Science Students' Use of the Internet for Learning in Higher Institutions in Osun State, Nigeria

Science Students' Use of the Internet for Learning in Higher Institutions in Osun State, Nigeria

Oloyede Solomon Oyelekan (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria), Gabriel Akinyemi Akinpelu (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria) and Florence Olutunu Daramola (University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2015100105
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Abstract

The Internet is one technology that has impacted tremendously on the sociological fabric of man. In the field of education, it serves as a library of knowledge from where virtually all information could be obtained. Knowledge of how well higher institution students use the Internet for learning may enable their lecturers take appropriate decisions on their instructional practices. In this study, data was obtained from four 435 purposively selected students in the Faculties of Science of six higher institutions in Osun State, Nigeria using a researcher-designed questionnaire. The results show that 63.8% of the students indicated they used the Internet for learning. It was found out that there was no significant difference between male and female students' use of the Internet for learning and there was no significant difference in the students' use of Internet for learning in the private and public higher institutions in the State. However, there was significant difference among the students in their use of the Internet for learning with the University students showing the highest degree of positive response of use followed by the students of the College of Education and then the students of the Polytechnics. It is recommended among others that stakeholders in higher education in Osun State should endeavour to provide modern ICT/Internet facilities in all the higher institutions in Osun State so as to enable students have unlimited Internet access.
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Introduction

The world is in the era of globalization. The concept of globalization coupled with advancement in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has revolutionized business and education across the globe. Globalization is driven by Internet technology. Internet is a compound word coined from two words: Inter- from international: Net – from Network. It consists of millions of computers around the world that are connected to one another through communication liner (e.g. SATALLITE, Domain Name System (DNS), ISAN, Wireless Link e.t.c). Each computer on the Internet offers various information which can be widely accessed by people.

The use of the Internet has grown tremendously since its inception. The Internet has brought new opportunities to the field of education. Educational institutions use the Internet for research and to deliver online courses and course materials to students. It is remarkable that the attention of teachers, lecturers and students are shifting from books to electronic sources. Nowadays, the first source that readily comes to mind in time of need of any information or knowledge is the Internet. In the past, it used to be books. The Internet provides a very fast means of information search.

Jones (2002) in a report on the findings of two surveys involving 2,054 college students at two-year and four-year public and private colleges and universities in the continental United States indicated that nearly three-quarters (73%) of college students said they used the Internet more than the library, while only 9% said they used the library more than the Internet for information searching.

Teachers obtain a lot of useful course materials and lesson plans from the Internet and adapt these for their own use. Lecturers in higher institutions avail themselves the opportunities provided by the Internet to interact with colleagues all over the world, access current research procedures and findings, download lecture materials, deliver online lectures, access students’ assignments and publish their research findings.

Salako and Tiamiyu (2007) asserted that the Internet is acknowledged globally as a technology dominated by young people, and particularly students who are more inclined to exploit Internet resources for education, social interaction and entertainment. Hence, students in higher institutions could source for materials on their courses and researches on the Internet, submit assignments, share knowledge with peers all over the world, and even receive lectures from their lecturers. In the same vein, Kumar and Kaur (2005) conducted a research on Internet and its use in the Engineering Colleges of Punjab, India. The study involved 474 students. It was revealed that 30.8% of the students had 2 to 4 years of experience in using the Internet followed by 1 to 2 years with 27.4%.

Another study conducted by Fasae and Aladeniyi (2012) on Internet use by students of two Faculties of Science in two Nigerian Universities showed that 89% of the respondents indicated that they used Internet for educational purposes, 82% used it for research purposes and 58% used it for entertainment purposes. In another study of Internet access and use among students of the University of Ilorin, Udende and Azeez (2010) found out that of that 80.8% of the 385 respondents indicated that they mostly used the internet for academic purpose, while 14% used it mostly for mails, while 4.9% used it most for fun. Furthermore, 90.1% of them held the view that the internet helped them in solving their academic problems, while 9.9% of the respondents were of the opinion that the internet does not contribute towards their academic excellence. Jones (2002) had earlier reported that nearly four-fifths of college students sampled in his study (79%) agreed that Internet use has had a positive impact on their college academic experience.

If students in higher institutions agree that Internet use impact positively on their academic achievements, a knowledge of how well higher institution students use the Internet for learning could enable their lecturers take appropriate decisions on their instructional practices. It will also provide empirical data for illustrating the trend of this phenomenon and this could be used to make university-wide decisions.

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