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INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN TRAINING OF ADULT EDUCATION STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ENUGU STATE



CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Adult education refers to the provision of instructed learning events for adults after earlier terminated or interrupted education within the regular education system. It is characteristic that adult education is arranged and organized specifically with adults in mind (Fulah, 2003). The differences to education within the regular education system can be such as the time and modes of instruction. Adult education is defined on the basis of the organization providing education and training to adults (Jenny, 2001).

          Adult education is instructional and related support services for adults who are not enrolled in the school. It is for adults who lack the educational foundation expected of a high school graduate. It is a form of education for adults whose inability to speak, read, and write the English Language, compute and solve problems constitutes a substantial impairment in their ability to obtain, retain and/or function on the job, in their family and in society commensurate with their real ability, to achieve their goals, and develop their knowledge and potential. This category of people is in need of a programme that helps them eliminate such inability and raise their level of education and self-sufficiency (Aback, 2000). Adults are taught in adult education classes by professionals known as adult educators.  An adult educator is one who practices the profession of facilitating the learning of adults by applying the principles of androgogy. An adult education student is a student who studies adult education as a course in any institution in a bid to become a qualified adult educator after graduation. An adult education student is supposed to pass through some training to enable him/her qualify for the career.

Training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies (Frank, 2009). Training has specific goals of improving one’s capability, capacity, and performance. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of technology (also known as technical colleges or polytechnics). In addition to the basic training required for a trade, occupation or profession, observers of the labor-market recognize as of 2008 the need to continue training beyond initial qualifications: to maintain, upgrade and update skills throughout working life (Sidney, 2002). People within many professions and occupations may refer to this sort of training as professional development.

Freire ( 2005), believed that education and training should not be a ‘banking‘ process, where students are filled with lecturer-determined content, and are then asked to reproduce it. He argued that students at whatever stage of learning are capable of conscientization, of reading the world and breaking the culture of silence in order to create their own instructional agenda. The training methods utilized in the traditional setting for the training of adult education students include lecturing and questioning techniques. The lecturer presents and explains the topic to the adult education students and asks questions to check for understanding or not.

Lecturing is a well known teaching method used in education. In this teaching method the lecturer plays a more active role than learners. The lecturer prepares the lesson before entering the class by collecting teaching materials and developing a good teaching/learning plan. This method helps the learners to focus on the specific subjects delivered by the lecturer. It can be useful for a class wanting only to learn to read and write. However, it limits learner participation since it gives more chance to the lecturer to dominate.

          A lecturer is someone who dispenses knowledge, someone who lectures, tells, feeds, disseminates, covers material, and teaches the subject matter more than the students. The students sit passively while the lecturer is going on. Desks in rows and a blackboard and podium up front are forms of arrangements designed for this type of teaching method. However, Huntington (1997) suggests that lectures are an effective method for giving short sets of instructions, background information, guidelines, or other information that is needed in a short time frame.

          The integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs), training methodologies in tertiary Adult Education is a new teaching methods, which has added a new dimension to teaching and learning in Adult Education. Integration is the act or process of integrating; the state of becoming integrated; the bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association, as in society or an organization; desegregation (Alako, 2006). Integration can be said to be a way of applying/introducing a particular concept or method to improve a system or an organizational activity, be it a company, industry, educational institutions e.t.c. Such a concept or method could be necessary to the aim of such an organization to better their previous activities or mode of operations in a bid to obtain a better result or output. Hence, there is need to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are defined as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information” (Brandford, 2008). ICT implies the technology which consists of electronic devices and associated human interactive materials that enable the user to employ them for a wide range of teaching – learning processes in addition to personal use (Clarlson, 1999). These technologies include computers, the Internet, broadcasting technologies (radio and television), and telephone. ICT is that technology which uses the information to meet human need or purposes including processing and exchanging. Information and communications technology (ICT) in education is the processing of information and its communications facilities and features that variously support teaching, learning and a range of activities in education (Dowling, 2003). Anzalone (2001) opined that some ICT facilities like PowerPoint presentation packages, Data projector, Internet services can boost the academic achievement of students if applied in teaching and learning.

