THE IMPACT OF E-LEARNING ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BUSINESS STUDIES STUDENTS

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INTRODUCTION

E-learning describes using information and communication technology (ICT) towards improving learning within educational training. Nevertheless, e-learning involves use and application of a variety of tools and techniques, for instance e-mails, websites, blogs, social and business media, and being able to access program supplies on the internet whilst carrying out programs delivered entirely on the internet (Heeger, 2010). Although e-learning platforms can be of different kinds, some advanced private secondary schools in shomolu provide educational programs that involve use of web or the internet systems to improve students’ academic achievements.

According to Olaniyi (2006), e-learning is all about learning that occurs at the computer. In our contemporary world, the learning through the aid of a computer simply means online knowledge acquisition through the internet or offline through CD-ROM etc. In other words, it is the use of network technologies to create, foster, deliver, and facilitate learning, anytime and anywhere. Horton (2005) defined e-learning as the use of internet and digital technologies to create experiences that educate our fellow human beings. E-learning has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and how we learn (DfES, 2003).

According to Abimbade (2002) educational technology vis-à-vis instructional technology whether as a field of education or new terminology to what has been there before like teaching aids or apparatus, as it was earlier called but recent achievements in the field of computer and communication technologies have offered tremendous opportunities for learning by electronic means (Rozina, 2002). Therefore, the world of technology continued to grow and today the whole world has become a global village. By the beginning of the 21st millennium educational technology has stretched educational boundaries and created new ones on a daily basis. One of these new and rapidly expanding boundaries is e-learning which is offering tremendous advantage to education sector (Abimbade, 2002).

Following Oye, Salleh and Iahad (2011), e-learning is basically a teaching and learning method via the web, system or a standalone personal computer (PC). From another dimension, Cooke (2014) defines e-learning as a network-enabled expression associated with functions that facilitate teaching and learning in an efficient manner.

E-learning programs and procedures consist of web-based learning, computer-based learning, digital classes and electronic activity (Heeger, 2010). The programs provide platforms with content materials which are transferred by the web intranet or extranet, sound or even movie MP3s, satellite televisions and CD-ROMs. It is against this background that e-learning was initially known as “internet-based learning”, while nowadays, e-learning is called “web-based learning”. Technically, e-learning does not only regard instructions and coaching by the instructor, but also involves learning that is tailored made to specific learner needs in the private secondary school. According to Oye, Salleh and Iahad (2011), numerous terminologies occur to be accustomed to determine learning which are on the internet. For that reason, e-learning and learning online are regarded to have different meanings (Cooke, 2014).

Given that the success of e-learning in enhancing students’ academic achievement depends on the quality of information and communication technology (ICT), the impact of e-learning on student academic achievement cannot be isolated from the nature ICT infrastructure (Niyazazari & Hosseini, 2012). In today’s highly globalised world, the use and application of information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching for learning has brought about remarkable achievement in improving students’ academic performance in many academic disciplines.

According to Mahdinejad & Amoii (2011), application of ICT-based teaching and learning in an interactive manner stimulates students’ interests to acquire knowledge and apply the acquired knowledge in solving practical life social and economic problems.

The use of information and communication technology (ICT); which comprises of desktop and personal computers (PCs), laptops, the internet, and multimedia, enhances capacity to accomplish tasks faster with speed and accuracy in teaching and learning. These features change the role of the teacher and the learner, facilitate learning, and lead to interactive learning, learner autonomy, self-sufficiency, and self-confidence (Zameni & Kardan, 2012). By integrating content and information literacy, often in textual and visual forms, ICT produces significant learning and academic achievement. In other words, incorporation of ICT into the area of education has changed the role of teachers from a mere source of educational material to supervision of learning process. This increases self-sufficiency and self-confidence in students’ learning processes (Zameni & Kardan, 2012).

The knowledge of ICT today is being emphasized as the effective vehicle for teaching and learning (Zameni and Karan, 2011). With the widespread use of the internet, knowledge has become more effectively reachable by the mass population of students. The use of ICT promotes effective engagement of the learners, enhancement of learning, ease the use of teaching methods and materials to respond to students’ interests and needs; empowerment of the learners to control the learning schedule, and the pace of execution of the learning program; enables interactions between learners and materials, and learners and teachers by the usage of animation, image and sound together in the learning process; abstract concepts that are difficult to understand can be solid and easy to learn by eliminating the limitations of conventional method of teaching and the constraints of time and space (Qaznavi, 2010).

Consequently, many junior secondary schools in educational district IV might not meet the ICT facilities required for effective curriculum delivery. This implied that only few of these schools could achieve quality assurance in teaching and learning processes. This situation would no doubt cause students’ low academic achievements. Hence, the needs to further analyze the adequacy, utilization and maintenance of ICT facilities with a view to advising stakeholders in secondary schools to improve on provision, capacity utilization and sustenance of ICT facilities in schools and higher education colleges (Mahdinejad and Amoii (2011).

Shekari (2010) further finds relatively low usage of ICT facilities (46%) in teaching and learning processes in private secondary schools as both teachers and students are constrained by inadequate ICT facilities to advance teaching and learning. This implies that teachers and students would have limited opportunities and capability in using ICT facilities to expand their knowledge and skills in curriculum instruction. Consequently the quality of education being given to learners would be inadequate and reflect in low outcome. The major constraints perceived by teachers against effective utilization of ICT facilities for teaching-learning process in secondary schools include inadequate supply of computer hardware and software; irregular power supply; limited training opportunities for teachers; low level of institutional partnership with professional and corporate bodies for technical support; poor funding and maintenance (Shekari, 2010). The challenges identified are inimical to effective teaching and learning processes; consequently, majority of the learners lack the knowledge of ICT in colleges. Adequate provision of ICT facilities and better management of available ICT facilities were identified as means to improve ICT facilities utilization in tertiary colleges in order to