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Assessing The Ict Competencies Of Library Science Teachers And Students In State Universities In South-East Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

The study investigated Assessing the ICT competencies of library science teachers and students in State universities in South East Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. To guide the study the researcher posed Six research questions and formulated three hypotheses. The design used for this study is descriptive survey. The area of the study are Abia and Imo State of Nigeria. The sample size of 125 teachers and students were sampled from the population of 579 using Proportionate stratified random sampling technique.   The instruments for data collection were questionnaire and observation checklist. One hundred and twenty five copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the Teachers and Students in the two Library Schools in South East Nigeria with a 100% return rate. The reliability of the instrument was computed cluster by cluster using cronbach alpha which yielded an overall reliability coefficient of 0.82. The following statistical measures were employed for the data analysis: frequency, Z-test, percentage and mean. The results obtained from the findings revealed that the extent of application of ICT by teachers and students in library and information science is significantly low, that the frequency and percentage of the resources needed by teachers and students for the teaching and learning of ICT related courses in the two Library schools is high. Also, the Proposition of available ICT resources is significantly greater 0.50. The findings reveald that  the level of ICT competencies possessed in the two library schools is significantly above expectation. The respondents agreed with most of the itemized problems affecting teachers and students implementation of ICT competence in the two Library schools, that the teachers and students in the two library schools studied lack some basic competencies. Based on the research findings, the researcher recommended that teachers and students should avail themselves of the available ICT resources in their institutions as a way of enhancing their studies, learning and aiding retention. Better funding of ICT resources by universities/government is necessary in the library schools. Teachers and students in Library schools should have full ICT skill, especially in the areas of power point and use of projectors as this will promote learning making it more permanent in students. Finally, there should be adequate power supply and power back up as this is necessary for continuous ICT resources usage.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, the researcher presents the background of study, and statement of the problem, purpose of the study, significance of the study, research questions and hypotheses.

Background to the Study

ICT stands for information and communication technology and defined as a means of accessing or receiving, storing, transferring, processing and sending ideas perceptions or information through computers and telecommunication facilities (Ezekoka, 2009).

ICT is divided into two main approaches in education such as; ICT for education and ICT in education. ICT for education implies the development of information communication technology for learning and teaching purposes while ICT in education involves the adoption of general components of information and communication technology in practical use in teaching and learning processes.(Vooge and Pelgmm; 2015)Watson, 2016). Ajayi (2017) highlighted that the world of today is considered a global village through the use of ICT in different educational, political, economic and social sectors. Almost in all situations of task, we find the integration and the use of technology to solve problems. Accordingly, teachers and students need to be equipped and acquaint themselves to make changes brought by technology.

The introduction of ICT into teaching and learning in the tertiary institutions clearly changed the way education is conducted. It paves the way for a new pedagogical approach, where students are expected to play more active role than before (ie getting more involved in the learning process being active participants of knowledge creation not mere receipts of knowledge). Using information and known ICT tools in education, students and teachers should be able to communicate, create presentations in power point, and interact with each other using technology.

Etim, Akpan, and Ibok (2013) defined the internet as the interconnections of system of subsystems of equipment that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission or reception of data or information. Dickson (2016) noted that the internet can be seen to provide resources and services that are used for accessing, processing, gathering, manipulation and presenting or communicating information. The use of internet in education is now growing in all parts of the world and their application is becoming an integral part of teaching and learning in many parts of the globe. Abacal and Nicolle (2015) indicated that most developed countries have exploded the potential of internet to transform their education landscape.

Internet as a digital tool of ICT has strengthened teachers and students teaching and learning as it provides powerful resources and services for teachers and students, thereby enabling them meet their educational needs. It also allows for networking among students and teachers to facilitate exchange of ideas and improve opportunities for connecting schools to the world (Dotimi & Hamilton- Ekete, 2013).

Competence is viewed as demonstrating the knowledge, skills, experience and attributes necessary to carry out a defined function effectively. It is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities at a level of expertise sufficient to be able to perform appropriately a given task in a work place. Wojtezak (2000) defines competence in  generic term as possession of satisfactory level of relevant knowledge and acquisition of  a range of skills that include interpersonal and technical components at a certain point in  the educational process. Such knowledge and skill are necessary to perform the tasks that reflect the scope of professional practices. It is a combination of theoretical and practical experience that makes an individual able and willing to take the right decision in daily working environment.

