Mousaion - Volume 33, Issue 4, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 33, Issue 4, 2015
Predicting the acceptance of electronic learning by academic staff at the University of Zululand, South AfricaSource: Mousaion 33, pp 1 –22 (2015)More Less
In this article the authors provide a quantitative method to predict the acceptance of electronic learning resources by academic staff in a blended learning environment at the University of Zululand (UNIZULU), KwaDlangezwa, South Africa. Conceptually the study followed a positivist epistemological belief and deductive reasoning, but the article will also embrace the interpretive research paradigm to include the researchers' insights on the results. Inferential statistics were used to predict the level of acceptance of e-learning and show the strengths and significances of the postulated Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model's relationships. The results showed that the majority of academic staff accept the use of e-learning resources. The study concludes that the UTAUT model's moderate accuracy and relevance could be improved by adopting contextualised socio-economic moderators relevant to the education sector rather than adopting those found to be significant in the financial sector of Venkatesh et al.'s (2003) study. The study would thus recommend, firstly, the provision of useful resources that will improve both teaching and learning, and, secondly, the provision of appropriate skills development and support for these resources. Another recommendation is the introduction of user policies to instil mandatory use of these resources by academic staff while concluding that the social influence relationship will strengthen with the increased interactions and relationships between management, academic staff and support staff.
Challenges of using electronic information resources for academic research by postgraduate students at Delta State University, Abraka, NigeriaSource: Mousaion 33, pp 23 –37 (2015)More Less
This article reports on a study that explored the challenges of using electronic information resources (EIRs) for academic research by post-graduate students at Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, Nigeria. The study used a structured questionnaire, distributed to 150 post-graduate students from the faculties of Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts, that is, 50 post-graduate students per faculty, and personal interviews were held with selected individuals within the institution to collect data. The central focus of the study was the post-graduate students' access to EIRs; the current status of EIRs in their institution; how often they use these resources for academic research purposes; and above all, the challenges that they encounter when using EIRs. The findings showed that post-graduate students' optimal use of EIRs at DELSU is hampered by limited access to some EIRs due to limited space, low bandwidth, and erratic power supply. It is, therefore, recommended that DELSU should provide adequate space and power supply and should address some of the issues deterring equitable access to EIRs. Development of an institutional repository and use of open access resources would also improve access to scientific and electronic information.
Using information and communications technologies in the University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Ibadan librariesAuthor Rexwhite Tega EnakrireSource: Mousaion 33, pp 38 –61 (2015)More Less
The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for knowledge management (KM) has become a critical success factor in present-day university libraries. University libraries have continued to use ICTs to foster and enhance the operations of information services on a daily basis in the library environment. The use of ICTs requires librarians to have proven knowledge and skills in order to achieve effective and efficient work performance in the libraries. This article focuses on the two research questions, namely: 'What are the skills needed for ICTs by librarians at the university libraries?' and 'What are the challenges faced by librarians in the use of ICTs for KM at the university libraries?' The research specifically targeted the libraries at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa, and the University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria. Quantitative and qualitative research approaches were adopted in order to conduct data collection and data analysis. The research findings were that, when compared, the two university libraries showed a correlation in the skills required by librarians. This is accompanied by knowledge of ICT hardware and software; various subject areas in librarianship; structure and process of cataloguing, and classification, to function better in the library environment. Several challenges, including the high cost of hardware and software; lack of implementation of ICT policies; and inadequate in-depth knowledge of the library holdings were observed. In conclusion, the dynamic information environment requires librarians to be proactive and have enhanced education that would enable them to address change management, leadership roles, and technical information skills. Librarians need to constantly update their knowledge and skill-sets to keep up with current trends of technology in library and information services.
Lecturers' use of Web 2.0 in the Faculty of Information Science and Communications at Mzuzu University, MalawiSource: Mousaion 33, pp 62 –85 (2015)More Less
The study reported on in this article investigated the use of Web 2.0 technologies by lecturers in the Faculty of Information Science and Communications at Mzuzu University (MZUNI), Mzuzu, Malawi. By distributing a questionnaire to 19 lecturers, conducting follow-up interviews with seven lecturers and analysing the curricula, the study showed that between 10 (58.8%) and 13 (76.5%) lecturers use Wikipedia, YouTube, blogs, Google Apps and Twitter to accomplish various academic activities, such as handing out assignments to students; receiving feedback from students; uploading lecture notes; searching for content; storing lecture notes; and carrying out collaborative educational activities. The study adopted the Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour (Taylor and Todd 1995) and the theory's elements that strongly affected lecturers' use of the technologies according to the results included attitude and perceived behaviour control. The study also found that poor Internet access remains the key stumbling block towards a successful adoption of Web 2.0 technologies by lecturers at MZUNI. To this end, the study recommends that the newly established Department of ICT Directorate with support from MZUNI management should install campus-wide Wi-Fi and improve Internet bandwidth so that lecturers' access to the Internet is not limited to their offices but rather is available in the teaching rooms across the campus.
Development partners in disseminating parliamentary information in Zimbabwe : contributions and challengesSource: Mousaion 33, pp 86 –105 (2015)More Less
United Nations agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs) are working as development partners (DPs) with parliaments across the globe. They are engaged in activities to strengthen parliaments in both developed and developing countries. Data from a study that evaluated the performance of Zimbabwe's Parliamentary Constituency Information Centres (PCICs) showed that DPs play important roles in disseminating parliamentary information to constituents. This article analyses the contributions by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP), and the challenges they face in Zimbabwe.
Farmers' awareness and use of information and communications technologies in the livestock innovation chain in Ibadan City, NigeriaSource: Mousaion 33, pp 106 –130 (2015)More Less
The use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in agriculture is a new and growing field that focuses on how agricultural and rural development activities can be enhanced using modern ICTs. Currently in Nigeria, this field has not addressed how livestock farmers use ICTs to conduct their businesses. The objective of the study was to examine the awareness and use of ICTs by livestock farmers in Ibadan, an agrarian community in Nigeria. The study also investigated the relationship between ICT awareness and use in the various innovation links as well as how the farmers' demographic characteristics relate to these uses. A questionnaire was used to guide data collection from various types of farmers. From the trade societies of each type of livestock, 340 farmers were selected for the study and usable data was collected from 300 respondents. For all the ICTs listed, more respondents reported awareness of ICTs than use, except for mobile phones where an equal number of respondents reported awareness and use. Marketing was the purpose for which most of the respondents reported using ICTs. Computers were used by large farmers for feed formulation and knowledge management; mobile phones served the purpose of managing animal health, linking customers, managing farms and marketing goods, while Internet/email was scarcely used for farming purposes. The findings of the study raise the question of the need of building electronic livestock farmers network in Ibadan as well as training farmers in the city on how to use ICTs to meet livestock farm needs.