Science Education Lecturers’ Perception of the Roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment

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Science Education Lecturers’ Perception of the Roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment in Akwa Ibom State. 

ABSTRACT

The study examined Science Education lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment in Akwa Ibom State. The researchers adopted descriptive survey design for the study. The population of the study which also formed the sample for the study was Fifty two Lecturers in the Department of Science Education in the two universities in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.  Three research questions and one hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire designed and constructed by the researchers titled “Lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment” (LPRETIME).Two experts validated the instrument. The reliability coefficient of 0.87 was obtained using Cronbach Alpha analysis. The researchers administered 52 copies of the questionnaire to the respondents but 50 were correctly completed and returned. The data collected was analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while t-test was used in testing the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The results indicated that the means scores for all the items in research question 1 was above the cluster mean of  2.50, showing that the Science Education lecturers had high positive perception towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment, there was no significant difference of the Science Education lecturers’ perception based on gender and there was high positive perception of the stated problem combating full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment. It was concluded that the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment has provided opportunities for educational institutions to harness and use technology to support and complement the teaching and learning process.  It was recommended among others that Lecturers in Science Education should make use of ICT related media in teaching and learning due to the reward derivable through their uses and that practical ICT gadgets use and integration should form an integral part of the courses content delivery. 

KEYWORDS: Educational Technology, ICT Tools, Instructional Delivery, Science Education Programme.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The term technology presupposes systematic application of well-researched and dependable body of knowledge to respond to practical challenges in various dimensions of human existence.  Technology is found at varying degrees in all aspects of human endeavours at all level of human development and in all ages of human existence.  Currently, the level of technological development and its application determines the ‘world’ to which a nation or a state belongs while the level of technology culture an individual acquires, especially in the computer sector, determines the level of global accessibility to source of information and action (Inyang-Abia, 2009).  Educational Technology being eclectic in nature addresses and solves educational and institutional problems economically, effectively, efficiently and with dependable quality control.  It is formed by multiple interactions within itself and between itself and the environment.  Many states in Nigeria have embarked on a quantitative expansion of school/colleges/Universities with a minimal consideration of the quality of instruction provided in those schools.  The effective implementation of the National Policy on Education (NPE) can assure equality of opportunity and the improvement of the quality of instruction.  It is our considered opinion that the quality of instruction can be improved if educational technology principles, techniques and practices are effectively applied.

Educational technology is concerned with the provision and harnessing of facilities/resources for effective, efficient and conducive learning (Ibe-Bassey, 2009).  Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge and skill. It happens when information, human resource and environment are purposively arranged to achieve a certain purpose.  Generally, educational technology has been considered within the global educational service complex. The objectives of educational service include:

  1. To develop, assess and improve educational programme
  2. To enhance teaching and improve the competence of teachers
  3. To make learning more meaningful for children
  4. To reduce educational costs
  5. To promote in-service education
  6. To develop and promote effective use of innovation materials in schools -Section 8 page 70 (NPE, 2008)

Ekpo (2007) commented that educational technology has brought a paradigm shift in teachers’ role. Teachers are no longer regarded as custodian of knowledge and disseminators of information. The burden of transferring knowledge to the learners has equally switched from the teacher to the myriad of resources available in the ICT mediated learning environment. According to Ajayi (2018), ICT mediated environment is the learning environment that is empowered by ICT gadget for effective communication of lesson content.  It is the integration of computer networking, information processing technologies and their application in teaching and learning process.  It can also be seen as the combination of computer applications and communication technology for gathering, processing, storing and disseminating of lesson content to the learners.

ICT mediated environment has great impact on students learning especially when the teachers are digitally literate and understand how to integrate ICT in instructional lesson delivery. Badmus (2013) affirmed that ICT mediated environment replaces chalkboards with interactive whiteboard where students own Smartphone or other devices for learning during class time.  The rich interactive capacity of ICT mediated learning resources motivates and engages weaker students and allows them learn at an appropriate pace, and teachers adopt scaffolding strategies in all ICT mediated lessons to engage students in higher-order thinking activities (Lim and Khine, 2006). The teachers’ prime role is to provide the learner with a wide variety of learning materials and to nurture creative responses in them. However, the implications of paradigm shift to the human learning system are that:

  1. The learning environment ought to be richly prepared to facilitate individualized learning among the learners.
  2. The learners must have easy access to a variety of pre-selected learning resources with the ICT mediated environment
  3. The teachers must be resourceful to utilize the ICT mediated environment and Educational Technology gadget in all teaching and learning process.

