1.1 Background of the Study
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral part of modern culture, influencing various aspects of life, including education. In recent years, students in tertiary institutions have widely adopted ICT for information access and exchange. The impact of ICT on students' academic performance is undeniable, transforming the traditional teaching and learning landscape. The use of ICTs, such as computers, the internet, radio, television, and digital technologies, has revolutionized education, providing powerful tools for change and improvement.
ICTs offer diverse learning opportunities, allowing students with different learning styles to maximize their potential. When instructors incorporate ICTs into their teaching methods, students can engage more actively, becoming independent, reflective, and self-regulated learners. These technologies enable virtual instruction, expanding access to education beyond the confines of traditional classrooms. Teaching strategies based on technology often emphasize collaborative and problem-solving skills, where teachers act as facilitators rather than traditional knowledge providers.
Various ICT facilities, such as multimedia, CD-ROM, web-based instruction (WBI), intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), virtual reality (VR), audio-visual aids, and computer-assisted instruction, have been developed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. While these technologies offer exciting possibilities, they can be expensive to implement.
The impact of ICTs on the study of economics is particularly significant, focusing on the use of digital media, computers, and the internet to facilitate teaching and learning. ICTs contribute to the transformation of classrooms from teacher-centered to student-focused, creating interactive knowledge environments. Learning institutions are urged to embrace these new technologies to meet the challenges of the modern educational landscape.
The relationship between ICT use and students' academic performance has been a subject of extensive literature. Some studies suggest that increased educational use of ICT correlates with improved student performance, while others find a negative relationship. Factors such as leisure activities, online gaming, and communication channels can influence the academic outcomes of students using ICT.
While challenges exist, such as the cost of implementing ICT facilities and the potential for students to use ICTs for leisure rather than academic purposes, the overall consensus is that ICTs have the potential to transform education. Empowering teachers and learners, fostering the development of 21st-century skills, and creating student-centered learning environments are some of the anticipated benefits.
Given the widespread belief in the transformative power of ICTs in education, it is essential to examine the actual impact on students' academic performance. This study aims to unravel the myths surrounding the use of ICT as an aid to teaching and learning, providing insights into the relationship between ICT use and the academic performance of students in the Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The academic performance of students studying economics education has raised concerns among parents, lecturers in the Department of Educational Foundations, Guidance and Counselling, and policymakers. While ICTs offer opportunities for information access and enhanced learning, variations in students' academic performance have been observed. Some students excel, while others struggle, and these differences may be linked to the use of information and communication technologies such as computers, television, and mobile phones.
Understanding the levels of contribution and the effects of ICT use on academic performance is crucial for making informed suggestions to parents, teachers, educational planners, and the government. The relationship between students' use of ICT tools and their academic performance needs to be examined to address the challenges and harness the potential benefits of technology in education. This study seeks to explore the impact of ICT on the academic performance of students in the Department of Educational Foundations,
Faculty of Education, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
Specific objectives of the study are:
- To identify and examine the ways in which ICT is used by economic students to support their learning.
- To assess the impact of ICT on the academic performance of economic students.
- To develop recommendations for teachers and policymakers on how to use ICT more effectively to support the learning of economic students.
1.4 Research Questions
To guide the study and achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions were formulated:
How do economic students use ICT to access information about economic concepts and theories?
How do economic students use ICT to complete assignments and projects?
How does ICT support economic students in developing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills?
What is the impact of ICT on the academic performance of economic students in terms of their grades on exams and assignments?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis was developed and tested for the study:
- Ho: There is no statistical significant relationship between information communication, technology and academic performance of economics students.
- Hi: There is a statistical significant relationship between information communication, technology and academic performance of economics students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study is important for many reasons. The following are the major stakeholders this paper through its practical and theoretical implications and findings will be of great significance:
Firstly, the paper will benefit major stakeholders and policy makers in the education sector. The various analysis, findings and discussions outlined in this paper will serve as a guide in enabling major positive changes in the industry and sub-sectors.
