Most Important Tool In The Process Of Teaching Education Essay

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In now days ICT has became most important tool in the process of teaching and learning. It is used in different levels from primary to tertiary levels. This study tries to find out the integration of ICT in private college in Malaysia and obstacles faced by college lecturers in the teaching and learning process ICT.

1.1 Background of the study

Among the key points toward the implementation of vision 2020 is science and technology. There are so many initiatives in Malaysia that are being done to ensure the accomplishment of this vision. Many programmes have been established in many fields including field of education for better teaching and learning process. Ministry of Education of Malaysia has sufficiently addressed the need for effective and innovative ICT integration to ensure future teachers are equipped with the relevant 21st century skills (Asariah 2009).

Although ICT is a part of the curriculum in all teachers' education programmes, teachers are said not to be in a good level for integrating ICT in the classroom (Abdul Rahim & Shamsiah Mohammed, 2008). According to Asariah 2009, Ministry of Education need to review the teacher education curriculum and its delivery strategies continuously so as to ensure the full potential of ICT can be tapped to improve the teaching and learning process.

Lem & Sim (2008) found that lack of access to computers, time factor, lack of computer skills and training, limited understanding on how to integrate ICT into teaching and lack of software or website that support the standard as the barrier faced by teachers teaching using computer. Apart from that, Mokhtar et al (2005) found that all conditions proposed by Ely (1999) were present in schools. The results also show that some of the conditions to be most prevalent (common) while other are least prevalent. Concerning the condition of "availability of resources", although computers are available, it's not enough for students use in teaching the subject concerned.

Due to the previous studies focused on specific subjects and public institution, this study observed the ICT integration and obstacles towards the integration to the college lecturers in teaching process in general.

1.2. Problem of statement

ICT integration in teaching has been a contemporary issue in the field of education. Many research have been done in various countries to explore how ICT is integrated in the teaching process. In Malaysia, studies have been done on smart schools, public school (primary and secondary) as well as higher education especially in the Public institutions. There are few studies conducted on the part of private institutions. This study conducted in private institution to explore the integration of ICT in teaching and learning process and obstacles encountered by lecturers in the process of integrating ICT in their teaching process.

1.3 Objectives

The objectives of this study were as follow:-

To find out the integration of ICT in teaching process in private college in Malaysia.

To investigate the obstacle faced by lecturers in the process of integrating ICT.

1.4 Research questions

This study was guided by the following questions:-

What is the lecturers' experience in using ICT in their teaching process?

How frequent do lecturers integrate ICT in their teaching process?

What are the obstacles encountered by lecturers towards the integration of ICT tools in teaching?

1.5 Significance of the study

This is significant due to the following reasons:-

Firstly, it gives insight on the real situation in the integration of ICT in Malaysia Private colleges.

Secondly, it contributes in understanding how ICT takes place in private colleges since the data might be used as reference not only in Cybernetic College but also in other private college.

Finally, it would be significant to the lecturers who always needed to improve integration of ICT through their daily teaching process.

1.6 Limitations and scope of the study

The study conducted in Malaysia and focused on one private college. The selection of this college was made on the following reasons. The first reason was since this college is private one it was expected that their level of ICT integration is good. Second reason was time constraint to the researcher since the data study was supposed to be done during the semester. The data obtained in this study might vary since it was conducted only in one college. Meanwhile the variation might occur in comparing with public colleges due to the different working environments.

2.0 Literature Review

The main objectives of this study are to find out the integration of ICT in teaching process in private college in Malaysia and to investigate the obstacle faced by lecturers in the process of integrating ICT.

Specifically, this study aimed to seek on three research questions.

What is the lecturers' experience in using ICT in their teaching process?

How frequent do lecturers integrate ICT in their teaching process?

What are the obstacles encountered by lecturers towards the integration of ICT tools in teaching?

Therefore, there are some theories, concepts as well as findings from previous research as a foundation to explore research questions. Meanwhile, this study based on combination of several models and theories of educational change so as to give broader understanding on the ICT integration. These models are applied as a guide to answer the research objectives and research questions.

2.1 Roger's Diffusion of innovation

Rogers' model studies diffusion from a change communication framework to examine the effects of all the components involved in the communication process on the rate of adoption. Rogers (1996) identified the differences both in people and in the innovation. The model provides the guidelines for the change agents about what attributes that they can build into the innovation to facilitate its acceptance by the intended adopter. Rogers also identified the sequence of change agent roles:

To develop a need for change.

To establish an information-exchange relationship.

To diagnose problems.

