Availability, accessibility and use of ICT in a university setting: A case of the academic staff in the college of education and external studies.
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The purpose of the study was to ascertain the extent of ICT availability, accessibility and use by the academic staff of the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University. Specifically the study intended to establish the extent of (i) availability of ICT resources to the academic staff in the College, (ii) accessibility of ICT resources to the academic staff in the College, (iii) use of ICT resources by the academic staff of the College in teaching and research and (iv) stage of ICT development of the College according to Nolan’s growth model. The research design was descriptive survey taking both quantitative and qualitative paradigms involving distributing questionnaires to the academic staff and interviewing few of them. Fifty of the targeted population (academic staff) participated in the study by answering the self administered questionnaire. All staff were accessible save for a few who were absent at the time of data collection. Seven members of the academic staff were interviewed comprising of some heads of departments and lecturers taking at least two from each School. Numerical or quantitative data was analysed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) for generation of summary frequency tables, cumulative percentages and means. Qualitative data was analysed through narration. Findings revealed a high level of availability and accessibility of desktop computers, laptops and internet while projectors and smart boards were not available in the College. Findings also revealed a high level of ICT use in research, lesson planning, compiling and reporting learners’ results, academic presentations and data analysis but low level of ICT use in teaching. Findings also revealed that the College has moved through stages 1 (initiation) and 2 (unplanned expansion with no restriction) and is now mainly in stage 3 (restrictions and control). Basing on the assessment of results, the researcher concluded that there were inadequate levels of availability and accessibility especially projectors and smart boards. There was also inadequate use of ICTs (computers, projectors, internet and smart boards) in teaching by the academic staff of the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Makerere University. There is need to increase the levels of availability and accessibility of ICTs especially projectors and smart boards. There is also need to increase the level of use of ICTs by the academic staff in the College of Education and External Studies, Makerere University especially in teaching. The researcher recommended more funding and procurement of ICT equipment especially projectors and smart boards that are severely lacking yet they are highly required for effective use of ICT in teaching. This will push the College to better levels of ICT development that is stage five of data administration and stage six of maturity or perfection according to Nolan’s growth model.