The rapid development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has revitalized international trade and development. Information and communication technology in educational and research institutions facilitates an efficient, speedy and transparent dissemination of information and knowledge to the students, as well as the research scholars to govern their activities. In developing countries like India, though with relatively high net ICT uptake, ICT is still out of reach in many of the areas. This was mainly due to lack of appropriate products, cost, education, language, human resources, and lack of robust regulatory frameworks. The study focus on an educational institute one from developed nation and the other from developing nation and the comparisons are made in order to provide a snapshot of the picture of ICT in developing and developed countries. This study is based on research and personal interviews and questionaries from the selected representatives of the Institutions from both the locations. One university from India and the other from Sweden is selected. The findings of this study highlight the role of Internet, particularly the information systems, which have made it easier for students and the researchers to adapt the information technology. The research aimed at both qualitative and quantitative with interviews, questionaries and documentation for the data collection.
ICT, Information and Communication Technology, Information technology, Internet, Information, Knowledge, Developing countries, Learning Management Systems, Information Systems.
The development of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) over the past several decades, has encountered sunbstantial changes in the global economy and the way people, companies, and countries interact and do business (Bhagwati, 2004; Sachs, 2005; Soros, 2002; Stiglitz, 2002). The cut down costs of communication and transportation have brought down barriers to the flows between countries of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and, to a lesser extent, people. Increased global trade is associated with significant economic growth. Although the benefits of this growth have not been uniformly distributed across and within countries, this growth has, in turn, corresponded to an increased standard of living for millions of people across the globe (Sachs, 2005; World Bank, 2002b).
Nowadays Higher education institutions are becoming increasingly reliant upon information and communication technology (ICT) as a way of providing enhanced learning and teaching - whether this means supplementing face-to-face teaching or providing fully-fledged e-learning courses (Routledge, 2005). For instance, Routledge (2005) also pointed 'Distance learning' has been taken into consideration as a way of providing higher education that involves the transfer of materials to the student's location that form the main basis of study, rather than the students moving to the location of the resource provider. Moreover "many higher education institutions (HEIs) are using ICT to develop course materials, deliver and share the course content, lectures and presentations; facilitate communication among lecturers and students; conduct research; and provide administrative and management services" (UNESCO, 2011).
In our research, we are going to make a comparitive study between two countries(India as a developing and Sweden as the developed) on the teaching-learning process that has been involved by concentrating on one particular university from each locations. Initially the paper will focus on how the web-based learning platform such as Blackboard, Moodle, Firstclass, learngate, etc., are used for communication between the teachers and students, information sharing and accessing and using the course materials. Later we will make comparisions between the two countries on the use of such ICT based materials and also analyzing the critical success factors of using such platforms and the gaps of not using it. We, as the researchers and as students, feel that use of ICTs in universities will be more interactive and it is also necessary to have web-based learning systems as it certainly add values upon the quality of education being served. Hence, our research on use of ICT tools will be a valuable addition to the shelves of all those involved in using ICTs in higher education.
1.1 Related Literature
A lot of studies have been done that focused on the educational sector through the use of ICTs (Ananya, 2006). Her paper focussed on ICT and distant learning in which she clearly differentiated the difference between the developed and developing nations as developed nations distance education is synonymous with WBI (Web Based Instruction) and it is not true for developing nations. Anders (2005) discussed about the different understandings of participation in an information and communication technology (ICT)-supported distance-based teacher education program in Sweden. His paper helped in understanding how ICT, and its use, can have different effects on different groups.
Some of the research was carried out on Learning Management System(LMS) and one of the example was investigating the implications of usability and learnability in LMS by considering the experiences of ICT experts and non-experts in using the LMS of an open-distance university (Marco et al, 2010). This paper highlights the effect of ICT skills on the usability of LMSs and eventually learning.
1.1.1 Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT was first used by Dennis Stevenson in a report to the UK government in 1997.Â It plays a vital role in education, agriculture production, social relationships and politics, universal access must be a goal to achieve (Alexander, 2007).
