ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of e-learning facilities utilization on students’ academic performance in social studies in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Two (2) research questions and hypotheses were formulated for the findings of the study. The study adopted a survey research design and made use of a simple random sampling technique to select a total of 100 students for the findings of the study. Two (2) instruments (Social Studies Achievement Test (SSAT) and questionnaire) were used for data collection. The test scores were analyzed using independent t-test method; and the result showed that all the calculated t-values were greater than the critical t-values. This resulted to the nullification of the null hypotheses 1 and 2 which implies that e-learning facilities significantly affect students’ academic performance in school subjects including social studies. Some recommendations were made among others that teachers should ensure that students are well exposed to the use of e-learning facilities to boost their pace of learning and skills acquisition as well as students’ academic performance.
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 and especially in the educational field. This has brought about a dramatic change in instructional methods for general education. According to Bark (2001) the use of computers in educational institutions dates back to the earlier times when computers became commercially available and educators argued that computers should be used to support learning.
However, there has always been debate among educators on how the technology should be used and what improvements in students’ learning could be expected. Initially computers were used to teach computer programming but the development of the microprocessor in the early 1970, saw the introduction of affordable micro computers into schools at a rapid rate. According to Donates and Isang (2013) computers and applications of technology became more pervasive in society which led to a concern about the need for computing skills in everyday life.
In early stage of computer assisted instruction, contents from textbooks in the past were adopted directly in the instructional materials. Although this kind of instructional material is regarded as digital, they lack essential interacting qualities. Insufficient explanation and description can easily cause laziness to the learners in the learning process or even lead to terminating learning and thus affecting the learning effect and consequences are just caused by inappropriate arrangement of paths of instructional materials which creates cognitive loss and burdens to the learners (Dias and Sousa, 1997, Min 2004, Yan 2002, Ya 2002). Nowadays, networks have a tremendous impact on the ways in which it makes difficult topics to be understood easily in subject like Mathematics.
E-learning facilities utilization provides a teaching medium that can result in the more effective learning base on the concept of students’ centred learning. It also improves the understanding of the students with the use of computer and creating awareness at the advantages of using computer in learning over manual aid (Evans, 2004).
According to Goolbee and Guryan (2002) e-learning is a very broad term. It is used to describe any type of learning environment that takes place away from actual traditional classroom and campus. E-learning began at just about the same time that computer was developed that was practiced for personal use. The concept and practice of distance learning pre-dates the computer by almost 100 years. Electronic learning and distance learning are not quite the same thing. The basic thing that distinguished distance education is the physical separation of the students from the instructor and the classroom, e-learning however became part of the classroom environment from the beginning. Computerized information system is a computer based organization system which provides information to support management activities and function.
Before the era of e-learning, the word learning clearly depicted a situation of the transferring of knowledge between one person who comprises the role of teacher to another person or group of people (study) with the advanced technology, this traditional way of learning is either replaced or supported by other various learning style including digital media and computer technology where information are transmitted via network and can be access regardless of time and place. However, various technologies had come since then in the effort to clearly categorize the learning system from one another. Online learning is chosen for this project because it narrows down the definition from e-learning (also known as electronic learning) electronic learning consist of those from electronic medium such as computers and satellite broadcasts. It can be corrected to a network of offline while International Conference on Science and Technology application in industry and education (2006) 227, online learning consists of those from electronic medium like computers and satellite broadcasts, but the presence of network connection is compulsory. The purposed system suggests is that, it can be accessed through the internet to allow a larger scope of user since online narrows down the category, it is chosen as the terminology for this system (Kalu, 2003).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, there has been policy outcry on the dwindling nature of students’ academic performance in both internal and external school examinations. It is a fact that poor academic performance of students has become a reoccurring feature in our educational system. Many researches and educationists attributed the trend to the nonchalant attitude of students towards studies and the laissez-faire approach of parents towards the educational pursuit of their wards.
Worried by this ugly development, government, corporate bodies, and well-meaning individuals have made concerted efforts to stimulate students’ interest in learning, improve the performance of students and to make sure that the past glory of our educational system returns. These efforts have been in the areas of providing basic teaching and learning materials, school infrastructural development, recruitment of qualified teachers among others. All these efforts notwithstanding, the input has remained nothing to write home about.
Apparently, most educators and researchers are of the opinion that with the utilization of e-learning facilities to the teaching-learning process, the situation will be overturned and the desired result would be achieved in view of the potential of computers in ensuring individualized instruction while believing that the incidence of students’ failure in examinations will be a thing of the past.
It is against this backdrop therefore, this study on e-learning facilities utilization and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of e-learning facilities utilization in improving students’ academic performance.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine e-learning facilities utilization and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Examine if e-learning facilities utilization has any effect over manual teaching aids.
- To assess the difference in academic performance between male and females students taught using e-learning facilities.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study shall be of immense importance to teachers, policy makers, educators and the likes.
- It is hoped that the result from this study will be of great and immense benefits to the following educational establishments such as Federal and State Ministries of Education, Secondary School Management Boards, school authorities, teachers, librarians, students, policy makers and public library institutions.
- The study also will assist both the federal and State Ministry of Education, Secondary School Management Board and school authorities involved in the review of curriculum and provision of adequate libraries and e–learning facilities.
- The study will help teachers to understand the role of e-learning facilities utilization in effective teaching of students.
- The study will create in the students, awareness of regarding the significant of ICT tools and its uses in learning.
- Above all, the study will serve as a contribution to the existing body of knowledge on students’ use of e-learning facilities in secondary school libraries.