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Trends in student use of ICTs in higher education in South Africa.

Brown, Cheryl; Czerniewicz, Laura

This paper reports on the findings of a survey of 3533 students regarding ICT use in six higher education institutions in four South African provinces. The findings indicate that students use ICTs in support of their studies and that the type of use has changed very little since a similar study conducted in 2004. Information seeking activities dominate with web searching being the most frequently undertaken activity.In the light of the reported rise of Web 2.0 there is a surprisingly low use of social software tools. There are, however, indications that more familiar technologies such as web searching and instant messaging are being used more frequently and in more varied disciplinary contexts. As expected, undergraduate students report more frequent use of scaffolded learning activities whilst postgraduate students report more frequent use of research based e-learning activities.Institutional approaches to e-learning are found to be linked with student use, with students at institutions where the e-learning approaches are structured reporting more frequent use particularly in terms of learning management systems. Use of ICTs for information and communication have become more mainstream although students from different disciplinary contexts still report different frequencies of use for more specialised e-learning activities. The findings from this study are discussed in the light of international studies. While at times our data confirms findings from elsewhere, there are also cases where respondents in the local context do not use ICTs in the way that the broader literature might have lead local researchers to expect.

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Title of Paper: Trends in student use of ICTs in higher education in South Africa.
Conference Name: 10th Annual Conference of WWW Applications
Conference Date: 0000-00-00
Conference Location: Cape Town
Published as Proceedings: No

Document Type:Conference Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Teaching and Learning
Country:South Africa
Keywords:ICT (Information & Communication Technology), Developing countries, Higher Education and Development, Higher Education, Student Learning, Trends in Higher Education, Trends, South African Universities, South Africa

File Size:84 KB
Rights:Self archived
Date Added:15 October 2008

Brown, Cheryl; Czerniewicz, Laura (2008) Trends in student use of ICTs in higher education in South Africa. Paper presented at the 10th Annual Conference of WWW Applications on 3rd - 6 September 2008.