Scholarly article on topic 'The Application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its Relationship with Improvement in Teaching and Learning'

The Application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its Relationship with Improvement in Teaching and Learning Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Saeed Ahmadi, Abdollah Keshavarzi, Moein Foroutan

Abstract Rapid progress of information and communication technologies is considered as one of the key factors of change in humankind society. The main impact of ICT in education can be seen in improving the capabilities of instructors, changing the educational structure, creating opportunities for greater and more comprehensive learning, enhancing educational quality and improving teaching skills. Due to this dramatic effect, this study has sought to investigate the influence of technology involved in teaching and learning. In order to gather information, a questionnaire containing six sections (personal data, software knowledge, skills and attitude, university atmosphere and self-confidence) was used. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire had already been calculated. Statistical population, including faculty members of the branches of Islamic Azad University in Fars Province, and statistical sample were selected through random-cluster. The results showed that: There was statistically significant relationship (p =0/01) between university atmosphere and faculty members’ self-confidence. There was not a significant statistical difference between female and male instructors in respect to software knowledge, skill and attitude. There was significant difference of .002 between assistant professors and instructors in respect to software attitude.

Academic research paper on topic "The Application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its Relationship with Improvement in Teaching and Learning"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 28 (2011) 475 - 480

WCETR 2011

The Application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and its Relationship with Improvement in Teaching and

Learning

Saeed Ahmadi*, Abdollah Keshavarzi, Moein Foroutan

Department of Educational science, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad, Iran

Department of English lamguage, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad,Iran Department of Educational science, Firoozabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozabad, Iran

Abstract

Rapid progress of information and communication technologies is considered as one of the key factors of change in humankind society. The main impact of ICT in education can be seen in improving the capabilities of instructors, changing the educational structure, creating opportunities for greater and more comprehensive learning, enhancing educational quality and improving teaching skills. Due to this dramatic effect, this study has sought to investigate the influence of technology involved in teaching and learning. In order to gather information, a questionnaire containing six sections (personal data, software knowledge, skills and attitude, university atmosphere and self-confidence) was used. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire had already been calculated. Statistical population, including faculty members of the branches of Islamic Azad University in Fars Province, and statistical sample were selected through random-cluster. The results showed that:

There was statistically significant relationship (p =0/01) between university atmosphere and faculty members' self-confidence. There was not a significant statistical difference between female and male instructors in respect to software knowledge, skill and attitude. There was significant difference of .002 between assistant professors and instructors in respect to software attitude.

Keywords: Information and communication technologies, Faculty members, Teaching, Learning

1. Introduction

The rapid progress of information and communication technologies is considered as one of the key factors of change in humankind society (Albin 2006, Sousa 2006). Today, the rapid progress of information and communication technologies has been combined with different aspects of life, including its effect on education, health, research and communications. Progress and development in information and communication technology are considered as positive elements of change in higher education, and internet and network technology are used extensively in educational fields on the Earth (Hawkins 2005, Jackson et al 2004, Newpher 2006).

Today, internet has become an instrument for searching information, social-international interactions and support of discoveries, and it has a fundamental role in the education process (Benbunan- Fich 2002, Jonassen et al 2003). Studies have shown that in spite of the rapid progress of information and communication technologies, these technologies are not used effectively in classrooms (Albin 2006, Okojie M, Olinzock, Okojie B, & Tinukwa 2006).

* Saeed Ahmadi. Tel.: 00989173161295; fax: +987126224402. E-mail address: saeed 5184@yahoo.com.

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.091

SreedAhrrndi et al. SProcedía - Social rmd Behavioral Sciences 22 (2011)475 - 480

Sometimes students do not know how to use internet effectively; even the instructors do not understand its use in educational schedules or in everyday classes (Iding, Crosby & Spetiel 2002, Jonassen et al 2003). Sahin & Thompson (2006) found out that while technology is mostly used in administration and researches, it is rarely used in education since including computer technologies in instructional process challenges the faculty members' methods, behaviors as well as mental abilities (82).

According to performed researches, there are still a lot of faculty members who do not use information and communication technologies effectively in the process of teaching and learning (Becker 2000, Cuban 2001, Keengwe 2006). However, it is a fundamental need to help and encourage the faculty members to accept these technologies effectively and apply them in their education (Leu 1997, Niederhauser & Lindstrom 2006, Schroll 2007).

