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Technology Adoption by University Students in Malawi: Case of Chancellor College


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Technology Adoption by University Students in Malawi: Case of Chancellor College
Nertha Mgala, RCE Zomba
8th African RCE Meeting
8-10 August, 2018, Zomba, Malawi

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Technology Adoption by University Students in Malawi: Case of Chancellor College

  2. 2. Introduction • Technology has proliferated to all parts of the world. This proliferation has affected all sectors of life including higher education. • 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)
  3. 3. Introduction • 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 students. • Yet findings from studies on technology integration have recommended the need to also investigate factors that affect students’ adoption of such technologies.
  4. 4. Introduction • 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 uptake rates.
  5. 5. Research Questions Main research question • Are students using Google Classroom in the Educational Psychology Course at Chancellor College? Sub-research questions • What is the present level of use of Google Classroom by students? • 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?
  6. 6. Theoretical Framework • 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.
  7. 7. Methodology • 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.
  8. 8. Methodology • 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 rate. • Data was analysed using excel to provide descriptive summaries of quantitative data obtained through the survey instrument and were represented using relevant data tabulations.
  9. 9. Methodology 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 class. 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
  10. 10. Methodology • 243 questionnaires were sent out • 102 (41%) questionnaires were returned. • One questionnaire was rendered null and void due to inconsistencies in • Amongst the total of 101 (minus the null and void), 60 (59%) students reported having registered while 41 (34%) reported not registered.
  11. 11. 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. 0 5 10 15 20 25 Reasons for not Registering Frequency
  12. 12. Results and discussion Level of use of Google Classroom by students Generally low Evidenced by low numbers of students who registered and reported failure of those who registered to download course material.
  13. 13. Results and discussion Challenges Reported by students (who registered) in using the LMS 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Slow Internet Insufficient Computers Congestion in the lab Frequency Frequency
  14. 14. Suggestions on how to improve Google Classroom use Table 2 Suggested ways of enhancing Google Classroom use Suggestion Frequency (60) Percentage (100)(Not cumulative) Improve Internet Speed and accessibility 57 95 More computers needed 10 16 Training 1 negligible Provide assistance when registering 1 negligible Construct more computer labs 1 negligible
  15. 15. Discussion • Similar findings were found in studies by Chawinga, Nyirongo and Kadzera • 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 Google Classroom. 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
  16. 16. Recommendations • . 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 faculty • Recognise efforts made by faculty who are using technology such as Google Classroom
  17. 17. 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 technology • A study to explore use of smartphones for teaching and learning