Birch and Sankey (2008) asserted that ICT provides academics with an opportunity to create rich learning environments for their students by the wealth of information and resources on the internet as well as the inclusion of a range of web-based learning elements as applicable in educational technology. Educational technology is a wide field, it can be considered either as design science or as a collection of different research interests addressing fundamental issue of learning, teaching and social organization.  As a field, educational technology emphasize communication skill and approaches to teaching and learning through the judicious use and integration of diverse media.  Practitioners in education seek new and effective ways of organizing the teaching/learning process through the best possible application of technologies development.

Ajileye (2017) defined educational technology as a complex, integrated process, involving people, procedure, ideas, devices and organization for analyzing problems involved in all aspects of learning. Similarly, Mangal and Mangal (2014) defined educational technology as application of the available human and non-human resource for providing appropriate solution to educational problems and to improve the process and product of education.  Hence, educational technology is widely accepted as the application of technology to bring about improvement in teaching, learning and evaluation process.  It makes learning meaningful for both the teacher and the learners. It modifies teachers’ methods of teaching and learners behaviours.  Educational Technology affords a more effective and efficient control over learning situation as well as providing interest, meaning and enrichment to the whole learning experience. Its allow all learners the ability to grow,  especially those kinesthetic learners who thrive in a more hands-on interactive environment.  Using visual technology in the classroom such as short Youtube clips or PowerPoint presentations can be highly engaging.

Educational technology offer solution to educational problems based on its usage. That is why the Association for Educational Communication Technology (AECT) (2014) defined educational technology as the study and ethical practice of facilitation of learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.  The technological processes and resources are the ICT tools that aid learning and improve academic performance of learners.  The use of technology in education has provided students and teachers with an unlimited number of options for classroom learning (Itighise, 2016).  According to Ezekoka, Esogibe and Ettu (2014), the reasons for poor utilization of educational technology media are lack of fund and incentive; lack of expertise in the design, preparation and evaluation of material; lack of school-based resource centre; lack of preparation time and poor storage and maintenance culture. Educational technology has the potential for not only introducing teaching and learning practices, but also for acting as a catalyst to revolutionize the education system.  It can empower teachers and learners and promote the development of skills necessary for the 21st century workplace.  The potential of educational technology to improve the quality of instruction, transform the school, increase access to education and improve teacher education, among others cannot be over emphasized especially when used in ICT mediated environment. Njoku (2006) see ICT in the context of education as the combination of technologies for collecting, storing, processing, communication and delivery of information related to teaching and learning process.

ICTs is a broad term that has to do with the harnessing of process, the method and the product of electronic and communication related technologies for enhancing the productivity, the spread and efficiency of a set of determined goal (Obanya, 2002).  ICT therefore uses modern day technological devices mostly computer and relevant software package to store and retrieve information need in instructions, corporations and organizations.  These innovations have enabled the processing and storage of enormous amount of information along with rapid distribution of information through communication network.  To Ogugua (2004), ICT are product of technology. It is the processing and communication of information by the microcomputer or computerized devices via inter connected network.  ICTs, no doubt have brought tremendous influence on education.  Hence, the current knowledge of ICT mediated environment to exposes the learners to the creative learning style.  In the classroom situation, ICT is utilized to enhance teaching effectiveness which is similar to educational technology gadget utilization in teaching.

Teachers are expected to utilize educational technology gadgets to inculcate relevant knowledge to student. Some tools of educational technology are electronic in nature and can be operated using local network (confined in a particular classroom building).  The computer has the capacity to put text, graphics, pictures and charts which are used for teaching and learning purposes. Internet provide email service, accessibility to web 2.0 technologies such as Dropbox, YouTube, Skype, Imo web 2.0, Facebook, Linkedin and other e-learning applications in learning process. This allows learners to learn anywhere and anytime which eventually lead to increase graduation rate of students (Olorudare, 2006).

ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication devices or application which include but not limited to radio, television, cellular phone, computer network, hardware, software, satellite system as well as various services and applications associated with them.  These include video conferencing, audio conferencing, distance learning and multimedia utilization. ICTs therefore can empower teachers and students by facilitating communication and interaction, offering new modes of delivery and generally transforming the teaching and learning process from the primary to the tertiary levels of education. 

