Computer Communication and ICT Attitude and Anxiety Among Higher Education Students

Computer Communication and ICT Attitude and Anxiety Among Higher Education Students

Nwachukwu Prince Ololube (NOVENA University Ogume, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-845-1.ch014
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Abstract

This study integrates literature on computer anxiety and communication apprehension to determine their joint impact upon individual attitudes toward using computer communication (CC). This study introduces a new research domain and its application in identifying computer communication attitude and anxiety from a developing economy’s perspective. This study to the best of my knowledge breaks academic ground because it is a domain that has been under-researched in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study moves forward a new framework that places CC/ICTs attitude and anxiety as an assemblage between the more general framework on computer communication attitude and anxiety with which we are familiar.
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Introduction

Computer communication (CC) otherwise known as information and communication technology (ICT) has altered the academic landscape in higher education. Computer communication is perhaps the most fundamental information and communication technology tool in use today. With pressures increasing on higher education institutions to find ways to “do more with less,” CC/ICT is to maintain or improve the quality of services in higher education and at the same time, significantly reduce costs (Voss & Hadden, 2006). These days, the teaching and learning process has been altered by the convergence of several pedagogical developments aided by technological advancements. Advances in computer technology and the diffusion of personal computers, including software and network resources, have hastened the development, implementation and accomplishment of new and innovative teaching-learning strategies. As a result, instructors believe that a greater integration of ICTs in the instructional process tends to improve learning and better prepare students to effectively participate in the changing global work environment (Ololube, 2006b; Sam, Othman, & Nordin, 2005).

Computers and their associated products and processes have become core components of the higher education environment especially in the West. Students in advanced countries use computers as a means of communication and to complete the majority of their academic work (Green, 1998). As a result they have become a way of life for students in the West as opposed to students in higher education environments in most developing economies especially Africa. Nevertheless, the Republic of South African is more adept at integrating ICT for national development and within their educational sectors (Fielden, 1998; Lund, 1998) than other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria (Ololube, 2006a). However, many students in this region’s higher education find it very difficult to effectively use and make computer communication part of their every day lives.

Many students in Nigerian higher education find it very difficult to effectively integrate and diffuse computer products and processes into their academic activities that instigate information searches and attribution formulations. That is why this exploration measured and examined the ways in which CC/ICTs used in institutions are deemed acceptable and good for students’ academic activities. We also recognize that the intimidating study environment has been construed to suggest a sense of weakness towards students’ effective CC/ICT utilization. Overall, African CC/ICT readiness is poor in comparison to other economies, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with the exception of South Africa; on the other hand, North African countries fared better than those in SSA (Colle, 2005; Ifinedo, 2005). This study investigated students’ attitudes and anxieties. It theoretically and empirically analyzed students’ CC/ICT competencies and how they affect their educational/academic development. Data was elicited from students in two state universities in Nigeria.

This study integrates literature on computer anxiety and communication apprehension to determine their joint impact upon individual attitudes toward using computer communication (CC). This study introduces a new research domain and its application in identifying computer communication attitude and anxiety from a developing economy’s perspective. This study to the best of my knowledge breaks academic ground because it is a domain that has been under-researched in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study moves forward a new framework that places CC/ICTs attitude and anxiety as an assemblage between the more general framework on computer communication attitude and anxiety with which we are familiar.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer Attitude: The predisposition of a person to respond positively or negatively towards computers. It affects everything the person does with the computer and in fact reflects what experience the user has and is hence a determining factor of the user’s behavior towards computers. Additionally, the user’s computer attitude provides the user with a framework within which to interpret the effect and the integration of computer in the user’s life.

Knowledge Society: An association of people that have similar interests, be they social, economic, political, cultural and so on and by making effective use of their collective knowledge in their areas of interest thereby contributing to further knowledge that will lead to national progress and global development.

Computer Communication (CC): The process by which people create, exchange, and perceive information using networked communication classifications. It also includes nonnetworked computers that facilitate encoding, transmitting, and decoding information.

Computer Anxiety: The state of fear or tension of imminent contact with a computer that might be inconsistent with the actual danger presented to computer users. It has been associated with decreased use and worse, avoidance that can seriously affect some students’ academic development. In addition, computer anxiety if left untreated leads to ICTs use and avoidance.

Computer Phobia: Associated with the anxiety about learning to use computers or not being able to learn to successfully use computers which is often used to basically mean avoidance or fear of learning the new skills required by increasing use of computers in the school or workplace.

Digital Divide: The term used to explain the divergences between people who have and people who do not have the skills, knowledge and abilities in addition to access and resources to use new CC/ICTs tools. This gap can exist between the educated and uneducated, privileged and underprivileged, between developed nations, developing nations, and those living in rural/urban areas.

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