The use of web 2.0 by students and lecturers at Mzuzu University, Malawi: the case of the Faculty of Information Science and Communications
Chawinga, Winner Dominic Katayira
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The aim of the study was focused on investigating how Web 2.0 technologies are being utilised by students and lecturers to accomplish their learning and teaching activities in the Faculty of Information Science and Communications (ISC) at Mzuzu University in Malawi. The study answers the following specific research questions: • What is the current awareness of and familiarity with Web 2.0 technologies amongst students and lecturers in the Faculty of ISC? • For what educational purpose do students and lecturers in the Faculty of ISC use Web 2.0 technologies and which Web 2.0 technologies do they use most? • What do lecturers in the Faculty of ISC perceive as benefits of integrating Web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning? • What are the factors that influence students and lecturers in the Faculty of ISC to adopt Web 2.0 technologies? The study adopted the Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (DTPB) by Taylor and Todd (1995) which explains the rejection and acceptance of technological innovations such as Web 2.0. The researcher adopted a case study design in which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected to answer the research problem. The study was conducted in three phases; in phase one, a questionnaire was sent to 186 students and 19 lecturers, phase two involved analysing the curricula and phase three involved conducting follow-up interviews with seven lecturers to seek clarification on some concepts and elaboration on themes identified in phases one and two. The findings show that between 69 (50.7%) and 128 (94.1%) students use these Web 2.0 technologies to search for information, to communicate with lecturers, to submit assignments, to communicate with friends on academic work and to share content with fellow students. Most lecturers use these technologies in handing out assignments to students, receiving feedback from students, uploading lecture notes, searching for content, storing lecture notes and carrying out collaborative educational activities. Between 66 (45.8%) and 95 (69.9%) students use Wikipedia, WhatsApp, Google Apps and YouTube and similarly, between 10 (58.8%) and 13 (76.5%) lecturers use Wikipedia, YouTube, Blog, Google Apps and Twitter to accomplish various academic activities. The findings show further that attitude (perceived usefulness, ease of use and compatibility) and perceived behaviour control (self-efficacy, resource facilitating condition and technology facilitating condition) are strong DTPB factors that determine students’ and lecturers’ intention to integrate Web 2.0 technologies in their academic activities. On the other hand, lack of Internet access remains the recurrent key stumbling blocks towards a successful adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in learning and teaching at Mzuzu University (MZUNI). Generally, the study reveals that Web 2.0 and a compendium of Internet technologies have proliferated at Mzuzu University in the Faculty of ISC. Both students and lecturers are aware, to some extent, of the benefits of integrating Web 2.0 in teaching and learning. The researcher has made three main recommendations which include the need for the Faculty of ISC to introduce awareness and training programmes on the new technologies so that students and lecturers are kept up-to-date about the new developments about these technologies, the need for the newly established Directorate of ICT at MZUNI to promote the use of Web 2.0 technologies by conducting work workshops and sourcing funds for students and lecturers to participate in local and international conferences on Web 2.0 and finally, the need for Mzuzu University to install campus–wide Wi-Fi so that students and lecturers can seamlessly access the Internet on every point of the campus using mobile phones or laptops.