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ICT competencies could therefore be viewed to be those relevant skills and knowledge to be acquired by library science teachers and students to be able to fully exploit information search, retrieval, and deliver using electronic format. The teachers and students in Imo and Abia State universities are expected to possess the technique for gathering, processing and disseminating information to users via the electronic format or skills required to effectively source information stored in electronic format, such as basic computer operating skills, internet and electronic document search skills and also storage and information skills. They should also be competent in the use some of library software packages that can enable them handle the professional technical operations in the library like cataloguing, classification and to generate user databases. For this research therefore, competencies and skills will be used interchangeably.

The availability of these ICT material resources when combined with the ICT human resources will aid in the production of ICT literate graduates that are needed in this digital age. Library and information science education in Nigeria today cannot be relevant without adequate preparation of a new generation of librarians to effectively use the new information and communication technologies in their professional practices (Igwe, 2014). The graduates must endeavor to acquaint themselves with the practical utilization of various types of information and communication technology resources.

Nigeria as a country is yet to make available and use ICTs to transform its educational system. Olelube (2016) indicated the benefits of internet use in education, and also found positive and moderately high achievement at all educational level, from computer use in school subjects, which allows students and teachers to focus on strategies and interpretation of answers rather than spend time on tedious computational calculation. It is then generally believed that the use of internet in the education sector in a developing nation like Nigeria would help teachers and students in learning that would yield better result and also bridge the information barrier between developed and developing nations. The 21st century ICTs has stretched educational boundaries and created new ones some of which are internet, e-learning and M-learning. The concept of mobile learning (m-learning) by students and teachers is facilitated by mobile devices. M-learning according to Sharples, Arnedillo Sand Milrad and vavould (2017) is an emergent paradigm in a state of intense development filled by technological streams, good competition and development intelligent interface.

According to Yusuf (2015), Culture and society which are major factors of Education have adjusted to meet the challenges of the knowledge age. These prevalence and rapid development in ICT has transformed human society from the information age to knowledge age. The use of ICT in education by library science teachers and students has become a necessity as it can be used to improve the quality of teaching and learning library and information science. Teacher   and students needs to have the knowledge, skills and tools in handling digital information to be efficient  creators, collectors, consolidators and communicators of information and must become familiar with information and communication technology (ICT) and feel comfortable both when using the ICT resources themselves and when helping others to make  effective use of them, The emergence of powerful technologies, vast amounts of information in multimedia and other digital formats and more technologically talented users means that librarians and information managers are faced with the great challenge of dealing with this information revolution. ICT permeates almost all the courses taught in Library Schools. Such courses include: Introduction to library resources and services, technical services in libraries, collection development, computers and data processing, introduction to information science, audiovisual librarianship, school libraries and media resource centers, references and information services etc.

The use of ICT in education and training has been a priority in most European countries during the last decade, but progress has been uneven (Pelggmm, 2004). In most developed countries such as UK, schools have embedded the use of ICT in teaching and learning into the curriculum and demonstrate high level of effective and appropriate use to support teaching and learning. Organization for Economic Cooperation and development, (OEC, 2004).

Furthermore, (UNESCO, 2005) reiterates that those countries have integrated ICT into their education system because of its profound implication such as enabling teachers and students to construct rich multi-sensory, interactive environments with almost unlimited teaching and learning practical. According to (Unwin, 2014), computers and internet can be used to increase teachers basic skills and subject mastery, to provide resources that can later be used in classroom, and to help teachers build familiarity with specific instructional approaches. Oduma (2013), likened ICT to a utility like water and electricity which plays a major role, in education and has impacted on the quality and quantity of teaching and learning as well as research in educational technology to initiate a new age in education.