ICT in general covers Internet service provision, information technology equipment and services, telecommunications equipment and services, media and broadcasting, libraries and documentation centers, network-based information services, commercial information providers, and other related information and communication activities. According to Pelgrum and Law (2003), near the end of the 1980s, the term 'computers' was replaced by 'IT' (Information Technology) intending a shift of focus from computing technology to the capacity to store and retrieve information. This was followed by the introduction of the term 'ICT' around 1992, when e-mail started to become available to the general public. ICTs not only have a dramatic impact on achieving specific social and economic development goals but also play a key role in broader national development strategies (Digital Opportunity Initiative, 2001). According to Thomas (1987) there are four major factors that can affect the growth of Communication Technologies in a Country. They are Financial Strength of the society, Attitude of policy makers, Budget Allocation for the technology, Cost-efficiency of the technology.
Adeya(2002) mentions about simplified definition describing ICTs as an "electronic means of capturing, processing, storing and dissemination information". The whole world can be accessed online on a PC or a notebook due to technological developments where time and space are decreasingly limiting and thus becoming irrelevant factors. Virtual reality and ICT offers numerous possibilities to create, construct, and simulate realities (Slevin 2000, chaps. 1-5). With the increase of information and communication technologies for instructional design and delivery, technology-supported learning models dominates the traditional classroom learning (Barclay 2001)
1.2.2 ICT in Education
When looking into the central areas of ICT applications, education stands first possibility to influence in development. Equally when users get involved using ICTs, new social interactions comes out via email or chat rooms, and they have profound implications for the social support networks. Social norms are being affected by ICTs, especially the internet, which is creating new networks through which individuals can share values and experiences. Training is increasing frequently by the use of ICT's for education of professionals using digital content and remote connections or interactive applications when students cannot go to the training center. The distance learning supports the training of professionals which provide access to best practices and directions to improve skills (Carlos, 2007).
The use of ICT has often been thought to bring substantial shifts into classroom
practice. This was evident from school surveys conducted in 26 countries (Pelgrum & Anderson, 1999) and a series of case studies conducted in 27 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Africa (Kozma, 2003). It was evident from these studies that innovative classroom use of computers depends not just on the availability of computers, internet facilities in schools but also on other factors such as administrative support, teacher training, and supportive plans and policies.
Hepp et al (2004) posits following reasons for the application and role of ICTs in education:
A new society requires new skills: In reality, ICTs are the leading tools for information processing and hence new generations need to become competent in their use. They should acquire the necessary skills, and must have access to computers and networks during their school life.
Productivity enhancement: Schools are knowledge-handling institutions. Therefore, ICTs should serve as an essential management tools on all levels of an educational system, from classrooms to ministries.
A quest for quality learning: Schools must heavily revise current teaching practices and resources to create more effective learning environments and improve lifelong learning skills and habits in their students.
Pedagogical tool role: ICTs offer a new model that can foster a revision and an advancement of teaching and learning practices such as collaborative, project based and self paced learning,
Cultural, social, Professional Roles: These are practiced mainly through an effective use of the vast amount of information sources and services available today via internet and CD based content for entire educational communities including students, teachers, administrators and parents.
Administrative roles: ICTs play a vital role in making school administration less burdensome and more effectively integrated to the official information flow about students, curricula, teachers, budgets and activities through the educational system information pipelines.
According to Kozma and Wagner (2003), ICTs can have an impact on the pace at which the learning gap is bridged in developing countries, both domestically and in relation to other nations. Further more they also highlighted that harnessing the advantages of those technologies is a great challenge in order to improve the delivery and quality of educational services, as well as to accelerate the rate at which knowledge is distributed and learning chances and outcomes are equalised throughout society.