In the research performed by Ramcharan (2006) to measure the effect of information and communication technology on university student's performance, he induces that the use of information and communication technology has been useful and has improved their performance.

Also, Diehl (2005) examined the relation between variables of faculty members' knowledge and information and communication technology. He concluded that we shouldn't concentrate all our attention on professional advancement so that instructors accept exclusive computer-based training, but technology must be used as a kind of help to instructors to find a significant correlation among teaching, learning, education and technology (89).

Becker (2000) also examined the relation between techniques, knowledge and set of instructors' skills which is related to the application of information and communication technology in classroom. Based on these research findings, beginner instructors have better technical skills than well-experienced ones. Also, both groups have emphasized the usefulness of the application of information and communication technology in curriculum, but they have announced that they don't use information and communication technology commonly.

In respect to the mentioned points and the importance of information and communication technology in improving the teaching process, the center of present study is to study the relationship of information and communication technology in improving the teaching and learning process.

2. Research methodology

This descriptive-survey study is of correlation sort. Statistical population includes faculty members of Fars Islamic Azad universities which are about 20 units. Of these university units, through random-cluster method, 7 units were selected as a statistical sample and their faculty members completed the related questionnaires. At last, 207 questionnaires were statistically analyzed. Of these numbers, 148 people were males and 59 people were females; also 179 persons were instructors and 28 persons were professor-assistants and higher.

The used questionnaire was about the effective elements on faculty members' teaching through using information and communication technology. To compute the validity of the questionnaire, analysis method was used in which the correlation coefficiency of the options of each scale by the total scale was obtained. The results of correlation coefficiency in each scale as the range of correlation coefficient (the least to the most correlation coefficient in each scale) has been illustrated in table 1. Also, the reliability of the scale was calculated via the use of Cronbach's alpha method, the results of which have been shown in table 2.

Table 1: the range of correlation coefficient of items with the related total scale score

Scales Software knowledge Software skills Viewing the effectiveness Atmosphere and Feeling Self-confidence

of software in teaching university support in ICT application

Correlation 0.51-0.77 0.49-0.82 0.48-0.70 0.52-0.79 0.50-0.70

Table 2: Cronbach's coefficient alpha of questionnaire scales

SaeedAhmadietal. /Procedia - Social and Beluivipral Sciences 28 (2011) 475 - 480

Scales Software knowledge Software skills Viewing the effectiveness of software in teaching Atmosphere and university support Feeling Self-confidence in ICT application

Cronbach's 0.91 0.90 0.22 0.25 0.20

coefficient

3. Findings:

First question: Is there any correlation between atmosphere & university support and self-confidence of faculty members in the application of ICT?

Table (3): the results of Pearson's correlation coefficient in examining the correlation between university atmosphere and self-confidence in faculty members in application of ICT

Self- confidence University atmosphere

Self- confidence Correlation coefficient 0.18

Significant level 0.01

Number 207 207

University atmosphere Correlation coefficient 0.18 -

Significant level 0.01 -

Number 207 207

As considered from table (3), there is significant and positive correlation relationship of 0.18 between atmosphere and university support and self- confidence feeling of faculty members in the application of ICT which is significant at 0.01 level (p<0.01).

Second question: Is there any significant statistical difference between knowledge, skill and software view of male and female faculty members?

Table (4): the comparison of mean of knowledge, skill and software view of female and male faculty members

Sex Number Mean Standard T- value Free degree Significant level

Deviation

Knowledge Male 148 44.87 10.06 0.91 205 0.36

Female 59 43.39 11.60

Skill Male 148 36.65 8.44 0.55 205 0.58

Female 59 35.91 9.49

Software View Male 148 61.72 6.65 1.26 205 0.21

Female 59 60.10 8.91

Based on the obtained results from table (4), it is observed that the mean of male faculty members' scores in knowledge, skill and software view is more. This difference in mean has not become significant between the amount of knowledge, skill and software view of male and female faculty members.

Third questions: Is there any significant statistical difference between the amount of knowledge, skill and software view of faculty members based on their scientific ranks?

