Technology Adoption by University Students in Malawi: Case of Chancellor College
TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION BY
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN
MALAWI: CASE OF
Nertha Kate Mgala (PhD)
• Technology has proliferated to all parts of the world. This
proliferation has affected all sectors of life including higher
• There are fears though, that educational use of the
technology has lagged behind all other uses (Murray,
2008; National Science Foundation, 2008).
• A number of research studies have thus been conducted
to investigate factors that influence this low use of
technology for educational purposes (e.g.Chawinga,
2014; Nyirongo, 2009; Levin & Wadmany, 2008)
• Most of such research studies have tended to focus on
technology adoption and integration by university faculty
and secondary school teachers.
• Very few have focused on technology adoption by
• Yet findings from studies on technology integration have
recommended the need to also investigate factors that
affect students’ adoption of such technologies.
• Such studies elucidate that faculty cannot successfully
integrate technology in teaching and learning if the needs
of students are left out of the equation.
• Hence this study delved into this research arena to find
out adoption rates of Google Classroom by College
students and uncovered factors that facilitated or hindered
Main research question
• Are students using Google Classroom in the Educational
Psychology Course at Chancellor College?
• What is the present level of use of Google Classroom by
• What factors influence students’ use of Google Classroom?
• What can be done to address the challenges faced by students
in the use of Google Classroom for learning?
• Rogers (2003) presents a theory called diffusion of
innovations which explicates why certain innovations are
adopted while others are not.
• Through this theory, a number of other theories have
provided framework for the conduct of studies in the area
of instructional technology (e.g. Surry, 2002; Ely, 1999).
• This study mainly used Innovation-Decision Process and
individual innovativeness theories by Rogers and Ely’s
Eight Conditions for technology implementation.
• The study was a case study of Chancellor College second
year students enrolled in an Educational Psychology class
in the Faculty of Education.
• It employed a quantitative approach to determine the
extent of adoption of Google Classroom Learning
Management platform by the students.
• Data was collected in two phases.
• The first phase was done using the LMS itself to gauge
number of students who had actually registered in the
Educational Psychology Google Classroom.
• In the second phase, a survey questionnaire was sent out
to all students enrolled in the Educational Psychology
class during a face to face scheduled class meeting.
• Care was taken to make it non-threatening and they were
told not to write their names on the questionnaires.
• Out of the total 243 students registered in this course, 102
questionnaires were returned representing 41% return
• Data was analysed using excel to provide descriptive
summaries of quantitative data obtained through the
survey instrument and were represented using relevant
Google Classroom Registration
From the data that was obtained from actual numbers
registered in the Google Classroom System, it was found
that 125 students (out of 243) had registered in the Google
Amongst the Science group which comprised 118 students
of the total 243 students, only 38% had registered.
The Humanities group had a higher registration rate of
60%. Overall, 49% of the second year Bachelor of
Education students had registered in the LMS
• 243 questionnaires were sent out
• 102 (41%) questionnaires were returned.
• One questionnaire was rendered null and void due to
• Amongst the total of 101 (minus the null and void), 60
(59%) students reported having registered while 41 (34%)
reported not registered.
Results and discussion
• Reasons for not registering
Respondents who did not register in the Google class were
asked to provide reasons for failure to register.
Reasons for not Registering
Results and discussion
Level of use of Google Classroom by students
Evidenced by low numbers of students who registered and
reported failure of those who registered to download course
Results and discussion
Challenges Reported by students (who registered) in
using the LMS
Slow Internet Insufficient
Congestion in the
Suggestions on how to improve
Google Classroom use
Suggested ways of enhancing Google Classroom use
Suggestion Frequency (60) Percentage (100)(Not
Improve Internet Speed and
More computers needed 10 16
Training 1 negligible
Provide assistance when
Construct more computer labs 1 negligible
• Similar findings were found in studies by Chawinga, Nyirongo
• Findings of this study reflect the theory postulated by Everret
Rogers especially in relation to the varying speed at which
individuals adopt and innovation.
• Elys’ 1999 eight conditions of technology implementation
explain the factors that facilitated and hindered adoption of
Dissatisfaction with the status quo, existence of knowledge
and skills, resource availability, availability of time, Rewards
or incentives, participation, commitment and leadership
Of these eight, resource availability seems to be very critical
• . There is need to provide assistance to students for them
to register for the Google classes and use the platform.
• Apart from that, just like faculty members were trained in
using the plat form, students should also receive some
orientation on how to register and use the LMS.
• Provide regularly scheduled training for both students and
• Recognise efforts made by faculty who are using
technology such as Google Classroom
Suggestions for Further Studies
• A college wide study to identify differences in technology
adoption across different faculties and departments
• A larger scale study across different university Colleges
• A study to interrogate individual innovativeness to identify
characteristics of faculty who have adopted the
• A study to explore use of smartphones for teaching and