To create an intent in the client to change.

To translate an intent to action.

To stabilize adoption and prevent discontinuance.

To achieve a terminal relationship

2.1.1 How is diffusion defined in Rogers' Model?

Diffusion is a process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.

The definition indicates that:

The adopters can be an individual, groups, or organization at different levels of social system.

The target is innovation

The process is communication

The means is communication channels

The context of innovation is a social system

It is a change over time.

2.1.2 How can we categorize different types of adopter?

Innovators (risk takers)

Early adopters (hedgers)

Early majority (waiters)

Late majority (skeptics)

Late adopters (slowpokes)

2.1.3 What are the factors affecting the rate of adoption of an innovation?

According to Rogers (1995), there are five major factors affecting the rate of adoption:

Perceived Attributes of Innovation

An innovation is a idea, practice or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption. How the adopter perceived characteristics of the innovation has impacts on the process of adoption.

Relative advantage: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes. The underlying principle is that the greater the perceived relative advantage of an innovation, the more raid its rate of adoption

Compatibility: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as being consistent with the existing values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters

Complexity: the degree to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use

Trialability: the degree to which an innovation may be experimented with on a limited basis. If an innovation is trialable, it results in less uncertainty for adoption

Observability: the degree to which the results of an innovation are visible to others. The easier it is for individuals to see the results of an innovation, the more likely they are to adopt.

Type of Innovation-Decision

Optional: an individual flexibility

Collective: a balance between maximum efficiency and freedom

Authority: it yields the high rate of adoption, but produces high resistance.

Communication Channels

Mass Media

Interpersonal

Nature of the Social System

A social system is defined as a set of interrelated units that are engaged in joint problem solving to accomplish a common goal. The members or units of a social system may be individuals, informal groups, organizations, and or subsystems. All members cooperate at least to the extent of seeking to solve a common problem in order to reach a mutual goal: Sharing of a common objective binds the system together. The social structure affects the innovation's diffusion in several ways:

Social structure and communication structure: patterned arrangements of the units in a system

System norms: norms are established behavior patterns for the members of a social system

Roles of opinion leaders and change agents: opinion leadership is the degree to which an individual is able to influence other individual's attitudes or overt behavior informally in a desired way with relative frequency

Types of innovation decisions: optional innovation-decision, collective innovation -decision, authority innovation-decision; contingent innovation-decision

The consequences of innovation: desirable vs. undesirable, direct vs. indirect, anticipated vs. unanticipated

Extent of Change Agent's Promotion

Many studies and educational researchers have applied Roger's Model. Surry (2002) developed a model for instructional technology into higher education using Roger's model as frame work. The model is known as RIPPLES which stands for (Resources, Infrastructure, People, Policies, Learning, Evaluation and Support)

2.2 Ely's conditions of change framework

Ely (1990) referred conditions of changes to the factors in the environment that affects the implementation in the change process. When the implementation plan to launch out innovation is carefully crafted to satisfy all the perceived attributes that facilitate the rate of adoption, what else can make the adoption easier or impede the adoption? This is exactly the question that Ely's Conditions of Changes intend to answer.

Ely (1999) listed eight conditions that should exist or be created in the environment where in the innovation is implemented to facilitate its adoption:

Dissatisfaction with the status quo: the precondition for people to accept a change is that they perceive a needs to change the environment. Perception of such needs usually is revealed in people's dissatisfaction of the existing methods, products, or programs. Understanding of the cause of the dissatisfaction and identifying who has dissatisfaction can help the change agent to communicate the innovation to the adopters in a more effective way. Ellisworth (2001) said that understanding sources and the levels of dissatisfaction can help the change agent to position the innovation to be more compatible with their 'felt needs' (in Rogers' term).

Sufficient knowledge and skills: In order to make the implementation succeed, "the people who will ultimately implement any innovation must possess sufficient knowledge and skills to do the job." (Ely, 1995). It is especially evident when the innovation involves in use of a certain tool or a technique. Without enough training to use the tool or technique, the innovation will die out soon.

Availability of resources: A good recipe itself does not guarantee the tasty results of cooking. There must be right ingredients and right cooking utensils available for the cook to use. In the same logic, an innovation without resources, such as money, tools and materials, to support its implementation, will not be successful.

Availability of time: The adoption of the innovation takes time. As it is put by Ely, "the implementers must have time to learn, adapt, integrate, and reflect on what they are doing." Their 'confirmation' of the acceptance of the innovation does not necessarily bring forth the change. It needs time for the people to understand the innovation and develop the abilities to adapt the innovation.