The rapid growth of the global economy and the information based society has pressurized education systems round the world to use ICTs to acquire the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century (World Bank, 2015). The growth of the ICT sector has challenged teachers and students to prepare for effective use of the new teaching and learning tools (UNESCO, 2011). Laferreire, Breulex and Bracewell, (2015) argue that there are significant benefits of using ICT as part of teaching and learning process as long as teachers recognize the relationship between the use of ICT and overall curriculum. Haddad and Draxler (2015), pointed out the difference ICTs do make in the valuable contributions to various parts of educational development and effective learning through expanding access, promoting efficiency, improving the quality of learning, enhancing quality teaching and improve management systems.

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On the contrary, many developing countries in Africa are living in a world of technological deficiency, that is lack of access to knowledge that is learnt via the internet (DECP, 2006). Additionally, if Africa aims to better prepare its citizens for the challenges of the 21st century, it must also foster through implementation of ICT to tap new attractive, promising and diversified potentials. New partnership for African’s Development, (NEPAD, 2013) Grabe and Grabe, (2017) emphasizes that technologies can play an important role in enabling students gain skills and knowledge in the teaching and learning process. As a result of the importance of ICT at this age, educational systems around the world are under increasing pressure to use the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources to teach students the knowledge and skills they need in the 21st century. Resources may be seen as any physical or virtual entity of limited availability. Information and communication technology resources are the major factor in shaping the new global economy and producing rapid changes in society.

According to Hetachew (2017) ICT resources could also include access to machine, multi-media equipments etc. However, while talking about resources, one needs to look at their usage, as well as competencies possessed by the ICT lecturers and students. Competencies as observed by special librarians of the 21st century are the interplay of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes required to do a job effectively from the point of view of both the performer and the observer. It is important to note that many resources cannot be consumed in their original format as consumable product. The material resources have to be processed by the human resource, in order to put them in more usable form, and this process is known as resource development. With the rise in human numbers all over the world, the demand for ICT resources has also increased.

ICT resources are one of the major infrastructures needed in library schools today due to the information age we are currently living in. Consequently, any graduate of Library and Information Science (LIS) needs to be quite versatile in the use of ICT resources. Many library schools all over the world have developed strategies to eliminate ICT illiteracy by designing their curricula with a view to producing information and communication technology literate graduates who would be relevant and marketable. For example, many library school curricula now include courses on web design, networking, software application, systems design and management, electronic publishing, internet and other on-line databases access to reflect the changing competency needs of their graduates (Mabawonku and Okwilagwe, 2014). In view of the above, teachers, students, libraries, librarians and information managers have to cope with the new demands of an information society by evaluating their curriculum as at when due.

In Nigeria priors to independence, the only method of becoming  librarian was by taking the Associate Ship of the British library Association (ALA); A number of studies of west African library needs were sponsored by the Carnegie corporation of New York. This led to the Achimota library school which opened. In 1994, but it lasted for an experimental period of three years only. The closure of the Achimota library school stunted and impended the early efforts made by the Carnegie.

Corporation to produce crop libraries who would have led the movement for the expansion of library services in West Africa. This was then the end of the foundational efforts in creating modern libraries in Nigeria (Aguolu and Aguola, 2002). Library education in Nigeria nevertheless has come a long way today. Since, the first library school in 1960 at the university college, Ibadan, several changes has been witnessed in the society at large and in the library profession in particular. The end of the 1980s saw the establishment of qualifications up to the Ph.D level (Igwe, 2015).

The department of library and information science, Imo State university, Owerri, took off in 1993/94 academic session with admission of fifty undergraduate students. (Imo State University Owerri, Department of Library and information Science 2016. The department is located in the faculty of education. The Department produced its first graduates in the 1996/97 academic session. The history of library and information science programme at university of Nigeria, Nsukka can be traced to the 1983/84 session, when the department took of with one full-time and four past time lecturers with a pioneer population of 18 students its full complement of classes in the 1986/87 session and graduated its foundation students in 1987. On the other hand, department of library science Abia State University, Uturu took off in 1981/82 academic session, and graduated her batch of students made up of 19 Bachelor of Library studies (BLS) graduate in 1984/85 academic session (Abia University University, Uturu, Department of library and information science, 2016).

