Impact of Information Communication Technology Strategies on Learning Effectiveness

Impact of Information Communication Technology Strategies on Learning Effectiveness

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJOPCD.292026
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Transnational higher education is a multinational growth strategy requiring a foreign direct investment to establish a university or a campus in a new country and, if possible, to use articulation agreements with credible partners to increase domestic enrolment. Due to the potential international student learning style differences, we hypothesized there may be difficulties teaching Information Communication Technology (ICT) courses in transnational strategies due to the student origin or domestic campus location. The purpose of this study was to examine if student learning was effective within ICT graduate courses at an accredited sub-Saharan Africa-based university implementing the transnational education strategy. We found student learning was effective, but paradoxically, some factors indicated unusual results. Learning impact was higher when students disregarded the learning objectives, which we were able to explain theoretically. Conversely, learning impact was higher for many students who avoided tutoring, which we also rationalized.
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The authors were motivated to examine student learning effectiveness for two practical issues. One problem was that teaching modern ICT-related content online is more challenging than teaching it in the classroom or lab (K.D. Strang & Vajjhala, 2017; Tsai, 2019). The authors taught in a unique context impacted by adopting a Western country's transnational education internationalization strategy. Additionally, as with faculty peers worldwide, the authors were directed to move all computer science programming courses online due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The authors conducted this project because they had found minimal empirical studies measuring the learning effectiveness of a transnational education strategy deployment, particularly at universities in sub-Saharan Africa. Transnational education is a relatively new market expansion and product growth strategy, requiring a foreign direct investment, a franchise, a partnership agreement, or collaboration between a western-oriented college in the UK or USA with a developing country university (BC, 2020). The lack of published studies could be a symptom of the secretive non-nondisclosure clauses in transnational education strategies (Waddingham, 2018), so the authors felt they could contribute to the literature by examining the learning effectiveness of this model. The third motivator underlying our study was that the transnational education models might face a challenge because of social culture, language, and learning style differences between the market leaders based in the UK, Australia, and USA as contrasted with developing nations in sub-Saharan Africa (Arnolda & Versluis, 2019; BC, 2020; Ifeanyi et al., 2018; K.D. Strang, 2017). The authors felt that deploying global education strategies may be challenging in Nigerian universities due to terrorism, corruption, and food insecurity (Che, Strang, & Vajjhala, 2020).

The Nigerian higher education market was of interest to the authors due to its significant economic potential. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with a GDP of over $410 billion by 2018, and it is the most populous country in the continent with an estimated 200 million people (Nigeria-NBS, 2019). Demographically, the country is young, with 62.5% of the population under the age of 24 and having a relatively high average annual population growth rate of 3.5% (Nigeria-NBS, 2019). When Nigeria gained independence from the UK in 1960, the country had already established six research-focused universities, yet more universities emerged as the demand for graduate degrees increased. UK and USA-based universities initiated transnational education strategies with Nigerian institutions to gain larger market share and increase revenues – and vice-versa (Waddingham, 2018). The key benefits of transnational education partnerships for Nigerian universities included: Access to advanced course designs, modern syllabi, research resources, ICT content, ICT programming languages, faculty mentoring, pass-through accreditation from the USA or UK, and subsequent instant credibility (Waddingham, 2018). The strategy is implemented by foreign universities expanding into a country through a dual or joint degree articulation agreement, franchising with validation, building a branch campus, developing partnerships or collaborations, and locally delivering online and blended programs (BC, 2020). Transnational education can be applied by K12 schools and universities, colleges, and vocational institutions (BC, 2020). Some developing countries collaborate with western-world nations for knowledge gain and credibility. Internationalization strategies in higher education have begun to fail due to rising global terrorism (K.D. Strang, 2019a), evolving political tensions (BC, 2020; Korstanje & Strang, 2018), and increasing restrictive government policies for travel visas (Korstanje et al., 2019).

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