1.1.3 Digital Divide
In today's world, the major pre-occupation in the literature of ICT's and education is the question about digital divide (OECD, 2004). Digital divide is defined as "the disparity in ICT diffusion and use between industrial and developing countries". The introduction of ICT in schools in the remote areas was bounded for the developing countries because of the demand of infrastructure investment and hence the divide between urban and rural areas might be extended. This inturn may introduce the digital divide in the economic and educational divides (Pelgrum, W.J., Law,N., 2003). The digital divide focuses on the higher end of ICTs involving the electronic transfer of information. Many of the researchers state that digital divide is a context that includes socioeconomic (rich/poor), racial (majority/minority), or geographical (urban/rural). It is "the gap between the people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all", and imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen (Pandey. Goel, Gangal, 2008). Heterick, Mingle & Twigg (1997) observed that this rapid growth in the application of digital technology directs to important trends that are probably to have broad social and economic implications such as technology skills will continue to become a necessary part of the education and workforce experience for most students and workers. Furthermore, digital devices will continue to replace older analog technology as sound, video, and data communication merge with the rapid growth in high-bandwidth systems; and individuals will have increasingly direct access to services and information (without the need for intermediate institutions), and the power of technology will increasingly allow products and services to be "packaged" to meet individual needs and preferences.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, schools began to move away from tutorial mode by using the computer to transform schools and classrooms into "electronic" learning centers that have the potential to increase both the quality and efficiency of classroom instruction, and raise student motivation to learn (American Association of School Administrators, 1996; Glennan & Melmed, 1996; Means & Olson, 1995). According to Fouts (2000), this new transformational role uses educational technology to: provide opportunities for drill and practice basic skills but with increasingly sophisticated software and other digital resources; provide simulations (e.g., virtual science labs). It also helps to gain real world experiences to develop cognitive thinking and to extend learning; increase access to a wealth of information and enhanced communications through the Internet and other related information technologies; and create sophisticated multi-media products, manage information, and solve problems using ever more sophisticated software.
According to Nordis (2001), there is a theoretical debate of digital divide between cyber optimists who see ICTs as great leveler and cyber pessimists who imagine greater inequality emerging. Optimists hope that the development of ICTs has the capacity to reduce though not completely eradicating traditional inequalitites between rich and poor. On the other hand, pessimists believe that digital technologies will reinforce existing disparities while skeptics suggest that both fears and hopes are exaggerated (Nordis 2001). At this moment it is very important to quote Trujjillos (2000) statements as he claims
"The instrumentalist approach considers digital information and communication technologies as a powerful instrument with the ability to act as a catalyst to desirable change in the structure of society".
"Developed and developing countries will witness how digital information technologies are used by elite countries and the elite within countries".
ICT in Sweden
Sweden is one of the world's leading information & communications technology (ICT) nations by any measure. According to various reports, they name Swedes as the world's foremost users of information technology such as mobile telephones, computers and networks. Moreover other studies show that Sweden has one of the world's highest rates of internet usage and one of the fastest broadband networks. It is the fact that People, businesses and public authorities in Sweden are among the quickest to adopt new technologies, applications and services, and hence technology companies from around the world often use the country as a test market for new products. Companies like Huawei, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, Symantec and ZTE are conducting research and development in Sweden as it is the birthplace of wireless technologies such as GSM, WCDMA, LTE and Bluetooth.
The reason behind their advancement in the use of ICT was the "PC Reform" launched in the late 1990s encouraging Swedish households to buy computers by giving them the right to purchase them through their employers on favorable terms. As this has become a chance for many and Sweden soon turned out as one of the nations with the highest rates of computer ownership.
ICT in Swedish education - refer the saved document.
1.2 Research Problem and questions
What is the need of this study?
What problems influenced the need to undertake this study?
In recent days, most of the higher educational institutions are adopting ICTs in order to make the teaching-learning process more flexible. In this context some higher educational institutions may not have implemented these technologies. There can be many reasons for not implementing them. May be they do not know the importance or they might not have used to it before. If ICTs are used exclusively for the purpose of enhancing the teaching-learning process and also for providing a way to distance learning environment, is that the technologies being used by all the students in the universities? Or has it been for the students undergoing studies which are computer related? Are the students manage to have their own equipments?. So these sort of question arises when using ICT tools and techniques in the universities. Our research analyze and understand the use of those technologies for teaching-learning process and highlights the importance of using it. Hence this will serve as a proposition for many higher educational institutuions as well as schools for them to adopt and use ICTs so as to improve their quality of education. This will be achieved by answering the following research questions.
1. Does the use of ICT-based approaches enhance the quality of teaching and learning process in universities?
2. How the use of ICTs in universities for the teaching-learning process does differ from India and Sweden?
3. Theoritical background
There are several terms to describe the use of technology for learning and the terms tend to change rapidly. Elliot (2009) defines e-learning as the ''rise of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and extend learning''. E-learning is ''those that leverage various Internet and web technologies to create, enable, deliver, and/or facilitate lifelong learning'' Robert and Piper (2009).
