ICT in Teaching and Learning and Management of Massification

ICT in Teaching and Learning and Management of Massification

James Lagoro Lam (Gulu University, Uganda)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0264-8.ch002
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Massification is among the greatest challenges in higher education. In this chapter, the use of ICT was identified as a quality tool for efficient and effective teaching and learning of science and how it mitigates massification; where the ratio of educational resources and class numbers become incompatible, giving rise to stressful learning conditions resulting in loss of quality and lowering standard (Mohamedbhai, 2008). Using the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, the survey, and single-case and parallel cross-sectional designs, the study involved 294 respondents out of 395 sampled population. The sampling techniques used were purposive, random and stratified. Data was collected through closed-ended questionnaires, oral interviews, direct observation, focus group discussion, and the use of archival records. Analysis was by use of descriptive statistics. Major findings indicated that use of ICT-enhanced quality of teaching and learning in the science-based faculties at Gulu University mitigates the burden of massification.
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Universities the world over and especially those in Africa and more particularly in Uganda are faced with numerous challenges including low funding, ill-trained human capital, inadequate education facilities and high students’ enrollment. The Economist, 2005 (cited in Mohamedbhai, 2008), advanced four main reasons for students’ explosion, viz; the democratization of education, the rise of the knowledge economy, the phenomenon of globalization which is turning higher education into an export industry, and competition for students, funds and research grants. This quantitative increase in enrollment resulted into situation of massification where the ratio of educational resources and class numbers become incompatible giving rise to poor quality standard (Mohamedbhai, 2008). Furthermore, overcrowding of lecture rooms, laboratories, students’ residences and libraries results in deterioration of the physical infrastructure and wearing out of equipment (Adu & Orivel 2006; Chevaillier, 2000; The Economist, 2005). Indeed, Ajayi et al. (1996) confirmed that “many of the older universities were planned when much smaller numbers of students and staff were envisaged.” Effah (2005) gives the example of Ghana where “a University built for 3,000 students is currently coping with about 24,000 without corresponding expansion in academic and physical facilities, overstretching existing facilities to their elastic limits.” The University of Yaoundé, Cameroun, which in 1993/1994 had over 40,000 students on a campus originally intended for 5,000 students. Calderon (2012) forecasted that by 2035 it is likely that South and West Asia will have about 125 million enrollments in higher education – a global share of 24%, making it the region with the second highest number of enrollments.

In a research carried out by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja, Nigeria (Education Status Report, 2005), it was observed that overpopulated classrooms are considered to be un conducive for both Teachers and Students when it comes to the issue of continuous assessment marking and the ability to give individualized attention to Students needing extra help and vice versa. Furthermore, Onwo (1998) contended that class size is a big factor in determining the attainment of educational goals and objectives. UNESCO (2000) recommends that Students’ population in a single classroom should not exceed 1:30, or at most 1:35 in order to foster provision of quality teaching and learning. Edge (1980) in his study on teaching writing skills reported that in large classes, the provision of an opportunity for discussion or any kind of oral input to the written work is difficult. Powell (1969) observed that, large numbers of students in a class allow almost no opportunity for genuine exchange of opinions or arguments. In the Education Government White Paper (1992) the recommended teacher-student ratio is 1:45 to enable efficient and effective teacher-learners interactions. Class enrollment that so far goes beyond that recommended number outside any other policy framework is thus considered high. Musisi et al., (2003: 43) cited in the Uganda Vice Chancellor’ Forum [UVCF] (2013), re-echoes the foregone statement in a report issued by the Makerere University Academic Staff Association which found that more than half the registered students in some courses did not attend lectures because of lack of seats and poor audibility in the lecture halls. Such insufficient facilities and high student-lecturer ratios compromised academic quality as the report noted. Confirming the foreseeable, the NCHE (2011) interpolates thus:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Quality Management: Management is the process of working with and through people and other resources to implement decisions and to accomplish organizational goals ( Nwankwo, 1982 and Mafabi, 1992 ). The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Management as the act or art of managing: the conducting or supervising of something such as a business. In this report quality management will be viewed: First as a process of getting activities completed efficiently and effectively with and through other people, i.e. Management which “fits the purpose” for which it is done; Secondly, as a process of setting and achieving goals through the execution of the basic management functions: Planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling which in operational principles puts management into three components, i.e. plan, execute and measure.).

ICT: ICT in brief is the acronym for Information Communication Technology. Santhi, K. R & Kumaran G, S. (2005) refers to it as the broad range of digital technologies.

University Education: University education or post-secondary education as many may refer to it draws a number of meanings from different scholars. Harvey (2004) perceives University Education also (Higher or Tertiary education) to mean that non-compulsory education provided via a specialist institution. The word “University” in particular is derived from the Latin expression: Universitas Magistrorum et Scholarium , which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars”, or the Union of Scholars. In Uganda, the term higher education is used interchangeably with the term tertiary education to refer to the advanced level of education offered beyond full courses of secondary education (EPRC, 1989).

Core Functions: These are tasks that guide functions of an entity without which that entity fails to achieve its prescribed strategic objectives and roles. At University level the core functions include: Teaching and Learning, Research and Publications, Community Engagement and Library Services.

Massification: Conceptually, the term massification once mentioned, provokes a variety of meanings. To a greater extent it refers to the escalating expansion and widening of access to tertiary education (Kajubi, 1997). In another context massification is looked at as diversity of institutions and programmes. Mohamedbhai (2008) views massification as a situation where the ratio of educational resources and class numbers became incompatible giving rise to stressful learning conditions thus loss of quality and lowering of standard. In this study massification will be perceived in the context of widening access and increased enrollment in higher education and how it has influenced the quality teaching, learning and management.

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