Secondly, the paper is also beneficial to the organizations used for the research. Since first hand data was gotten and analysed from the organization, they stand a chance to benefit directly from the findings of the study in respect to their various organizations. These findings will fast track growth and enable productivity in the organisations used as a case study.
Finally, the paper will serve as a guide to other researchers willing to research further into the subject matter. Through the conclusions, limitations and gaps identified in the subject matter, other student and independent researchers can have a well laid foundation to conduct further studies.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to sampled respondents in Uyo metropolis. Findings and recommendations from the study reflects the views and opinions of respondents sampled in the area. It may not reflect the entire picture in the population.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The major limitations of the research study are time, financial constraints and delays from respondents. The researcher had difficulties combining lectures with field work. Financial constraints in form of getting adequate funds and sponsors to print questionnaires, hold Focus group discussions and logistics was recorded. Finally, respondents were a bit reluctant in filling questionnaires and submitting them on time. This delayed the project work a bit.
1.9 Organization of the Study
The study is made up of five (5) Chapters. Chapter one of the study gives a general introduction to the subject matter, background to the problem as well as a detailed problem statement of the research. This chapter also sets the objectives of the paper in motion detailing out the significance and scope of the paper.
Chapter Two of the paper entails the review of related literature with regards to corporate governance and integrated reporting. This chapter outlines the conceptual reviews, theoretical reviews and empirical reviews of the study.
Chapter Three centers on the methodologies applied in the study. A more detailed explanation of the research design, population of the study, sample size and technique, data collection method and analysis is discussed in this chapter.
Chapter Four highlights data analysis and interpretation giving the readers a thorough room for the discussion of the practical and theoretical implications of data analyzed in the study.
Chapter Five outlines the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study. Based on objectives set out, the researcher concludes the paper by answering all research questions set out in the study.
1.10 Definition of Terms
- Impact refers to the measurable effects or influence that the integration of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) has on the academic performance of students studying economics. It involves assessing the changes and outcomes resulting from the utilization of ICT tools and resources.
- Information Communication and Technology (ICT):
- ICT encompasses the technologies used for the collection, storage, processing, transmission, and presentation of information. In the context of education, ICT includes digital tools, software, and communication platforms that facilitate learning and enhance information access.
- Academic Performance:
- Academic performance refers to the level of achievement demonstrated by students in their academic endeavors, specifically in the field of economics. This includes grades, assessments, and overall mastery of economic concepts and skills.
- Economic Students:
- Economic students are individuals enrolled in educational programs or courses focused on the study of economics. The impact of ICT on academic performance is examined within the specific context of students pursuing studies in economics.
- Digital Tools:
- Digital tools are electronic devices, applications, and software designed to support various aspects of learning. In the research context, digital tools include technologies such as computers, tablets, educational software, and online resources relevant to the field of economics.
- E-learning involves the use of electronic technologies, particularly the internet, to facilitate and enhance learning experiences. The impact of ICT on academic performance may be closely tied to the implementation of e-learning platforms and resources in the field of economics.
- Data Analysis Software:
- Data analysis software refers to programs that assist in the interpretation and manipulation of data. In the context of economics, software for statistical analysis and modeling can contribute to the impact of ICT on students' ability to analyze economic data.
- Information Access:
- Information access relates to the ease with which students can retrieve relevant and up-to-date information using ICT. The impact of ICT on academic performance includes the influence of improved information access on students' understanding and application of economic concepts.
- Collaborative Tools:
- Collaborative tools are digital platforms and applications that enable students to work together on projects and assignments. The impact of ICT on academic performance may be reflected in enhanced collaboration and communication among economic students.
- Technological Literacy:
- Technological literacy refers to the proficiency and understanding of using technology effectively. The impact of ICT on academic performance includes the development of technological literacy skills among economic students, which can be valuable in their future careers.
- Interactive Learning Resources:
- Interactive learning resources are digital materials that engage students actively in the learning process. The impact of ICT on academic performance may be evident through the use of interactive resources, such as simulations and multimedia, to enhance understanding of economic concepts.