The Commission on Technology and Adult Learning (2001) defines e-learning learning as instructional content or learning experiences delivered or enabled by electronic technology.
It is generally accepted that "e" stands for "electronic", whereas some people more agree with that "e" also stands for evolving, enhanced, extended, everywhere, every-time, and everybody, as the e-learning can be done anytime and anywhere as long as the learner has the access (Hui Li, 2009). E -learning promises to provide a single experience that accommodates the three distinct learning styles of auditory learners, visual learners, and kinaesthetic learners. This e-learning initiative was adopted by European Commission in 2000 and the e-learning action plan was adopted in 2001 in the fields of education and training to enable Europe make most of its strength, overcome obstacles to the increased take up and use of digital technology to which one of the action plan was developing the infrastructure through the establishment of digital networks in universities (Eurydice,2001, p- 18).
Taking in consideration from the American Society for Training and Development, Allen says that e-learning covers a wide set of applications and processes, such as Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM. According to Pfeifer (2006), "The term e-learning applies to the broad range of ways computing and communication technologies can be used for teaching and learning". As to meet increase demand in education and training the higher education institutions are turning in e-learning as it goes with convenience and flexible way to access both the education and learning.
3.2 Classifications of E-learning
E-learning can be classified into two broad categories, synchronous and asynchronous (Cantoni, 2004). Synchronous learning uses a learning model that initiates a classroom course, lecture or meeting using Internet technologies. In synchronous learning, the interaction is live; it requires all the participants to be available at the same time. It offers activities like lessons, assignments, chats, instant messaging, blogging, and forums. In this platform, students are able to throw questions to their instructors, and their questions are given answers to. Though very interactive and offers instant responses to queries, there could be a problem of break in interaction in a situation where there is power failure in one end of the class. If a student experiences system failure, that particular student is cut off from the class activities. This is a serious challenge to synchronous category of e-learning (blended learning). Asynchronous learning is described as a web-based version of computer-based training (CBT), which is typically offered on a CD-ROM or across an organization's local area network. The learner can assess the course at any time at his or her own pace (Takalani, 2008).
Takalani has mapped out the following types of e-learning:
Web-based training: This is the delivery of content to the end user without significant interaction with (or support from) training professionals, peers, or managers.
Supported online learning: This type of e-learning is used mostly in higher education where the majority of the course content may be delivered through lectures or through distance-education textual material. Here, the interaction with the instructor, the dialogue with other learners, the searching for resource materials, the conduct of collaborative activities, the access to course outlines, and supporting material are all conducted online.
Characteristics and examples of each learning (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 2007)
3.3 E-learning in HEIs
E-learning or "electronically mediated learning" (Zemsky and Massy 2004) offers the higher education community and opportunity to rethink the role of education at many levels and leverage this opportunity in social ways.
During the research process, varieties of terms that are related to this area have been encountered, such as: e-learning, online learning, distance learning, synchronous e-learning, self-paced learning and blended learning etc. These terms emerged because of the diversity of e learning. In fact, e-learning is a very broad term. The most general definition is "e-learning is used to describe any type of learning environment that is computer enhanced" (Aranda, 2007). However, within different contexts, significant differences of the nature of e-learning can be noticed. As clarified by (Australian Flexible Learning Frame-work (2007), they differ in the degree of interactivity, the richness of their content, the way they are delivered to the learner, and the degree of interaction between learners and an instructor. Moreover those forms of e-learning are often used in combination with the purpose to either enhance on-campus education or enable distance education by overcoming geographic barriers. Therefore, in the world wide, there is a trend that more and more education institutions have begun in pursues of e-learning initiatives.
In order to develop quality aspects and criteria that are adapted to distance education and e-learning, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education initiated an evaluation of distance-based teacher training programmes in 2006 (National Agency 2007).
Five quality aspects of particular interest in distance/flexible/e-learning were identified:
Information and communication technology
Planning and structure
Adjustment to student needs
Infrastructure and organization
E-Learning in context of higher education in India has a rapid growth. NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) was conceived in 1999 and funded by MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource and Development). Under this project, 7 IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bangalore, worked for three years 2003 to 2006, to create 112 video courses and 116 web courses. All these courses are on undergraduate engineering topics, and made to meet most of the requirements of an engineering undergraduate program (at any Indian university). These courses are available to students, working professionals and colleges (both government-aided and private) at virtually no cost or at very low cost.