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral part of education in many part of the globe. The Nigeria National Policy for Information Technology (FRN, 2004) recognized the need for ICT to be used for education. One of major objectives, among thirty-one objectives emphasized the need to integrate ICT into the mainstream of education and training. For creative teaching and national development, teachers must be conversant with education innovations, new methodologies and media available in the Educational Technology ICT mediated environment and their applications in teaching and learning process.  Despite the effort of the Federal Government and Universities management on the integration and applications of ICTs into education for effective lesson delivery, studies revealed that Science Education lecturers have been negligent in the use of ICT and Educational Technology gadgets for both teaching and personal development.  There is no doubt that Science lecturers are indispensible for successful teaching and learning with Educational Technology gadgets and their perception towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment is inevitable, if really redefining education through e-technologies and innovative pedagogies is going to be achieved.  This study therefore, examined Science Education lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment in Akwa Ibom State.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study

  1. What is the perception of Science Education Lecturers’ towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment?
  2. Does Science Education Lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment vary based on their gender?
  3. What is the Science Education Lecturers’ perception on the problems confronting full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment? 

NULL HYPOTHESIS

There is no significant difference in the perception of male and female Science Education

Lecturers of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment.

METHODOLOGY

The researchers adopted the descriptive survey design for the study. The questionnaire was used to ascertain the Science Education lecturers’ perception of the roles Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment in Akwa Ibom State.  The instrument used for this study was a researchers’ designed questionnaire tagged “Lecturers’ Perception of the Roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment (LPRETIME).  The questionnaire was divided into two sections. Section A contained 3-items which sought for demographic data of each respondent.  Section B consists of two sub-sections. Sub-section (1) has 15 items focused on the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment and sub-section (2) contained 10 items on Science Education Lecturers’ perception on the problems confronting full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment.  The respondents reacted to each of the items on sub-sections 1 and 2 of section B through a 4-point Likert scale described as Strongly Agree (SD) – 4, Agree (A) – 3, Disagree (D) – 2, and Strongly Disagree (SD) – 1 point.  The items for research questions one was to elicit information on roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment. The items for research questions three was to elicit information on the problems confronting full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment.

The questionnaire was validated by two experts in Educational Technology and Measurement and Evaluation from Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Their observations and recommendations were used to produce the final version of the questionnaire. The reliability coefficient of 0.87 was obtained using Cronbach Alpha analysis. The researchers administered 52 copies of the questionnaire to the respondents but 50 were correctly completed and returned. The data collected was analysed using mean and standard deviation. The mean scores below 2.50 were negative and rejected while mean of 2.50 and above were positive and accepted.  The hypothesis was tested using t-test analysis at 0.05 level of significance.

RESULTS

Research Questions 1

What is the perception of Science Education Lecturers’ towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment?

Table 1: Mean and standard deviation of perception of Science Education                        Lecturers’ towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment (N = 50)

In Table 1 the mean scores ranges from 3.02 to 3.66 which is above the cluster mean of 2.50 showing that the respondent agreed that the stated point are the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment. The table also shows that standard deviation of 12 items out of 15 items ranges between 0.50 and 1.01, which indicated that the respondents agreed with the point raised. With this result, it is postulated that Science Education lecturers have high positive perception towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment for effective instructional delivery and education in general.

Research Questions 2

Does Science Education Lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment vary based on their gender?

Table 2:  Mean and standard deviation of perception of Science Education                      Lecturers’ of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment based on their gender (N = 50)

Table 2 revealed that the mean score of 42.63 obtained by female Science Education lecturers is slightly greater than the mean score of 42.43 obtained by their male counterparts. This result implies that there exists no tangible difference in the mean score of male and female Science Education Lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment.

Research Questions 3

What is the Science Education Lecturers’ perception on the problems confronting full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment?

Table 3:   Mean and standard deviation of Science Education Lecturers’ perception on the problems combating full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment (N = 50)

In Table 3, items 2 to 10 have mean score are above the cluster mean of 2.50 showing that Science Education lecturers agreed that the point’s stated hinder full implementation of educational technology in ICT mediated learning environment. Item 1 shows that non-chalant attitude towards educational technology is not a problem confronting full implementation of educational technology in ICT mediated learning environment. The table also revealed that 7 items out of 10 have standard deviation scores ranging from 0.50 to1.04, which indicated that Science Education lecturers have high positive perception on the problem confronting full implementation of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment.

