Researchers on ICTs in Higher Education in Africa

Researchers on ICTs in Higher Education in Africa

(RICTHE Africa – pronounced reek-d-Afrika) –

Coordinator: Chris Pronce Udochukwu Njọkụ (PhD), Computer Communications Centre UNN

Email: udochukwu.njoku@unn.edu.ng

 

PURPOSE

 

Beebe (2013:5) observed: “[In African universities] access to ICT is not as widespread as would be optimal,” and there is low adoption of e-learning or ICTs in education by higher education institutions (HEIs) in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. What factors are responsible for this situation, and how can they be addressed? Do ICTs actually enhance undergraduate and graduate learning? Are ICTs that are effective for one course effective for another course? What are the links between ICT-enhanced learning and graduate employment? How far have ICTs supported HEI administrators in Africa in decision making? These and many other crucial questions that have not been answered in existing literature are what RICTHE Africa exists to answer with concrete, reliable data toward:

  1. Improved leadership and management of ICT-enhanced learning
  2. Improved ICT infrastructure, connectivity, and accessibility
  3. Holistic integration of ICTs into learning and teaching
  4. Developing a contextual relationship between course contents and ICTs

We are gazing at HEIs in which all students, lecturers and administrators use ICTs in learning, teaching and decision making for increased outputs.

 

THE PROBLEM

 

Use of ICTs in learning and teaching has gained universal popularity. UNESCO (2011; 2002), Intel World Ahead Program (2009), Texas Center for Educational Research (2009), Aydin & Unal (2008); Escorza and Rodriguez (2008), Malaysia Ministry of Education and Intel Malaysia (2008) and a host of others had, through projects, revealed numerous benefits of ICT-enabled education. All these focused on use of traditional computer hardware and software in elementary and high schools. Despite the prevalent use of learning management system (LMS) in UK and Swiss HEIs (Jisc, 2008; Minocha, 2009), use of social media in universities in the USA and UK (Sendall et al., 2008), use of mobile phone to enhance language learning in universities in Thailand (Kennedy, 2010), and use of virtual learning space as part of course activities in HEIs in Russia, Sweden and the USA (Blessinger & Kovbasyuk, 2012), Jisc (2008) still asserts that how computers and their software and networks will help HEI students to learn is unclear. This means that access to ICTs by HEI students and faculty is one matter; impact of this access on learning and teaching is another.

 

While in Europe, the Americas and Asia, computers and tablets in classrooms, mobile learning and online programmes are almost traditional; in Africa, access to the Internet and other electronic tools that support learning and teaching is a remarkable challenge. It is believed that ICTs make education inclusive and enhance learning. But “A wide variety of claims is without concrete and credible data to support them” (Wagner et al, 2005:6), and reports on use of ICTs in higher education globally are “on anecdotal cases that describe success stories but provide very little solid empirical evidence” (Chong, 2010:2).

 

REFERENCES

 

Aydin, C. H. & F. Unal (2008). Research Report : The 1:1 eLearning POC Project Pilot Implementation in Turkey. Ankara: Intel.

Beebe, M. A. (2013). Impact of ICT Revolution on the African Academic Landscape. Codeswww.codesria.org/IMG/pdf/Maria_A_Beebe.pdf

Blessinger, P. & O. Kovbasyuk (2012). Higher education needs to build global learning communities. The Guardian, 23 May.

Chong, A. (2010). Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies. Washington, D.C.: Inter-America Development Bank.

Escorza, Y. H. & A. L. Rodriguez (2008). The Use of Classmate PC   Computers in an Elementary School in the State of Puebla: A Descriptive Study. Mexico: Tecnológico de Monterrey.

Intel World Ahead Program (2009). Positive impact of e-learning. Online Resource: http://www.intel.com/worldahead [Accessed on 4 April 2011].

Jisc (2008). Great Expectations of ICT: How Higher Education Institutions are Measuring Up. London: Jisc.

Malaysia Ministry of Education & Intel Malaysia (2008). MOE-Intel School Adoption Project: Phase One Project Report. Malaysia: Intel.

Minocha, S. (2009). A Study of the Effective Use of Social Software by Further and Higher Education in the UK to Support Student Learning and Engagement. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

Sendall, P.; W. Ceccucci & A. R. Peslak (2008). Web 2.0 matters: An analysis of implementing Web 2.0 in the classroom. Information Systems Education Journal, Vol. 6, No. 64, pp.1-17.

Texas Center for Educational Research (2009). eTxTiP (Evaluation of the Texas Technology Immersion Project): Final Outcomes for a Four-Year Study (2004-05 to 2007-08). Texas: Texas Center for Educational Research.

UNESCO (2002). Information and Communication Technology in Education: A Curriculum for Schools and Programme of Teacher Development. Paris: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2011). ICT in Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Progress and Plans. Bangkok: UNESCO.

Wagner, D. A.; B. Day; T. James; R. B. Kozma; J. Miller & T. Unwin (2005). Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects: A Handbook for Developing Countries. Washington, DC: InfoDev / World Bank.

 

RICTHE Africa Members

 

Name Department Email Address Telephone
Chris Prince Udochukwu NJỌKỤ (PhD) – Coordinator Computer Communications Centre udochukwu.njoku@unn.edu.ng 08077227038, 08063450674
Dr. Joseph ONUOHA Social Science Education Joseph.onuoha@unn.edu.ng 08037550795
Francis ENEM Management Information System Unit francis.enem@unn.edu.ng
Ndubuisi AHAMEFULA Linguistics, Igbo & Other Nigerian Languages ndubuisi.ahamefula@unn.edu.ng 08034772290
Engr. Udochukwu Bola AKURU Electrical Engineering udochukwu.akuru@unn.edu.ng +234 08038241472
Chibuzo Joseph NNONYELU Electrical Engineering chibuzo.nnonyelu@unn.edu.ng +234 07039125084
Kehinde Paul ADEOSUN Agricultural Economics paul.adeosun@unn.edu.ng +31687481917
Valentino Chisom ONUORA Microbiology valentino.onuora@unn.edu.ng 08038227235
Chinedu Chidiebere EZEBUBE Linguistics, Igbo & Other Nigerian Languages chinedu.ezebube@unn.edu.ng 07030565592