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  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Pages: 56
  • Chapter 1 to 5
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Assessing the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. A case study of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

Abstract

The study was on assessing the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. A case study of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi. The following objectives were used for the study: To ascertain the impact of online teaching – learning on academic performance of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi, to examine the effects of online interaction on distance teaching-learning of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi and to ascertain the challenges of online teaching – learning by Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi. The most significant influence in education in recent years is the increase and recognition of private for-profit adult distance and online education programs as legitimate institutions for quality learning. Online learning focuses on a wide range of technological based learning platforms, delivery methods, and the integration of educational technology components into the learning environment. The emergence of modern technology has allowed students at all levels, young and mature, the opportunity to participate in advancing their education in an environment that is diversified, rich in best practices, yet progressive enough to allow students to proceed in a self-paced manner. This article will address online education, its strengths, limitations, online teaching tools, professional development, best practices, and an evaluation of a personal online experience

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

Institution of higher education have increasingly embraced online education, and the number of student enroll in distance education program is rising rapidly in colleges and universities.

Today’s students are exposed to a technological era in which they are engulfed with an array of mobile technology and learning tools to include, ipads, computers, iphones, interactive audio or videoconferencing, webcasts, instructional videos via CD-ROMs or DVDs and computer-based systems transmitted through the Internet (The National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). Mobile devices provide education to students by allowing them to download necessary materials, immediately, to help fulfill requirements for issues they are confronted with daily (Bonk, 2009). Digital learning tools such as webcams, electronic books, and audio devices for recording lectures, to be used by students at their convenience, are effective tools offered by educational institutions to increase students’ success rate with course requirements. Electronic books can reduce the cost of and ensure use of most current reading materials, and a larger variety of sources. The growth of these devices has provided instructors new and innovative tools to promote teaching and learning for students with varied educational needs. Not only are technology devices necessary for success in the online environment, but the design of the online program, including the instructor, the curriculum, and student support services accompanied by a strong sense of community and connectedness within the program, are significant as well.

At the same time, misconceptions and myths related to the difficulty of teaching and learning online, technologies available to support online instruction, the support and compensation needed for high-quality instructors, and the needs of online students create challenges for such vision statements and planning documents. In part, this confusion swells as higher education explores dozens of e-learning technologies (for example, electronic books, simulations, text messaging, podcasting, wikis, blogs), with new ones seeming to emerge each week. Such technologies confront instructors and administrators at a time of continued budget retrenchments and rethinking. Adding to this dilemma, bored students are dropping out of online classes while pleading for richer and more engaging online learning experiences. Given the demand for online learning, the plethora of online technologies to incorporate into teaching, the budgetary problems, and the opportunities for innovation, we argue that online learning environments are facing a “perfect e-storm,” linking pedagogy, technology, and learner needs.

Statement of the problem

The call for application of E-learning in schools is to infuse and inject efficiency and effectiveness in the teaching-learning process. Thus, in a developing nation like Ghana, E-learning is currently encountering the challenges of material devices like the availability of computers, well equipped computer laboratories coupled with internet facilities, videophone systems and teleconferencing devices, fax and wireless applications, digital library, digital classrooms, multimedia systems and the problem of multimedia courseware development among others (Global Information Technology Report, 2010). Other studies revealed that there is a limited trained teacher for E-learning, lack of facilities, infrastructures and equipment (Ikemenjima, 2005; and Jegede & Owolabi, 2003).

E-learning has already influenced the field of teaching, training and development in the developed world. An increasing number of higher institution courses are now taught on the internet and are increasing student numbers (Chang, 2001). Many educational stakeholders are of the opinion that online learning is the future method for their training programmes (Barron, 1999). However, the field lacks enough documentation to show that E-learning is an effective delivery mechanism in relation to the individuals being taught. Aroyo and Dicheva (2004) indicated that many researchers in the area of education systems are concerned with moving their research to a coherent space of collaborative intelligence from scattered intelligent. There are limited studies that have investigated the perception of distance learning students on the influence of e-learning on their academic performance. This study will therefore investigate the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. A case study of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

Objective of the study

The objective of the study is to investigate the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. The specific objectives are;

  1. To ascertain the impact of online teaching – learning on academic performance of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi
  2. To examine the effects of online interaction on distance teaching-learning of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi
  3. To ascertain the challenges of online teaching – learning by Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

Research question

  1. Is there impact of online teaching – learning on academic performance of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi?
  2. Is there effect of online interaction on distance teaching-learning of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi?
  3. Are there challenges of online teaching – learning by Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi?

Research hypotheses

The following hypothesis will be tested in the null form.

Hypothesis I

Ho:       There is no significant impact of online teaching – learning on academic performance of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi.

Ho:       There is significant impact of online teaching – learning on academic performance of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

 Hypothesis II 

Ho:  there is no significant effect of online interaction on distance teaching-learning of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi.

Ho:  there is significant effect of online interaction on distance teaching-learning of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

 Hypothesis III 

Ho:  there are no challenges of online teaching – learning by Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi.

Ho:  there are challenges of online teaching – learning by Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to students and ministry of education.  In the same way, the study will provide knowledge and guidelines that may be of help to policymakers. The study will give a clear insight on the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. Finally, this study provides an input to the students, teachers and researchers in the areas of e-learning. Research works are embarked upon with a view to extending the frontier of knowledge. This study will therefore be carried out with this same objective, especially in the field of e-learning. It will undoubtedly contribute to the extension of the frontier of knowledge in the following ways. First, the study will show the predictive power of the selected factors, especially socio-demographic factors, prior computer skills and time management status in the determination of the academic performance. Lastly, government will as well benefit from the study because it will show how the provision of adequate learning facilities can enhance better academic performance in our tertiary institutions all over the country.

Scope of the study

The scope of the study covers Assessing the impact of online teaching and learning in higher education. A case study of Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi.

Limitation of the study

The researcher encounters some constraints which limit the scope of the study namely:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Delimitation of the study

This research is based on Sandwich Early Childhood students in Takoradi: the decision to limit the study to this organization is as a result of time and cost that will be involved in gathering data.

Definition of terms

Online teaching: Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often referred to as “e- learning” among other terms. However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” – the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom

Higher education: higher education is tertiary education that leads to the award of degree

Distance learning: a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom.

E-learning:  learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom.

Internet: a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols

Geographical area of Takoradi.

Sekondi-Takoradi, a city comprising the twin cities of Sekondi and Takoradi. It is the capital of Sekondi – Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly and the Western Region of Ghana. Sekondi-Takoradi is the region’s largest city and an industrial and commercial centre, with a population of 445,205 people (2012).

The chief industries in Sekondi-Takoradi are timber, cocoa processing, plywood, shipbuilding, its harbour and railway repair, and recently, sweet crude oil and crude oil. The fundamental job in Sekondi-Takoradi is fishing. Sekondi-Takoradi lies on the main railway lines to Kumasi and Accra.

Sekondi-Takoradi’s population is overwhelmingly Christian. 35% of the region are Pentecostal/Charismatic, 26% are Protestant and 14% are Catholic with the remaining 12% comprising numerous minor denominations. 9% of the population are Muslim, 3.5% identify as non-religious and 0.2% practice traditional African religions The major ethnic group found in Sekondi are the Ahanta people

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