Influence of Performance Expectancy and Facilitating Conditions on use of Digital Library by Engineering Lecturers in universities in South-west, Nigeria.

Author:Hamzat, Saheed Abiola
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

The need to find new ways of organising and managing information resources have led to the adoption of technologies and innovation. The fallout of which brought about the digital library system. Zha, Zhang & Yan (2014) defined digital library as a distributed system with capabilities of storing various electronic resources. They noted that the system can easily and conveniently be accessed by remote end- users via networks. Heradio, Fernandez-Amoros, Cabrerizo & Herrera-Viedma (2012) averred that in the last couple of years, digital libraries have moved away from a strong aspiration to realism and being an extension of physical libraries in the modern information society. Digital libraries, among their many roles, play an important part in assisting teaching and research activities through provision of up to date information resources. Digital libraries, therefore, make it possible for electronic books and journals to be accessible to an unlimited audience at the same time, anytime and at any location. It only requires the computerisation of all the library operations such as selection and acquisition, cataloguing and classification.

Frumkin (2004) averred that digital library services cover a gamut of needs addressing issues within the contemporary library and traditional library communities. He emphasised that the services available in digital library include interoperation, searching, alerting, browsing, conversion, cataloguing as well as path finding services. Lecturers, particularly the engineering lecturers are expected to make use of this information system to enhance their teaching and research activities. The lecturers in engineering are qualified by virtue of their basic education and training in applying scientific method and outlook to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. They are assumed to be able to take personal responsibility for the development and application of engineering science and knowledge, notably in the research, design, construction, manufacturing, supervising and managing of the education of the prospective engineers. In Nigeria, just like in other parts of the world, the first two years of an engineering curriculum are devoted primarily to mathematics, science, and general education with relatively few specialised courses.

The purposes and frequency of use of digital library could be due to its robust provision of up to date information resources in preparation of lesson notes, collation of articles for conferences and seminars, ready information on patents in the bid to enhance teaching and research activities of lecturers. However, in spite of the advantages and benefits embedded in the use of digital library to teaching and research developments of lecturers, some studies in the field of digital librarianship have established that the use of digital library is not as high as expected most especially among engineering lecturers. The reasons attributed for the low usage were largely connected to their attitudinal and behavioural intention to use (Majumdar, Majumdar, 2014; Robinson, 2010). Similarly, various available models have alluded to the influence of attitudes and behavioural intention on the use of technology/system. Prominent among these models are the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1989), Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DOI) (Rogers, 2003), Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis & Davis, 2003).

According to the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model, the degree to which a technology/system is accepted depends largely on a number of factors such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions. The UTAUT model combines the previous eight theoretical models and is made up of four key factors that act as determinants of behavioural intentions and usage behaviour. This study is however, limited to the influence of performance expectancy and facilitating conditions on the use of digital library. Performance expectancy as a variable in UTAUT model refers to the degree to which individual perceives that using a system will help in attaining a gain in job performance (Venkatesh et al, 2003). The term performance expectancy (PE) is similar to TAM's perceived usefulness (PU). Performance expectancy is assumed that the relative performance of digital library in terms of enhancing research productivity, access to current and relevant literature, comprehensiveness as well as improving pedagogy determine its use.

Performance expectancy has implications for the use of digital library among engineering lecturers. This is simply because the way the engineering lecturers perceive digital library to be useful in provision of current and timely information in enhancing their teaching and research will influence their use of the system. Moreover, they are likely to be interested in comparing the costs and benefits (in terms of effort and results) of using the digital library. It suffices to say that a user will only use a system due to the conviction that the system can provide answers to his/her queries. However, if the engineering lecturers perceive that digital library may not enhance their job performance, they may decline the use of the system. Therefore, performance expectancy may represent a critical factor in enhancing or hindering the use of digital library among engineering lecturers.

Another variable in this study that could influence the use of digital library among engineering lecturers is facilitating conditions. Facilitating conditions refer to the degree to which an individual believes that organisational and technical infrastructure exists to support the use of a system (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Facilitating conditions such as resources availability, skills as well as technical infrastructure could play a significant role towards digital library use among engineering lecturers. Given that an individual perceives that using a system will improve his job performance represents performance expectancy, while availability of technical and organisational infrastructure required to use a system represents the facilitating conditions; both performance expectancy and facilitating conditions could be said to play a critical role and have direct impact on the use of any system. Performance expectancy and facilitating conditions, therefore, represents potential factors that could influence engineering lecturers to use digital library. Besides, there is a gap in the literature on comprehensive studies reporting the influence of performance expectancy and facilitating conditions by engineering lecturers in universities in Nigeria. This study fills this gap and provides valuable insight into the influence of performance expectancy and facilitating conditions on use of digital library by engineering lecturers in universities in South-west, Nigeria.

Objective of the study

This study aimed to examine factors that influence the use of digital library by engineering lecturers in universities in South-west, Nigeria. The study specifically sought to:

  1. Determine the purposes of using digital library by engineering lecturers in universities in South-west Nigeria;

  2. Ascertain the frequency of use of digital library by engineering lecturers in universities in South-west Nigeria;

  3. Determine the performance expectancy of engineering lecturers in the use of digital library in universities in South-west Nigeria; and

  4. Examine the facilitating conditions of engineering lecturers in the use of digital library in universities in South-west Nigeria.

Review of Related Literature

Performance expectancy is a construct that has received a great deal of attention from several authors and researchers from different fields of human endeavours (Venkatesh, Morris, Davis & Davis, 2003; Derntl, 2011; Khayati & Zouaoui, 2013 etc.). Some of these studies as pointed out by Rogers (2003) attempted to identify and use the construct to explain information system adoption and use. Performance expectancy (PE) is the degree to which an individual believes that using a system will help him or her to attain gains in job performance (Venkatesh et al, 2003). The term performance expectancy emerges from the combination of five factors that helped in the formation of perceived ease of use (technology acceptance model), external motivation (motivational model), job fit (personal computer utilization model), relative advantage (innovation diffusion theory) as well as outcome expectancy (social cognition theory) (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000).

Similarly, Khayati & Zouaoui (2013) noted that performance...

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