 Statement of the Problem

ICT is an indispensable tool for information service delivery in modern university library schools essentially for its speed, accuracy and high precision. With the aid of ICT, Information is generated quickly with less mistakes and it ensures dissemination of  precise and concrete information.

Though the ICT facilities have been provided, it is observed that they are not effectively utilized by teachers and students in some university library schools Chifwepa, (2013). Therefore, uncertainty exists about whether teachers and students of library and information science possess adequate competencies to operate ICT facilities effectively. The overall ICT objectives in library schools can only be achieved if the teachers and students that use these facilities possess the right competencies. Where the needed ICT competencies are lacking in them, then library schools in Nigeria would probably be cut off from the rest of the world in terms of globalization. This would further cripple the university’s basic objectives of teaching, learning and research.

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To remedy this, there is an urgent need to assess the ICT competencies of library science teachers and students in State Universities in South East Nigeria and how they can improve, This in fact is what this study is poised to do.

Scope of Study

The study is poised to assess the ICT competencies of library and information science teachers and students in State universities in, South, East Nigeria. The study ascertained the availability and implementation of ICTs in teaching and learning.

Factors that enhance the availability of resources for teaching and learning library automation were also explored in this study. The study covered two universities specifically Imo State University, and Abia State University Uturu.

 Purpose of study

The purpose of this study is to assess the ICT competencies of library and information science teachers and students in State universities in south east Nigeria specifically this study is intended to.

  • ascertain the extent to which ICT is applied by teachers and students in teaching and learning library and information science.
  • find out the resources needed by teachers and students for the teaching and learning of library and information science.
  • find out the resources available for teachers and students for the teaching and learning of library and Information Science.
  • ascertain the ICT competencies possessed by teachers and students.
  • identify the problems affecting teacher and students in the application of ICT competence for teaching and learning library and information science.
  • determine strategies that could be adopted to solve the problems affecting the application of ICT competencies of teachers and students in teaching and learning library and information science.

 Significance of Study

This study is expected to be useful to the following groups: Teachers, students, library management, researchers and the government.

The significance of this study to teachers and students cannot be over emphasized as it is obvious that by Assessing the ICT competencies in teachers and students of library and information science it will accelerate, enrich and deepen basic competence in teaching and learning, it also helps in motivating and encouraging students in learning, as all loop holes slowing down teaching and learning process will be exposed there by encouraging students to be more dependent and responsible for their own learning. Most importantly, this study provides basic understanding of ICT pervasiveness in education and strengthen teaching and learning to provide powerful resources and services for students, thereby enabling them to meet their individual needs and also for networking among students and teachers. Thus teachers and students are more connected to each other.

In addition, the findings of this study may establish some skill gap which management may see the need to fill up in other to bring library services for lecturers and students up to date and hence provide standard services to its clientele.

It is hoped that the findings of this study would help the government to know what ICT resources the school libraries lack with a view to making gifts or donations to the school libraries. Researchers will equally benefit from this study because when the students are well trained, their future impact on research activities in libraries will bring about efficient library and information science. Finally, the result of this study would add to the existing pool of knowledge and would serve as a basis for further research.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

  1. What is the extent of application of ICT by teachers and students in Library and information science?
  2. What are the resources needed by teachers and students for the teaching and learning of ICT related courses in library and information science?
  3. What are the resources available for teachers and students in teaching and learning of ICT related course in Library and information science?
  4. What are the ICT competencies possessed by teachers and students in Library and information science?
  5. What are the problems affecting teachers and students application of ICT Competence in Library and information science?
  6. What strategies could be adopted to solve the problems affecting the application of ICT Competencies of teachers and students in Library and information science?

Hypothesis

The following null (Ho) hypotheses were coined from the research question.

  • The mean rating score on the extent of application of ICT by teachers and students in Library and information science is not significantly greater than the expected mean of 25.
  • The percentage of available resources for teachers and students in teaching and learning of ICT related course in Library and information science is not significantly greater 50.
  • The mean rating on the ICT competencies possessed by library and information science teachers and students is not significantly greater than the expected mean of 27.50.

    Pages:  99

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo                            

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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