When these technologies are applied in the field of education, it is termed as ICT in education. The term too can be used to connotate the term Educational technology, because it also uses any hardware and software approaches that can enhance better learning outcomes (Eric, 2004). In the era of Computer technology, ICT mainly focuses on the infrastructure, devices and sources of computer technology and thus it is imperative to discuss about the use of ICT in education by focusing mainly on Computer based technology.

ICT in education is any educational technology that is applied in the educational process. It encompasses Hardware approach like use of machines and materials, Software approach like use of methodologies and strategies of teaching learning and Systems approach that uses the management technology that deals with the systematic organization of the hardware and the software (Johnson, 2006). It also include different software packages for use in different departments of education; e.g library software, administration software, software related to managing the entire teaching learning process. Ogan (2006) stated that an appropriate use of PowerPoint can enhance the teaching and learning experience for both staff and students.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) — which include radio and television, as well as newer digital technologies such as computers and the Internet — have been proven as potentially powerful tools for educational change and reform (Jack, 2006). When used appropriately, different ICTs can help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by helping make teaching and learning into an active process connected to real life. ICT materials should be readily available for integration into the training of adult education students. Eric (2004) suggested that ICT should be properly integrated to enable adult education students to source information at ease. Freire ( 2005) is of the view that It is important that lecturers and students acquired the needed skills for integration of ICT in the training of adult education students.

There are also some challenges that seem to hinder the integration of ICT in the training of adult education students in the tertiary institutions. The identification of these challenges is necessary because it gives a clue to the factors that limit the integration of ICT into the training of adult education students. This further helps adult educators to source and provide solutions to such challenges for better integration of ICTs.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) is the only tertiary institution in Enugu State that offers adult education programme. However, the training of adult education students in UNN seems not to be based on ICT application; rather, the conventional or traditional method of education and training has been in vogue (Ugwuegbu, 2003). Adult education students in UNN were however trained using the conventional method or the traditional method of training before the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The training of adult education students in UNN seems not to be effective. This is so because according to Oyedeji (2008), “adult education students who should be trained in all round knowledge and skills for the society, are found to be trained in the conventional ways other professionals are trained” (P. 24). Furthermore, UNN seem to lack the necessary ICT equipment needed for the training of adult education students.

The most required ICT facility for training individuals for competence in the modern global labour market is the computer. The computer is a device which takes in information, stores the information, and gives out such information when needed with maximum accuracy. Computer devices systematically present information to the learner and elicit a response; they use reinforcement principles to promote appropriate responses. With computers, students can learn at their own pace, because the student interacts with the computer. It is believed by many to be a more dynamic learning device. Furthermore, educational alternatives can be quickly selected to suit the student’s capabilities, and performance can be monitored continuously. In the use of computer device for training adult education students, it has been noted by Ogan (2006), that as instruction proceeds, data are gathered for monitoring and improving performance of adult education students.

          However, with the advent of ICT, many lecturers are advocating for the integration of ICT, especially computer in the training of individuals for human capital development, and as well as professional development for the Nigerian labour market. This is because ICT provides learning opportunities that is characterized by regular interaction of lecturer and learner irrespective of time or place, or both time and place; learning that is certified in some way by an institution or agency; the use of a variety of media, including print and electronic; two-way communications that allow learners and tutors to interact; the possibility of needed face-to-face meetings; and a specialized division of labour in the production and delivery of courses (Eric, 2004). Most instructors or lecturers, who are knowledgeable, capable, and skilled, can make use of ICT facilities in facilitating the training of adult education students.

It is against this backdrop of opinions on the potentials of integrating ICTs into training and the inability of the lecturer method to train effective adult education students that the researcher dimmed it fit to practically investigate the extent of integration of Information and Communication Technologies in training adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu state.

Statement of the Problem

          It is obvious from the background that the lecture method of training has been popularly used in the training of adult education students in UNN. This situation may have led to the poor training of adult education students and as such, most of the trained adult education students in UNN may not fit in properly into the labour market which is now driven by information and communication technology (ICT). It has also eroded the individualization of learning and has made adult trainees passive listeners rather than active ones. There seems to be unavailability of ICT materials for training of adult education students in UNN. It seems that ICT is not integrated to a great extent in training of adult education students, and in the sourcing of information by adult education students in UNN. It seems that adult education students do not have the needed skills for integration of ICT into their training process. It seems there are some challenges hindering the integration of ICT into the training of adult education students in UNN.

