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Title: The Use Of Educational Technology To Facilitate Student Self Directed Learning In A Higher Education Institution

1509 words - 7 pages


1.1 BACKGROUND

This study is a survey on the use of educational technology to facilitate student self-directed learning in an African Private University College (APUC). Educational technology, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources (AECT, 2004:1). Facilitating denotes helping create an environment in which learning more easily could take place. Self-Directed Learning (SDL) implies a phenomenon characterised by a proactive approach to learning, where individuals take responsibility for identifying relevant learning resources and executing strategies suitable for ...view middle of the document...

Meanwhile, the APUC has provided some ET infrastructure for both teaching and learning.

1.2 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT

Since the year 2009, a lot of educational technology infrastructure has been deployed in the APUC. Besides the steady expansion and increasing expenditure on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities, both students and lecturers have been given orientation and training regarding the use of the e-library, Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and accessing relevant information via the student portal and e-mentor platforms on the institution’s website ‘www.pentvars.edu.gh’. All the expansion efforts on educational technology are targeted at providing students with the tools to help them take responsibility of their own learning.

In spite of the foregoing developments, no research has been done on the extent to which educational technology could be used to facilitate learning, especially in the APUC. The introduction of new technologies as a way of providing greater learner independence, Bates (2011:1) and Johnson (2001: 5) have observed, is likely to engender some learner resistance. These attitudes towards the use or otherwise of technology (Alexiou-Ray, Wilson, Wright, and Peirano; 2003:71), point to possible implications for a young African private university.

1.3 THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The main research question for this study is, “To what extent does educational technology facilitate the self-directed learning of the African Private University College students?”

Consequently, the researcher sets off to find answers to the following sub-questions informed by the literature reviewed (briefly in this proposal) and to be further investigated:
• What educational technology environment pertains in the APUC and how do the students use it to facilitate their self-directed learning?

• What types of educational technology do students use in their self-directed learning and why?

• How has educational technology been integrated in the APUC curriculum?

1.4 THE AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which educational technology could be used to facilitate the self-directed student learning. It is against this backcloth that this research is designed.

Given this purpose, the following objectives shall drive the study:
• To investigate the educational technology environment that pertains in the APUC and how the students use it to facilitate their self-directed learning.

• To identify the types of educational technology students use in their self-directed learning and why.

• To explore how educational technology has been integrated in the APUC curriculum.

1.5 MOTIVATION AND RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY
Four years after my earlier study, a lot of infrastructural developments have increased in the APUC. Besides the increasing size of student population to the current figure of 2871, the ICT facilities have also been enhanced. Again, the social milieu and...

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