Information communication technology training needs of academic staff in universities in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Author:Omotunde, Oluwatobi I.
Position:Report
 
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Word count: 249

Introduction

The reliance on technology by professionals in various fields has dramatically changed the way in which jobs are performed and the world is viewed. The use of electronic resources has in recent times been adopted by most teaching disciplines in Nigerian universities. Petit (1996) points out that electronic revolution means that the role of academia is changing, hence, early preparation will help to curb the challenges brought about by technology.

Electronic information resources are documents are documents in libraries that are available in electronic formats and which require special equipment and skills to be assessed such as CD ROM, electronic data base and the Internet. According to Aina (2014), the purpose of setting up libraries is to acquire, process, store, preserve and make available current and relevant print and electronic materials that will meet the need of its users at the appropriate time.

Academic researchers are critical to the advancement of teaching education development of any country. Based on their various empirical discoveries in the frontier of knowledge to support this, they can assess electronic information through a variety of technology which includes e-journal, CD ROM, Open Public Access Catalog System (OPACS) and through the internet which provides a broad range via information search engines subject directories and other Web based resources. To project innovations in researching and discovering of new fundamental facts, universities must subscribe to number of e-resources which should be easy to access and utilize by respective academic researchers.

Aina (2011) stated that accessibility determines the speed at which an information output in any format is obtained. Furthermore, in a study conducted by Egberongbe (2011) he revealed that electronic information cuts across all members of the university community and to a greater extent easy to use and users are satisfied with their search output. This reflects the usefulness and importance of the electronic resources to the advancement of researching and academic discovery.

Electronic resources provide a number of benefits over print resources. This involves the fast and timely delivery of information needed compared to print resources, electronic resources are also capable of quick information delivery searching with the combination of keywords. To support this Dadzie (2005) stated that electronic resources are inevitable research tools that compliment the print based resources. The advantage includes access to information that might be restricted to the users due to geographical location or finance, access to more current information, and provision of extensive links to additional resources related contents. However, despite the fact that electronic resources are more beneficially compared to the other form of information resources, it is not without its own challenges and developing countries are more prone to these challenges. One major common problem faced by the users of electronic resources is that a great number of users complain of slow internet access and the usual problem of lack of constant electricity supply. Lewis & Smith (2002) summarized barriers for maximum use of electronic information resources as limited equipment, inadequate skills, minimal support, time constraints, and the educators' own lack of interest or knowledge about computers. All these limiting factors have contributed to the slow pace of the integration of electronic use in Nigerian university.

Another important constraint which is the focus of this study is the training needs for the use of electronic resources by academic lecturers in Nigerian universities. Ojo (2005) argued, from the perspective that having technologies is one thing, but whether or not people can use them effectively is another thing entirely. The availability of technology did not automatically make the higher education institutions on the continent use the technology. Hence, training of academic staff on the use of ICT devices can't be underestimated in this global age. End users in higher education institution need to be trained in order to make the most effective and productive use of networked and electronic information services.

Therefore training on the use of information communication technology devices is very essential in supporting academic staff contribution to their research output and also in their teaching and learning process. Electronic resources constituent significant investment in many libraries and therefore it should be considered important to ensure that end users get a good return on this investment. It should not only be about acquiring only new or the latest technology but training end users to the gain and process of utilizing support resources. Ongari-Okemua (2000) implore that an organization without relevant and appropriate training of its employees will lead to under performance and collapse of such organization.

Nigerian university academic staff should be able to compete globally with their colleagues. This can only be achieved through the level of competencies exhibited by academic staff on the use of electronic information resources as a competitive advantage for their teaching, learning and research process.

The universities in Nigeria need to align its teaching and learning methods with best practices found both nationally and globally. Adopting the use of ICT within higher education seems inevitable as digital communication and information models become the preferred means of storing, accessing and disseminating information. Hence, this study bothers on investigating lecturer's perception of their training needs and preferred training method in using information communication technology in the faculty of social sciences in universities in Ekiti State.

Purpose of the study

The main aim of the study to is to investigate academic staff actual level of ICT competencies and further probe into their perception towards the need for training on ICT skills.

Research question

  1. What are the previous knowledge and skills in using ICT facilities or applications by lecturers in faculty of social sciences in Ekiti State?

  2. What type of training do lecturers in social science faculty in Ekiti universities receive in terms of training?

  3. What are the training methods preferred by lecturers in learning about electronic information resources?

  4. Do lecturers in faculty of social sciences need training based on their educational level?

  5. How are the training needs of lecturers in the faculty of social science in universities in Ekiti State identified?

Literature Review

Training is an essential ingredient for helping trainees to acquire needed skills and to view technology as an agent of change. In other words, training helps boosts end users searching skills, morals and overall performance in dealing with the library electronic resources. This implies that end users' training is a way of ensuring that users are capable of using technology such as Internets CD ROM and other electronic enabling...

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