Use of ICT Tools and Teaching Competencies of Faculty Lecturers in Faculty of Education, University of Uyo

Paulinus J. Etim (Ph. D) & Iniobong Bassey Ema
Dept. of Educational Technology and Library Science
University of Uyo-Nigeria
paulinusetim@yahoo.com, iniema4real@yahoo.com

Abstract


ICT is regarded as a veritable tool for changing pedagogical strategies of faculty lecturers world-wide. It is a means for a new social order in developing competencies of faculty lecturers and students.The Study examines use of ICT tools and teaching competencies of faculty lecturers in faculty of education, University of Uyo.It adopted descriptive survey design that guided the formulation of two research questions and one research hypothesis to direct the study. The study was conducted in faculty of Education, University of Uyo. 105 faculty lecturers were randomly sampled out of 167 from the seven departments that make up faculty of Education of the University. The researchers developed questionnaire instrument was developed and validated by experts to elicit responses from the lecturers. The instrument had reliability coefficient of .82 using  Cronbach alpha statistics. Their  responses were  analysed using  frequency counts in answering the research questions while t-test statistics was used in testing the hypothesis at .05 level of significance. The analysis revealed inadequate provision of ICT tools for use by faculty lecturers. The study also revealed a significant influence of lecturers’ competences on use of ICT tools  Some  recommendations were  made  to  enhance  effective  use  of  ICT  tools  by  faculty lecturers to include that ICT tools should be provided for use by lecturers during lesson delivery and that lecturers should be trained and retrained in use of ICT tools during their interactions with students among other recommendations.

Key words: ICT tools, availability, lecturers competencies and utilization


 

Introduction

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become commonplace entities in all aspects of life. ICT has fundamentally changed the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavour within business and governance. Education is  a  very socially oriented activity and quality education has traditionally been associated with strong teachers having high degrees of personal contact with learners. The use of ICT in education lends itself to more student-centred learning settings. But with the world moving rapidly into digital media and information, the  role of  ICT in  education is  becoming more  and  more important and this importance will continue to grow and develop in this 21st century.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are the major tools in shaping the new global economy and producing rapid changes in society. Within the past decade, the new ICT tools have fundamentally changed the way people communicate and do business. They also have the potential to transform the nature of education-where and how learning take place and the roles of students and teachers in the learning process.  We are in the digital information age where Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) propel the transmission of information. The rate of information generation has resulted in information explosion, making the manual system of information management rather cumbersome. This has made the need for ICT in teaching and learning both desirable and inevitable.

Education is meaningless without lecturers playing a pivotal role in ensuring achievement in an educational institution. Lecturers teaching effectiveness plays a crucial role in student’s learning process (Shannon and Weaver, 2004). Lecturers play a basic rule in the educational system. It is said that good performance of students depends upon effective teaching by their lecturers (Shannon and Weaver, 2004). One factor that might increase lecturer’s teaching effectiveness  is   the   lecturer’s   competencies  in   being  able   to   utilize   i nformation  and communication technologies (ICTs) available for pedagogical strategies.

The students’ interests and experiences of their educational environment influence their approach to learning and ultimately their learning outcomes (Berglund and Eckerdal, 2006; Berglund and Wiggberg, 2006).   According to Daniels (2002) ICTs have become within a very short time, one of the basic building blocks of modern society. Many countries now regard understanding ICT and mastering the basic skills and concepts of ICT as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and numeracy.

However, there appears to be a misconception that ICTs generally refers to ‘computers and computing related activities’.    (Pelgrum and Law, 2003). According to a United Nation s report (1999) ICTs cover Internet service provision, telecommunications equipment and services, information technology equipment and services, media and broadcasting, libraries and documentation centres, commercial information providers, network-based information services and other related information and communication activities. According to UNESCO (2002) information and  communication technology (ICT)  may be  regarded  as  the  combination of ‘Informatics technology’ with other related technology, specifically communication technology.The various kinds of ICT products available and having relevance to education, such as teleconferencing, email, audio conferencing, television lessons, radio broadcasts, interactive radio counselling, interactive voice response system, audiocassettes and CD ROMs etc. have been used in education for different purposes (Sharma, 2003; Sanyal, 2001; Bhattacharya and Sharma, 2007).

The field of education has been affected by ICTs, which have undoubtedly affected teaching, learning, and research (Yusuf, 2005). ICTs have the potential to innovate, accelerate, enrich, and deepen skills, to motivate and engage students, to help relate school experience to work practices, create economic viability for tomorrow’s workers, as  well as strengthening teaching and helping schools change (Davis and Tearle, 1999; Lemke and Coughlin, 1998; cited by  Yusuf,  2005).Jhurree (2005)  reported  that,  much  has  been  said      about  the  impact  of technology, especially computers in education.

Computers and applications of technology became more pervasive in society which led to a concern about the need for computing skills in everyday life. Hepp, Hinostroza, Laval and Rehbein (2004)    in their paper “Technology in Schools: Education, ICT and the     Society” opined that ICTs have been utilized in education ever since their inception, but they have not always been massively present. Although at that time computers have not been fully integrated in the learning of traditional subject matter, the commonly accepted rhetoric that education systems would need to prepare citizens for lifelong learning to boost interest in  ICTs (Pelgrum and Law, 2003).

ICT is concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulating, transmission or receipt of digital  data.  It  covers any product that  stores,  retrieves, manipulates, transmits or receives information electronically in  a  digital  form. The need for the  use of  ICT in  research  and education is beneficial for preparing the lecturers and students to be fully involved and be productive members of a world that has been and will continue to be transformed by technology (Gregorian, 2002). He opined that almost every aspect of scholarship, from research activities to dissemination of ideas has been influenced by technology at the high level of education. This is to say that since ICT can change the nature of tertiary education and everyday life, it is possible that lack of it would be grievous for individual teachers and the society in general. In its practical sense, lecturers who lack the basic ICT skills are likely to be ineffective in research activities.

Lecturers’ competencies as used in this paper imply the ability of faculty lecturers to use efficiently the ICT tools in their disposure as well as the manipulation of this equipment for synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. It is the use of ICT tools for instructional design and during delivery system to enhance instruction for students learning in time and in space. ICT tools availability implies that the stock of these tools are accessed and used by lecturers in the required types and number as reported by Chang, Dillon and Calder (2008) and Anulobi (2015).

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