Null  Hypothesis

There is no significant difference in the perception of male and female Science Education lecturers of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment. 

Table 4: t-test Analysis of male and female Science Education Lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment (N = 50)

The result in Table 4 revealed that the calculated t-value of 0.05 is less than the critical t-value of 1.99 at .05 level of significance and at 48 degrees of freedom. With this result, the null hypothesis was retained. This implies there is no significant difference in the perception of male and female Science Education lecturers towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated learning environment.

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

This study examined Science Education lecturers’ perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment particularly in instructional delivery process. The result in Table 1 revealed that Science Education lecturers have positive perceptions towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT Mediated Environment for effective instructional delivery process.  This result agreed with the view of Badmus (2015) that positive perceptions of the contribution of ICT by the teachers have indicated the teachers’ readiness to support effective integration of ICT in schools. Ajayi (2018) supported that educational technology usage in ICT learning environment facilitates better and productive learning system.  In the same vein Ekpo (2009) affirmed that educational technology has brought a paradigm shift on teacher’s roles as custodian of knowledge to a facilitator using technology gadget in ICT mediated learning environment.  Marshall and Taylor (2008) also affirmed that integrating of ICT is already changing the organization and delivery of education in Nigeria.

The findings of the study in Tables 2 and 4 revealed a strong assertion that there was no significant difference in the perception of male and female Science Education lecturers towards the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment.  This finding is in line with the result of Kosoko-Oyedeko and Tella (2010) that irrespective of gender, teachers have the same perception that ICT contribute immensely to education and enhance students’ performance.

The result in Table 3 showed that Science Education lecturers have high positive perception of the problem confronting full implementation of educational technology in ICT mediated environment. This findings is in line with the view of Osei (2007) that lack of requisite telecommunication infrastructure capable of transporting multimedia messaging, the absence of electric power grids in most part of the country and uneasy access to computer equipment and other accessories at institutional and personal level hindered effective implementation of ICT based learning in Nigeria. Nzeako and Ukegbu (2014) also affirmed  that there is sophistication in construction and operation of most of the teaching equipment and also absence of adequate trained staff for maintenance and repair along with non-availability of spare parts for different type of educational technology equipment in ICT learning  environment. Mangal and Mangal (2014) also supported that there is problem of compatibility and standardization of equipment sold by different manufacturers with difficulty in applications to instructional delivery process. On the contrary findings by Ezekoka, Esogibe and Ettu (2014) affirmed that the roles of educational technology in ICT mediated environment have several advantages for both teachers and the students.  It helps explain complex concepts and assist teachers achieve smooth presentation of the lesson content.

CONCLUSION

The roles of Educational Technology in  Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) mediated environment has provided a number of opportunities for educational institutions to harness and use technology to support and complement the teaching and learning process. Basically, the findings of this study revealed high positive perception of the roles of Educational Technology in ICT mediated environment.  There was no significant difference of the Science Education lecturers’ perception based on gender.  Hence, increase access to ICT means increased access to education, knowledge and effective classroom teaching activities Educational technology therefore, is the effective use of technological tools in teaching and learning process.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The following recommendations were made as it affects educational technology exploration in ICT mediated environment.

  1. Science Education lecturers should make use of ICT related media in teaching and learning due to the reward derivable through their uses and that practical ICT gadgets use and integration should form an integral part of the courses content delivery.
  2. Science Education lecturers in Universities in Akwa Ibom State should be acquainted with adequate knowledge of handling ICT tools in instructional delivery process
  3. Science Education lecturers’ perception could be further enhanced by the Universities Management if they have opportunity for practical training in the use of ICT gadgets.
  4. Universities Management should ensure alternative power supply (solar power) as a solution to lack of electricity in using technological gadgets in teaching and learning process.
  5. Universities Management should ensure Educational Technology laboratory and resource room house current technological tools that are not out dated or spoilt for effective teaching and learning.
  6. Student should be given free access to the ICT teaching gadgets and encourage on how to positively make use of ICT facilities to enhance their learning activities through orientation and seminar.

REFERENCES

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Nzeako, R. C. and Ukegbu, M. N. (2014).The potential of educational technology for effective in instructional delivery in tertiary institution. Journal of Educational Media and Technology,18(1), 25-30.

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AUTHORS: DR. IDONGESIT N. UDOSEN AND DR. ATIMEDET.  ITIGHISE

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