Students’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Computer and Internet at The Open University of Tanzania

Nihuka, Kassimu A. (2010) Students’ Knowledge and Perceptions of Computer and Internet at The Open University of Tanzania. Huria Journal, VIII (1). pp. 86-98. ISSN 0856 6739

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With a students’ population of over 30,000 spread in 25 regional centers in a country of about 0.95 million square kilometers, new technologies have great potential in facilitating course delivery and student support at The Open University of Tanzania. However, effective adoption of such new technologies depends on many factors including students’ knowledge, skills and perceptions about the technologies. This paper examines students’ knowledge and skills on computer and Internet knowledge and their perceptions regarding the benefits of using technologies in distance education at The Open University of Tanzania. Structured questionnaire was used for data collection and SPSS software was employed to compute means, frequencies and percentages. Results show that more than half of the students in this study have knowledge of computers and Internet use. Specifically, students have knowledge of word processing (76.9%), email (72.6%), sending documents as attachments (57.2%) and searching for Internet sites (71.6%). Only a small proportion of students have knowledge of database (e.g. spreadsheet) (29.3%) and PowerPoint presentations (23.1%). Regarding students’ perceptions of the benefits of using computer and internet in education, results show that in average students have positive perceptions and indicate when used as e-learning technologies, computer and internet will make students more responsible for their learning, have easy access to courses materials, easy access to assignments and course outlines. Students indicated that computers and Internet will enhance their learning. Furthermore, students felt that computers and Internet will improve course delivery and students’ support in distance education. On the other hand results show that students perceive that computer and Internet will not facilitate the understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, adaptation of education to learning styles of students and that they will not make learning fun. Based on the results of this study, it is argued that integration of e-learning at The Open University of Tanzania is necessary and efforts should be made to adequately train students on the usage of computers and internet for successful e-learning integration.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: 600 Technology > 600 Technology (Applied sciences)
Depositing User: Mr. Administrator OUT
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2012 09:07
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2013 09:22

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