3.4 Different stages of E-learning
According to Australian Flexible Learning Framework (2007), e-learning can be subdivided into three stages in accordance with the degree of interaction between the learner and the teacher. The University of Northampton (2008) also considers these three stages as "Informative stage", "integrative stage", and "transformatory stage". Understanding these stages helps to identify current situation e-learning in HEIs.
3.4.1 Tier1 or Informative stage
E-learning is the most basic, and may amount to little more than electronic delivery of content to the learner. There may be some online assessment and use of media to support the learning, but overall there is a low degree of online interaction. Examples include placing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations online, e-books, and online manuals (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 2007). Informative stage involves the provision of information (administrative), program specification, module handbooks, timetables, reading lists, exam questions and links to external resources (Brown et al).
3.4.2 Tier2 or Integrative stage
E-learning allows the learner to have a degree of interaction with the content being delivered on screen, and makes use of a range of media to reinforce the learning. However, it does not build in interactions between learners, or between learners and their instructor. Examples include online quizzes and tests, computer games, demonstrations and simulations (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 2007). Integrative stage covers more dynamic interaction and communication replacing some face to face activity, including manipulation of online datasets, group discussion, video lectures, e-tutoring, online exercises, formative and summative assessment (Brown et al).
3.4.3 Tier3 or Transformatory stage
It is the top tier of e-learning. It encourages self-directed learning, may be rich with media, and as with traditional classroom training it engages the learner in a learning community. An example is a virtual classroom (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 2007). Transformatory stage provides an online learning community, using resources and technologies in innovative and collaborative ways, such as multimedia simulations, online seminars with invited experts (Brown et al).
3.5 E-learning Vs Traditional classroom learning
The advancement of computer and networking technologies are providing a diverse means to support learning in a more personalized, flexible, portable, and on demand manner (Zhang, et al, 2004). Several studies argue the fact that traditional classroom training could be replaced by e-learning. In a hunt of comparing e-learning with traditional learning environment we came across few studies which talked about the current situation. According to Owens and Price (2010), Education is on the threshold of being transformed through the application, integration and utilization of learning technologies in UK HEIs. However, it has been on the threshold for some time now (Laurillard, 2008). Personalization, ï¬‚exibility of delivery and inclusion of a wider participation are cited (Laurillard, 2008) as being key ambitions for learning technologies in education. Students Expectations Study, 2007; and Ashraf, 2009 discuss that the current generation want to see concrete benefits of learning before signing up rather than making the HEIs more 'techno friendly".
According to traditional perspective, e-learning appears to be acting as a supportive capacity to the traditional teaching and learning approaches (Owens and Prince, 2010). Their research in an attempt to address the question "Is e-learning replacing the traditional lecture?" drawn the fact that from a wider perspective it is impossible to say but it may not be as far away as they think. Ashraf (2009) claimed that, by the end of 2010, more than 50 per cent of all courses offered will be a hybrid of face-to-face and online learning and more than 80 percent of students will use mobile technology as a tool for learning. Even though e-learning has many advantages over teaching-learning anytime and anywhere, it is still hard to replace traditional classroom learning in the present circumstance. Just as e-commerce did not replace the need for bricks and mortar retail stores, e-learning does not replace the need for instructor-led training, coaching, expert support, labs, and collaborative experiences (Bersin, 2005). Factors such as course content, delivery method, software, hardware and financial issue only provide the basic environment of e-learning.
Traditional classroom learning Vs E-learning (Zhang et al, 2004)
3.6 Blended Learning
The concept of blended learning is rooted in the idea that learning is not just a one-time event. It is a continuous process. Blending provides various benefits over using any single learning delivery medium alone (Khan 2003). Blended learning may be defined as a combination of classroom learning and e-learning. There are at least three key dimensions to be considered in classification of learning: physical class-based or virtual, formal or informal, and scheduled or self paced learning (Joseph, 2007).
Blended learning emerges from an understanding of the relative strengths of face to face and online learning. It is at the center of an evolutionary transformation of teaching and learning in higher education (Garrison, 2008). Bonk & Graham (2006) states that blended or hybrid approach is a combination of instruction from two models of teaching and learning.
