Ict and Academic Staff Performance in Universities

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THE ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) IN ENHANCING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO USMANU DANFODIYO UNIVERSITY, SOKOTO BY

IBRAHIM AMINU, MBA
TRAINING, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT
USMANU DANFODIYO UNIVERSITY NETWORK (UDUNet)
SOKOTO

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the role of ICT in motivating academic performance with special reference to the academic staff of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. A cross-section survey design was adopted in the study to enable the identification of some relevant variables and establish their relationships so as to provide answers to the research questions formulated in section one. Both primary and secondary sources of data collection were used in the research. Among others, the following findings were deduced from the data presented and analyzed in the paper: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has contributed immensely to the performance of academic staff in UDUS; rapid technological development has made a significant impact in the use of ICT facilities in teaching, learning and research; and the development of ICT has brought a lot of innovations in the delivery and access to knowledge. Among others, the following recommendations were proffered: there should be adequate capacity building training for staff on the need to make the best use of ICT in order to justify the huge investment made by the university; there should be constant campus-wide awareness training in the use of cutting-edge ICT facilities; and access to internet facilities should be commercialized but subsidized for staff and students.

1. INTRODUCTION

Information has always played a very important role in human life. However, in the mid 20th century, its role had increased immeasurably as a result of social progress and vigorous developments in science and technology. In addition, according to Trostnikov (1970), rapid expansion of a mass of diversified information is occurring, which has received the name “information explosion”. As a result, the need had arisen for a scientific approach to information and elucidation of its most characteristic properties which had led to two principal changes in the interpretation of the concept of information. First, it was broadened to include information exchange not only between man and man but also between machine and machine, as well as the exchange of signals in the animal and plant world. Second, the rate of change brought about by new technologies had a significant effect on the way people live, work, and learn. New and emerging technologies challenged the traditional process of teaching and learning, and also the way education is managed. Thus information technology, while an important area of study in its own, is having a major impact across all academic disciplines. Easy worldwide communication provides access to vast array of data, challenging assimilation and assessment of skills.

The key issue here is not ICT itself, but rather the understanding of ICT and effectively employing it in the delivery of knowledge and reaching goals in less time. ICT is used as a means but not as an end. Four major approaches have been identified for effectively employing ICT in education. They include emerging, applying, infusing and transforming approaches that constitute ICT optimization stages in education. Sometimes, ICT employed in education does not reach the expected goals, or at times introduces some type of complicated educational reforms. Therefore, students and teachers of educational institutions can misdirect focus of the basics and get distracted by rapidly changing technologies. This usually results when students and teachers have not yet understood the technologies, and the role ICT plays in academic pursuits. When the meaning of ICT and its unlimited offer to education are understood, then, rapidly changing technologies are not seen as overwhelming issues, but enablers to more critical thinking and...
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