implies they are easily, readily, publicly, and generally found and enough in quantity and quality for use. Obviously, the availability and adequacy of these e-learning resources is a necessary precondition for its use in the teaching process. Robert (1971) in Bongotons and Onyenwe (2010), reiterating the need for availability and adequacy of e-learning resources in office technology and management programmes, opined that this will accelerate the achievement of all round preparation of an office manager. They further noted that resource availability and adequacy enhances the acquisition of knowledge and technical skills required in one or more areas of office technology and management thus providing enough practical experience in one or all office duties.
Teaching is an active process in which one person shares information with others to provide them with the information to make behavioral changes. Learning is the process of assimilating information with a resultant change in behavior. Research has made it clear that the quality of teaching is the key factor in improving learner‟s achievement. The most effective teaching is that which results in the most effective learning. Teaching can be said to be effective when an instruction is explicitly engaging, clear, takes cognizance of individual differences and ultimately leads to the learner‟s success. This suggests that the only way to improve learners‟ outcome is to improve instruction (Tinio, 2002). Teaching is becoming one of the most challenging professions in our society where knowledge is expanding rapidly and demands are on teachers to learn how to use these technologies in their teaching. (Perraton, Robinson, and Creed, 2001).
Office Technology and Management (OTM) programme is the office education programme in the Polytechnic, which use to be the secretarial studies programme. This was approved in 2004 by NBTE, the supervisory body for Polytechnics in Nigeria. This change necessitated a comprehensive review of the curriculum (Atueyi, 2010). The new Objectives, theoretical and practical contents of the new curriculum are geared towards integrating students of OTM programme into the evolution of technology. Azuka (2000) noted that Nigerian Polytechnics are not just another set of institution of higher learning, as they are not only centres of learning and research but also institutions where technological, knowledge and skills (Office Technology and Management inclusive) are acquired for direct application in solving the problems of the society.
In view of the aforementioned, it is important to note that consequent upon the changes both in the curriculum and the name of the programme, emphasis is now being placed more than ever before on the skill aspect of teaching which involves Word Processing, spreadsheet and other e-learning-related courses (Baba and Akarahu, 2012). There is therefore a need to emphasize on the utilization of e-learning resources in the teaching of office technology and management courses in Polytechnics so that the effort made by the government to ensure high quality delivery system in education for the benefit of the learner and the larger society will not be in vain. This study will therefore focus on the influence of information and communication technology resources on teaching office technology and management in polytechnic in north-central geo-political zone, Nigeria. All these variables hitherto explained constitute the background for this research
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The UNESCO‟s policy paper for change and development in higher education requested that higher education (in which the Polytechnic is an integral part) should harness the benefits from the use of advances in e-learning to improve the provision and quality of their education. As a corollary, the National Policy on Education realizing the need for a functional education for Nigerians mandated that teachers in particular must be e-learning compliant (FGN,2004). This drive was reinforced by the policy provisions of National Communication Commission in Nigeria requesting for the integration of e-learning into school curriculum and teaching (NCC, 2001)(Bongotons and Onyenwe ,2010).
In view of this, the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission was
established in 2004. Following this, in 2006, the Advance Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI) was introduced by National Communication Commission as a capacity building programme aimed at improving the quality of teaching, research and administration. It was designed to train Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Provosts, Professors, Lecturers, and Non-Academic staff of tertiary institutions in basic Microsoft office tools, use of internet and e-learning. The programme is a “train the trainer” project for repositioning the nation‟s work force to translate the acquired skills into the quality of instructional deliveries in the classrooms, quality of students and graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions. An analysis of the 9,149 beneficiaries, so far trained in this project showed that, 73 percent of them were academic staff involved in teaching and research
Despite the aforementioned benefits accrued to learners and the concerted effort made by the Government to provide training for lecturers on the utilization of e-learning related resources in teaching, the researcher, through observation and personal interaction with lecturers of Polytechnics in North-Central Geo-political Zone, Nigeria has noted with dismay that e-learning resources are still grossly underutilized in teaching office technology and management in these Polytechnics. This has no doubt deprived students of the benefits of learning with e-learning resources, as experienced in other parts of the world. The foregoing problems prompted the researcher to carry out this research in order to identify the missing link with the aim of proffering possible solutions using empirical evidence.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to assess the Influence of Information and Communication Technology Resources on Teaching Office Technology and Management in North-Central Geo-political Zone, Nigeria.
Specifically the study was intended to:
- ascertain the of availability of e-learning resources for use in teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria
- determine the adequacy of e-learning resources for use in teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria
- ascertain whether e-learning resources available for teaching Office Technology and Management are utilized for teaching in Polytechnics Nigeria
- determine lecturers‟ competence in utilizing e-learning resources in teaching Office Applications is in Polytechnics in Nigeria
- determine the difference among male and female lecturer‟ perception of the influence of e-learning resources utilization in teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were posed in line with the objectives of the study
- What e-learning resources are available for use in teaching Office Technology and
Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria?
- To what extent are e-learning resources adequate for use in teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria?
- To what extent are e-learning resources utilized for teaching Office Technology and Management by the lecturers in Polytechnics in Nigeria?
- To what extent are lecturers competent in the use of e-learning resources for teaching Office Applications in Polytechnics Nigeria?
- What is the difference among the male and female lecturers‟ perception of the influence of e-learning resources utilization on teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In line with the specific objectives and research questions, five null hypotheses were formulated to aid the research
- There is no significant relationship between availability of e-learning resources and teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria.
- There is no significant relationship between adequacy to e-learning resources and teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in, Nigeria.
- There is no significant relationship between utilization of e-learning resources and teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics inNigeria.
- There is no significant relationship between lecturers‟ e-learning competence and teaching
Office Applications in Polytechnics in Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference among the male and female lecturers perception of the usefulness of e-learning resources utilization in teaching Office Technology and Management in Polytechnics in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The result of this study will be of importance to Polytechnic management, lecturers, students and the government. The researcher hopes that the findings of the study will help Polytechnic management and lecturers to see the benefits of utilizing e-learning resources in teaching and its impact on learner‟s achievement so that they can be effectively committed to its usage. Also, it will aid the Polytechnic management in knowing the state of e-learning resources for lecturers‟ use, whether they are available, adequate and
accessible or not.
Furthermore, it will enlighten the government and institutions on the importance of constantly organizing e-learning training workshops and seminars for teaching staff so as to increase their mastery level, update their skills and boost their confidence. Finally, Office Technology and Management students will benefit as the outcome will add to existing literature on ways of improving the quality of classroom instructions so that they can fit effectively in the world of work after graduation.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
For the purpose of this study, it was assumed that:
- e-learning resources were accessible to Lecturers in Polytechnics in Nigeria
- the Lecturers in Polytechnics in Nigeria have gone through training on how to utilize e-learning resources for teaching.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
- The study was delimited to the eleven Polytechnics within Nigeria. This is because these institutions were part of those whose lecturers were trained by ADAPTI and ETF Training workshops on the utilization of e-learning resources in teaching.
- The e-learning resources were delimited to the computer, overhead projector, audio tape,
De-learningaphone, video, printer, scanner, photocopier, facsimile machine, television, up-
to-date software and internet facilities because these were the e-learning resources which graduate of the department are expected to be proficient in after graduation.
- The study was delimited to the Lecturers within the OTM department because the study was related to their field. In view of the foregoing, the researcher believes they were in the best position to provide accurate information that will help in the empirical study so as to have a more objective research result.