Defining the Blend (Georgouli et al., 2008, p.28)
As there are different approaches for defining the concept it could be regarded as a strength giving teachers and policymakers the space to create a concept of blended learning suited to their own contexts (Sharpe et al.2006). Garrison and kanuka (2004) also agree with the idea that blended learning is a question of design, integrating face to face and virtual activities. The reasoning of designing a blended context is similar to the mixed environment; the young people of today create in their private lives. Prensky (2001) describes digital natives as they have grown up using ICT and communicate with their friends face-to-face as well as digitally in a relatively integrated way.
Ginns and Ellis (2007) argue that there are few studies reporting on how students who participate in campus courses perceive the integration of face to face and ICT supported activities. The reports to date have looked at student's experience of the difference between the face to face and virtual options, rather than at how these two options may support each other as a concept of blended learning.
Bonk (2006) pointed out a major advantage of blended learning is that curriculum and course content can be tailored to meet specific consumers, populations, cultures; as such BL has the potential for synchronizing students and instructors with expertise throughout the world.
4. Research Methods
Methodology refers to choices we make about cases to study, methods of data gathering, and forms of data analysis in planning and executing a research study. According to much of the IS literature, use of an appropriate standard method can improve both the development process and its outcomes, especially in large and complex IS project (e.g. Butler and Fitzgerald 1999; Chatzoglou 1997; kim and peterson 2003; wixom and watson 2001).
Gobo suggests that methodology comprises four components: a preference for certain methods among the many available to us(listening, watching, observing, reading, questioning, conversing), a theory of scientific knowledge, or a set of assumptions about the nature of reality, the tasks of science, the role of the researcher, the concepts of action and social actor, a range of solutions, devices and stratagems used in tackling a research problem, a systematic sequence of procedural steps to be followed once our method has been selected (David Silverman, 2006, P-15).
The research approach we adopted is quantitative method for our study. Quantitative approach tends towards surveys and experiments as the strategies of inquiry. Employ closed ended questions, pre-determined approaches and numeric data methods, identifies variables to study, measures information numerically and the researcher used as the practices of research (Cresswell 2009). Gable (1994) suggests that for quantitative research to succeed in elucidating causal relationships, or in providing descriptive statistics, the survey instrument must ask the right questions, in the right way, he also suggests that researcher should have a good idea of the answers sought before starting the survey, hence traditional quantitative survey research would appear to serve as a methodology of verification rather than discovery.
Allison (1993) says that events that form a phenomenon are conditioned by interacting variables, such as time and culture and as a result no two situations are identical. The general consensus amongst researchers today is that there is no overall best method for research; it all depends on the nature and requirements of the project in question (Carr, 1994), he also stated an old definition of science as "experiments conducted which results were measured and gathered". The quantitative method will be carried out; we will be sending the questionnaires to the students to both the universities of India and Sweden.
4.1 Philosophical Worldview
The knowledge claim of this study is post positivist paradigm. Post positivist paradigm is applicable for this research because it involves variables that constitute hypothesis and research questions testing through data collecting and analysis (Cresswell, 2009, p. 7). By doing this we try to exlpore and understand the use of ICTs involved in teaching-learning process of the students in day-to-day activities.
4.2 Research Strategy
Quantitative survey is used as strategies of inquires in both the location because it provides quantitative or numeric description of trends, attitudes or opinions of a population by studying a sample of that population. It includes Cross sectional and longitudinal studies using questionnaires or structured interviews for data collection, with the intent of generalizing from a sample to a population (Babbie, 1990).
4.3 Research Settings
The research setting for our research involves two locations. One university from the southern part of India and the other is Linnaeus University, Vaxjo campus, Sweden. The university in India has got four locations however only one location is selected for our research whereas the university in Sweden has got two locations and Vaxjo campus is alone selected in the research.
Teachers, students and other researchers will be chosen as the participants. However the selection of participants is done on the basis of different faculties, programs/courses. They would be contacted through emails explaining the purpose of our research.
4.5 Role of the Researcher
We will play a neutral role in our research as we mostly interpret and analyze the data that will be collected through interviews, observation (observation at one site) through field as well as from the surveys.
