E-LEARNING FACILITIES AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMIC
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
In the last several decades, there has been a large scale emergence and use of technology in every area of human activities including the educational sector. The introduction of technology into educational institutions dates back to earlier times when computers became commercially available and its purpose was mainly to be used to teach computer programming but the development of micro computers in the early 1970 saw the introduction of affordable micro computers into institutions of learning which in turn gave birth to electronic learning (e-learning).
Electronic learning has become a new epitome and new underlying principles in library services as well as educational sector with a mission to serve as a development platform for present day society based on knowledge. What then is e-learning?
According to Horton (2005), e-learning is the use of internet and digital technologies to create experience that educate our fellow human beings. In our contemporary world, the learning through the aid of a computer simply means online knowledge acquisition through the internet or offline through CD-ROM. In other words, it is the use of network technologies to create, foster, deliver, and facilitate learning anytime and anywhere. According to Olaniyi (2013), e-learning is all about learning that occurs at the computer.
E-learning, often referred to as web-based or online learning, is currently a fast growing educational paradigm in educational institutions in Nigeria. It involves all teaching and assessment approaches that use technology such as Wikis, Blogs, Podcast, and learning management systems such as computers, internet, and web connectivity to enhance learning experiences and research works (Mahahusudhan, 2008; Nadiu, 2011). This new teaching and learning approach offers potential values to traditional teaching and learning approach due to its flexibility and accessibility of information to a great number of students at a time (Naqvi, 2012).
E-learning also provides easy access to any type of information required for academic purpose through the use of internet facilities such as World Wide Web (www) based technologies and other software. Nkanga (2007) indicated that e-learning is a computer supported collaborative learning process that deploys the technology of computer as its main platform for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and enables both learners and teachers to generate, advance, and share knowledge in a more common form. Apparently, e-learning is the only promising option for effective dissemination and collection of information which can successfully accommodate the ever growing need for access to knowledge equity and quality in schools.
The term e-learning defines technology mediated and digitally empowered learning that utilizes hardware (eg personal computers, tablets, printer, digital videos, over head projectors) and software (operating systems, cloud technologies, applications (APP),writing, editing (Ms office)and CD textbooks that fall in the categories of courseware, OER, USB drives, CD-ROM) and others , whether from a distance or face-to-face classroom setting (PC helped learning), to empower teacher to student interactions. Actually it moves the citadel of learning from traditional to module-driven. ICT-based customized, adaptable and synergistic learning that involves learners, instructors, facilitators, and specialists (Falana, 2015; Marckus and Robey, 2011; Olojo et al, 2012). While the traditional was teacher focused, the learner focus is facilitated by technology affordance which empowers learners in sharing and receiving contents regularly. E-learning encompasses simplified and synergistic PC bolstered learning process and appraisal approaches that utilize innovation and other programming such as Wikis, blogs, podcast, and learning management frameworks (e.g internet and web offices (www) to improve teaching and research works (Mahahusudhan,2008; Nadiu, 2006) and to empower students and teachers to produce, progress, and share learning content in a more r egular structure (Chiaha et al, 2013).
The role of e-learning facilities in teaching and learning has become one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy. According to Adesoji (2012), electronic learning facilities comprises of computer and ICT materials such as computers, internet, email, computer software, satellite, mobile communication gadgets, discussion boards, blogs, text chart, educational animation, learning management software, projectors etc, which aid information collection and dissemination, research and global exchange of ideas that are critical for advancing meaningful educational initiatives and understanding issues related to global development. The introduction of electronic learning facilities to the education system is aimed at improving educational delivery and preparing students for role in an information age. Application of e-learning facilities provide productive teaching and learning in order to increase people’s creative and intellectual resources especially in today`s information society and gives ample and exceptional opportunities to the teachers and students to develop capacities for high quality learning and to increase their ability to innovate (Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Iyanmu 2005). E-learning increases the flexibility of delivery of education so that learners can access knowledge anytime and from anywhere. It can influence the way students are taught and how they learn as now the process are learner driven and not by teachers. This in turn would better prepare the learners for lifelong learning as well as to improve the quality of learning (Adu and Oladuntan 2013).
Garrison and Anderson (2003), assert that the utilization of e-learning facilities helps learners willingness to learn to innovate and introduce atmosphere where interests are stirred, creative abilities invigorates, premiums produced, perspectives developed and states of mind changed along the lines of achieving the premise for instruction. The advantages of e-learning facilities teachers and learners is that it reduces time and cash, upgrades image of the institution, advances ceaseless expert advancement of staff, enhances the nature of education and makes adaptation powerful. Richmond (2014) notes that there is a connection between the educational programs and ICT and that there are three ways technology can impact learning: presentation, exhibition, and the execution of information utilizing efficiency devices; Use of educational modules-particular applications, for example , instructive games, drills, practice, simulation, instructional exercise. Virtual lab perception and illustration, representation of unique ideas, musical piece, and master frame works; and use of information and assets on CD-ROM, online reference book, intuitive maps and chart books, intuitive maps and chart books, electronic diaries and different references.
However, the socio-economic potentials of the teaching methodology of e-learning precipitate its fast adoption especially in the western world, where many educational institutions see e-learning programme as a profitable venture. In addition, as the teaching landscape is changing rapidly because of the rise in technology in the twenty first century and the integration of technologies into the society coupled with access to the internet, the way teaching is carried out in educational institutions has changed especially in the western world. Blended learning technique (the combination of frequent e-learning and traditional face-to-face learning) has been adopted in educational institutions. This is approach guarantees that the learner is involved in driving his or her individual learning experience. This method assists and caters for individual needs of the learners than the traditional classroom teaching experience because most students have unique learning styles.
Therefore the researcher went further to assess the e-learning facilities and academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
E-learning is a computer supported collaborative learning process that deploys the technology of computer as its main platform for information and communication TECHNOLOGY (ICT) and enables both students and teachers to generate, advance and share knowledge in a more common form. It involves all teaching and assessment approaches that use technology and learning management systems such as computers, internet, and web connectivity to enhance learning experience and research work.
There are problems associated with the e-learning facilities: availability and utilization in secondary schools which includes; absent or inadequate e-learning facilities; computers, GSM phones, projectors, internet services and lack of trained personnel. Therefore, it was on this purpose that the researcher chose to write on the E-learning Facilities and academic achievement in Economics among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.