          Today, ICT have been found very relevant in the training of adult education students who will fit into the present world of work. This is because of its obvious advantages in the training processes. These include: learning opportunities that is characterized by the regular interaction of lecturer and adult education students irrespective of time or place, or both time and place; the use of a variety of media, including print and electronic; two-way communications that allow adult education students and lecturers to interact, and a specialized division of labour in the production and delivery of courses.

          Given these obvious limitations of the popularly used lecture method and the current advantages of integrating ICT into training process, there is the need to examine the extent to which ICT is being integrated into the training of adult education students so as to tap these obvious advantages. Therefore, the problem of this study is to examine the extent of integration of information and communication technologies in training of adult education students in UNN, which is the only tertiary institution that offers adult education programme in Enugu State.

Purpose of the Study

          The main purpose of this study is to assess the extent of Information and Communications Technologies integration in training adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu state. Specifically, the study will seek to:

·         ascertain the types of available ICT materials for the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

·         determine the extent of ICT integration into the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

·         examine the extent of integration of ICT in the sourcing of information by adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

·         examine the needed skills required by tertiary adult education students for integration of ICT into their training process.

·         find out the challenges hindering the integration of ICT into the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

Significance of the Study 

          The findings of this study will be significant to adult education lecturers and instructors because it will enhance their mode of teaching and help them adopt a better teaching method that will enable them reach their students at any time irrespective of their location with the aid of ICT.

          The result of this study will be significant to students because it will help them to have basic information, technical data and material for research on ICT integration.  This will help them carryout any form of research work relevant to the integration of ICT to training without any hitch or paucity of data.

          The result of this study will be significant to adult educators, since undoubtedly, ICT are potentially useful tools both for managing education and for training. This is because the research will create awareness to the adult educators on the extent to which they integrate ICT in their training of adult education students.

          The result of this study will be significant to educational administrators because integration of ICT can allow educators to reach new groups of potential students, particularly mature students, lifelong learners, students with physical disabilities, students in employment and students who are far from education centres. The findings of the study will therefore help the educational administrators to make good policies that will encourage better integration of ICT into the training of their students. 

Policy makers will benefit from the findings of the study in many ways. It will acquaint the policy makers on the deficiencies of lecture method of training which necessitates the need for ICT. This will enable them make policy statements that will encourage the integration of ICT in training of students in various tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

The findings of this study will be of colossal benefit to the government of Enugu State. This study will serve as an eye-opener to the state government on the extent to which ICT is integrated into the training of their students despite its obvious potentials. This disclosure will prompt the state government to adopt and implement the use of ICT in training adult educators in her various tertiary institutions.

          Finally, the theoretical foundation of this study is hinged on the Learning theories. Learning theories are theoretical frameworks that describe how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. The theory states that cognitive, emotional, and technological influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how training or understanding, is acquired or changed, and knowledge and skills retained. The concepts of this theory will serve as an insight to the present study in the sense that it will yield a perspective for the integration of information and communication technologies in training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

Research Questions

          The following research questions will guide the study.

·         What are the types of available ICT materials for the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?

·         What is the extent of ICT integration into the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?

·         To what extent is ICT integrated into the sourcing of information by adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?

·         What are the needed skills required by tertiary adult education students for integration of ICT into their training process?

·         What are the types of challenges hindering the integration of ICT into the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State?

Scope of the Study

            This study is limited to the integration of ICT in the training adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State. The study will be targeted at second, third, and fourth year adult education students in University of Nigeria, Nsukka. However, the study is restricted to availability of ICT materials, extent of ICT integration into training, integration of ICT in sourcing of information, the skills required by adult education students, and problems of ICT in training adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses formulated to guide the study will be tested at 0.05 level of significance:

HO1   There is no significant difference in the mean rating of adult education students on the extent of integration of ICT into teaching of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

HO2   There is no significant difference in the mean rating of adult education students on the challenges hindering the integration of ICT in the training of adult education students in tertiary institutions in Enugu State.

 


INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN TRAINING OF ADULT EDUCATION STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN ENUGU STATE


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