4.6 Data collection
Data collection is that which aims to collect information to answer the research questions. Surveys are the primary method of quantitative research. Survey contains 6 elements to state it as good survey they are measurable objectives, sound research design, sound choice of population or sample, reliable and valid instruments, appropriate analysis and accurate reporting of results (Fink 1995). Fink (2002) identified four types of data collection procedures they are self-administered questionnaires; interviews; structured record reviews to collect financial, medical, school information; structured observations. Nesbary et al., (2000) stated that the data collection may also involve creating a Web based or Internet survey and administering it online.
In the survey questionnaires using the mail instrument students will be asked to provide a response on a 4 to 5 Likert scale where it ranges for example "Yes definitely" to "No, never" (Likert, 1932). Number of variables were pre-defined and taken into consideration when the questions are been framed. The aspects of framing of questions were done by with respect to the institutional context, environmental contest and technological context. Here because of the time factor restricted to us we are going with a small group of individuals from a large population to identify the attributes. Individuals chosen will be 40 students each from the two universities.
Fig Shows the Representation of Quantitative Survey "Data Collection"
Population and Sampling
Here the sample selected for this research is 40 students each from both of the universities from India and Sweden i.e taking respondents from the large population to individuals from both the universities.
As cresswell(2009) described different types of sampling like the Cluster sampling(single, two-stage), random sampling, we have chosen the random sampling technique to select students from both the universities. This random sampling is for the selection process for the individuals from the population. The Less desirable is a non probability sample(or convenience sample) in which respondents are been chosen based on their convenience and availability (Babbie, 1990)
The sample size for this method of study is aimed at 80 respondent's i.e., students from both the universities from India and Sweden. The fixed numbers of respondents are selected by using the random sampling as we contacted students via emails in Linnaeus University, vaxjo where as in India we have contacted the teachers of Amrita university by explaining about our research proposal to them. So that teachers can give information to the students about our study and the purpose of contacting them for the survey. Students who are interested to be a part of this study has given their email id's to contact them. By the above we have selected 40 students randomly on the response of the respondents from india.
Fig. Sample Population
University in India - Amrita University
University in Sweden - Linnaeus University, Vaxjo
Here we have chosen e-mail survey as an instrument as the response rates for electronic mail surveys have been found to vary from 34% to 76% (Eley, 1999; Jones & Pitt, 1999). The four commonly used surveys are mail survey, telephone survey, online/computer survey, in person survey and each and every survey of them have its own key considerations within it. In our research we will be carrying out with e-mail survey, by which the survey can be self-administered by the recipient. Morover this instrument will be mostly convenient for respondents, who can complete them in the place and time of their choosing.Â This provides the best opportunities random sampling; this mail survey is the least expensive way to collect data from large numbers of people.
4.7 Reliability, Validity and Objectivity
When performing a statistical measure, the importance of reliability and validity must be taken into account (Gaur & Gaur, 2006: 31). The validity is based on that the factor that is being measured is the correct one and Gaur and Gaur (2006: 32-3) uses three aspects of assessing validity:
Predictive validity: where predictions can be made from the measurements
Content validity: where the measurement is reflecting the whole domain of the study and not only some aspects that may not be truly representative of the matter intended for study
Construct validity: where the results of the measurements are being matched to the theory of the study, and patterns of relationships are being interpreted together with the empirical findings.
The reliability is based on the non-fluctuation of the same factors measured several times. The details of my methods are of value for a possible replication, meaning the possibility of repeating the controls and research, thus controlling the results (Backman, 2008: 41) and strengthening the reliability. By compiling the datasheet and leaving it accessible for further examination, the results can be double checked and validated.
4.8 Data Analysis
We use chi-square test to analyse the quantitative data. (To be contd.,)
4.9 Ethical Issues
Pimple (2002) has divided the Ethic of any research project into three categories. Truth, fairness, and wisdom. We will try to accomplish all three in our research.
Is it true?
We have prepared our research proposal and will conduct research with best of our knowledge and experiences. While doing the research will also avoid doing any fabrication and falsification with the collected data and results.
Is it fair?
Every interview will be voluntary and kept confidential with no names of the participants will be mentioned.
Is it wise?
ICT in Education makes the teaching-learning process more efficient. With the positive results of this research, we can motivate others to initiate such process (other domains) in future.