Table (5): the comparison of the mean of Knowledge, skill and software view of the faculty members based on their scientific ranks

Scientific Standard Significant

Number Mean T- value Free degree

Rank Deviation level

SaeedAhauidi et al. sPmcedia - Social <md Beaavioral Sciences 22 (2011)475 - 480

Knowledge Instructor 179 44.59 10.64 0.49 205 0.62

Professor-ass. 28 43.53 9.80

& Higher

Skill Instructor 179 36.64 8.95 0.82 205 0.41

Professor-ass. 28 35.18 7.23

& Higher

Software View Instructor 179 60.81 7.66 -3.30 205 0.002

Professor-ass. 28 64.11 4.34

& Higher

As it is shown in table (5), the mean of instructors' scores in knowledge and software skill is more than professor-assistants and higher ranks. This difference in mean has not become significant. The results also show that the mean of professor-assistants and higher ranks is more than instructors in software view; this difference is at 0.002 significant level.

4. The interpretation of the results:

SaeedAhmadieial. /Procedía - Social and Belmvíoral Sciences 28 (2011) 475 - 480

First question: Is there any correlation between atmosphere and university support and self- confidence feeling of faculty members in the application of ICT ?

As it was determined in table (1), there is positive and significant correlation relation of 0.18 in the application of ICT which is at the significant level of 0.01 (p<0.01).

Colleges and organizations have invested enough money to purchase modern information and communication technology (Cuban 2001, Geoghegan, 1994, Schroll 2007). But although these organizations are able to access to information and communication technology, they are not still employing it effectively in their educational and teaching programs. (Cuban 2001, Roblyer & Knezek 2003).

According to Leh's view (2005), many of teachers don't resist against the necessity of the application of information and communication technology, but the variety of organizational, administrative, educational, and personal pressures often prevents them to employ information and communication technology.

Williams (2007) also points out that curriculum content and lack of support can be obstacles in front of the application of information and communication technology. He stated that "suitable supporting culture causes the faculty members and the supportive individuals of the technology to discuss about soft- and hard-ware branches in order to obtain satisfactory positive results" (167). Cuban (2001) reported that lack of time and support of technology are obstacles in Stanford University.

Loague (2003) discovered a positive relationship between the application of technology in educational system and faculty members' view of the technology. The opinion of Hall Elliot (2003) in this respect, is also as follows: The rate of the ability of most of the organizations in applying educational technology depends generally on the resources and the tendency of the faculty members in choosing the new technology.

Tondeur, Hermans, Van Braake and Valcke (2008) state that although investigations about the relationship between faculty members's view and the application of information and communication technology are rare, the faculty members' view and beliefs of information and communication technology are very effective in creating a learning environment.

According to Yan's (2008) observations, information and communication technology becomes an effective tool in classroom interaction and in creating a high level learning environment. This technology can be used to create a constructive learning environment.

Second question: Is there any significant statistical difference between the amount of knowledge, skill and software view of female and male faculty members?

Based on the obtained results from table 2, the mean of male faculty members' scores in knowledge, skill and software view is more. This difference in the mean, between the amount of knowledge, skill and software view of male and female faculty members, has not become significant.

These results support the findings of some researches such as Jamieson, Proctor, Burnett, Finger and Watson (2006) who have done similar survey in Australian states and found that male teachers generally have more self-confidence to use ICT and to communicate with students in the process of teaching and learning.

Third question: Is there any significant statistical difference between the amount of knowledge, skill and faculty members' software view based on scientific ranks?

As the results showed, the mean of faculty members' scores with professor-assistant and higher ranks is more than the instructors in respect to software view. This difference was significant at 0.002 level. These findings support and confirm Diehl's Claim (2005), stating that the variable of years of experience has affected mainly on the qualification and the possibility of combining the faculty members' educational technology. In other words, there was correlation between work experience and the qualification of faculty members in employing educational technology.

Parallel to the result of this research, Diehl (2005) states: "there is correlation between faculty members' self-efficiency and their qualification in employing educational technology" (80). Loague (2003) points out that the rate of the application of technology in education depends on the professors' acceptance and usage level of it (111).

SaeedAhnuidi etal. /Procedia - Social <md Behavioral Sciences 22 (2011)475 - 480

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