LECTURERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE IMPACT OF E-LEARNING IN TEACHER EDUCATION
This research investigated the lectures’ perception of the impact of e-learning in teacher education. The instrument used for the research work was a questionnaire. Two hundred and fifty five (255) lecturers were selected as the sample of this study from six Higher Institutions Lagos State Polytechnic, Redeemers’ University, Lagos State University, Federal College of Education (Technical), University of Lagos. The faculties of Sciences and Education of each institution were chosen as the sample of the study. Three (3) research questions were formulated, and the data collected were analyzed using simple percentages, Arithmetic mean and standard deviation statistical tool. The results of the study revealed that majority of the lecturers are favorably disposed to the use of e-learning in teacher education. Results also showed that majority of the lecturers have less than five years involvement in e-learning. Furthermore, the study says how they perceive the impact of e-learning that some of the lecturers have negative attitude towards the use of e-learning technology in education to the extent that they opined that investing in e-learning is a waste of time. E-learning facility has a wide acceptability among the lecturers but some do not use it possibly due to some of the challenges they face. The challenges of implementation of the use of e-learning in teacher’s education differ form one higher institution to the other. Some of the challenges are: Access to hardware, Access to connectivity, Access to Electricity. The greatest problem that seems to be common to the lecturers of the institutions as regards use of e-leaning is access to electricity. Lack of technical support and low connectivity are of less importance among the factors affecting teachers’ use of e-learning facility. Based on the findings, it was concluded and recommended among others that pending when there will be stability in the country’s power supply, generating sets should be available in the institutions and e-learning facilities should be operated upon using the generating sets. Also, it was recommended that the government, through the ministries of education, and science and technology and other educational bodies should provide schools with the necessary technical support and training that will enhance e-learning. Finally it was suggested that further research be carried out on this study using samples from other zones and use more of private universities. It is hoped that the findings, conclusion, recommendation and suggestions would be relevant to researchers, educators, undergraduates and the society at large.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO STUDY
Challenges facing universities are leading many to implement institutional strategies to incorporate e-learning rather than leaving its adoption to enthusiastic individual. Although, there is growing understanding about the impact of e-learning on the students’ experience, there is less understanding of academics perceptions of e-learning.
There have been many technological dawns in the last thirty (30) years, during which the desktop computer and the internet have been developed; but there have been similar dawns throughout the 20th century-film, radio, records, broadcast television, video tape etc. each time enthusiasts have announced the transformation or even the end of the school, college or university.
E-learning course delivery is the beginning of a new wave of technological development in higher education. Rapid advances in information technology and easy access to the internet are re-shaping educational institutions by providing new learning environments and new ways to teach. E –learning is innovative and capable of improving the quality of education in the country. Online learning education does for knowledge, what just-in-time delivery does for manufacturing. It delivers the right tools and parts when you need them. However, developing online learning is typically an intense process, which should take much of the faculty time.
At present, e-learning in Nigeria education is yet to have a strong-hold. Despite the modest record of the growth in the world, Nigeria is still on the outskirts, for reasons ranging from poor infrastructure, low level of education, poverty and low internet awareness. (Aragba Akpore 2001).
To promote the development of e-learning in the Nigeria teacher education, a lot need to be done on the part of the learners and teachers especially. Two levels of types of training can be introduced for teachers. These are an introduction to the technology and preparation to operate and manage the hardware and the training in the pedagogical use of the technologies.
Finally, it has been realized that technology itself, on its own, does not improve learning or teaching. The successful implementation of e-learning lies in the teachers’ attitudes and availability as instructors to serve each individual student as a motivator, mentor and a caring communicator.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The successful implementation of e-learning and its incorporation within a new pedagogy for education in Nigeria’s’ teacher education lies in the attitude and readiness of teachers as instructors to incorporate the internet into their teaching strategies. Teachers’ resistance to integrate e-learning into the curriculum has been attributed to inadequate technical training and poor perception. (Cuban 2001).
The world has taken a giant step due to the entrance of e-learning and it is only a lazy teacher who is archaic that will not develop him/herself on how to use programmes like Microsoft word and browsing the internet for information. One of the major barriers to e-learning in Nigeria as identified by “Hirschbill” is the fear some staff felt when faced with stepping outside their comfort levels and they are not willing to take risk.
According to Muson, Poage, Corners and Evavold (1994) this fear was consistent with the findings of a study of staff integration of technology into their teaching. Following discussion with the participants the scholars described the fears.
“They included fear of looking foolish, fear of asking for help, fear of not “catching on” quickly enough and of not being able to be effective with the technology in instructional settings”
It becomes imperative to survey the teachers perception towards the opportunities and challenges of e-learning materials.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to:
1. Determine the level of teachers’ perception towards e-learning in teacher education in Nigerian Universities.
2. Identify how teachers perceive the challenges of e-learning in teacher education in Nigerian Universities.
3. Identify how teachers perceive the opportunities of e-learning in teacher education.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. To what the extent do teachers perceive the use of e-learning in teacher education?
2. How do teachers rate the challenges of implementing the use of e-learning in teacher education?
3. What is the extent of the constraints teachers’ face in the use of e-learning facilities in teacher education?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is worthwhile because:
1. It will enlighten the teachers, especially those whose perception of e-learning is a minus, rather than a plus on their teaching, on the opportunities and benefits inherent in e-learning.
2. It will enlighten the general public on the need to embrace e-learning into our educational sector; parents will see the need to provide their wards with the necessary instrument that will enhance e-learning, the school authorities on the other hand will see the purchase of e-learning technologies as an investment and not a loss.
3. E-learning is learner-centered. Therefore its successful implementation will allow students to choose contents and tools appropriate to their differing interests, needs and skills levels.
4. This study will also enlighten lecturers on the various benefits of internet in education lecturers can share their knowledge across borders without being physically present. They have the opportunity of making information available internationally.
5. It will guide curriculum planners on how to inculcate e-learning into teacher education in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
This work will be limited to the lecturers’ perception of the impact of e-learning in teacher education in Nigeria.
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