Reward or incentives: People need to be encouraged in their performance of innovation or use of the innovation. Extrinsic or intrinsic rewards can add some value of the innovation, and thus, promote its implementation.

Participation: Participants in the implementation should be encouraged to involve in decision-making. With the opportunities to communicate their ideas and opinions, the participants can have sense of the ownership of the innovation. Moreover, the communication among all parties can help monitor the progress of the innovation.

Commitment: Since the implementation take a great deal of endeavors and time, the people who are involved in the implementation need to make commitment to their efforts and time. There must be "firm and visible evidence that there is endorsement and continuing support for implementation" (Ely, 1995).

Leadership: Unless to say, the leaders' expectations and commitment have a great impact on the process of implementation. Leadership also include the availability of affective support thorough the process.

A number of studies have been conducted and the results seem to be consistent with Ely's framework. Surry & Ensminger (2002) conducted a study to determine with the eight conditions were perceived to be most influential in facilitating implementation by those working in business and in education. The results show that the conditions do facilitate implementation for both education and business group.

2.3 Fullan's educational change.

Michael Fullan has focused his work on educational change. His model focused on "the human participants taking part in the change process" (Ellsworth, 2001). Ellsworth (2001) commented that Fullan and Stiegelbauer's (1991) The New Meaning of Educational Change presents guidelines for resisting, coping, or leading change efforts from perspective ranging from the student to the national government. Different from Rogers, whose work focused more on the characteristics of the innovation and the adopters; Fullan (1982, 1991) focuses on the roles and strategies of various types of change agents.

Ellsworth (2001) pointed out that the issues that Fullan's model helps the change agent to deal with include:

What are the implications of change for people or organizations promoting or opposing it at particular levels?

What can different stakeholders to do promote change that addresses their needs and priorities?

According to Rogers (1996), a change agent is an individual who influences clients' innovation-decisions in a direction desirable by a change agency. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation seems to have a clear cut between the change agent and its client system. On the contrary, Fullan views every stakeholder in the educational change as a change agent. Fullan and Stiegerlbauer (1991) have given a promise for the change agent that "there is enormous potential for true, meaningful change simply in building coalition with other change agents, both within one's own group and across all group." (Ellsworth, 2000)

Fullan (1982, 1991) proposed that there are four broad phases in the change process: initiation, implementation, continuation, and outcome.

The model discussed above gives better understanding of implementation of ICT integration that experienced by the lecturer.

In this study the actors are lecturers in private college. These models describe the conditions that facilitate the integration of technology a lecturer can adopt to encourage technology integration.

Wee & Abuu Bakar (2005) examined the obstacles towards the use of ICT tools in teaching and learning, they identified some obstacles of using ICT in teaching and learning of information system in Malaysian universities such as changing of ICT tools are fast to keep current, extra time and effort needed after integrating ICT tools in teaching, the management did not provide any incentive for lecturers to integrate ICT tools in their teaching, the network connectivity was poor, the management did not have any evaluation in integration of ICT tools in teaching.

Wynn et al (2006) investigated the current ICT usage among Malaysian Health Sciences lecturers. They discovered that the overall ICT was not significantly different between male and female participants though it was significantly different among 3 age groups (p<0.05). The analysis revealed that although participants from the older age group (>50) had greater working experience in teaching than their junior colleagues, their ICT use for the lecture preparations was significantly lower (P<0.05).

The literature reviewed show the need for this study to be done so as explore the real situation in private colleges.

3.0 Methodology

3.1 Research design

The study used survey method. According to Ary et al (2010) in survey, the researcher asks questions about peoples' beliefs, opinions, characteristics, and behavior. This study used survey method so as to seek for the current situation on the integration of ICT in Malaysian Private College. The research used questionnaires for lecturers in order to get more information from them.

3.2 Location of the study

This study was conducted in Malaysia in the Cybernetics International College of Technology situated in Taman Maluri, Kuala Lumpur.

3.3 Population

The population of this study was all lecturers in the Cybernetics International College of Technology.

3.3.1 Sampling procedures

The sample of this study was selected randomly where 10 lecturers; two (2) male and eight (8) female from 70 lecturers of Cybernetics International College of Technology were chosen. The sample represents the whole college.

3.4 Description of instrument

The instrument used for collecting data was questionnaires that were distributed to them. Ten (10) questionnaires were collected from them. The questionnaire consists of four (4) parts; part I asked about personal information, it had five (5) items. Part II asked about technology experience with regard to ICT in education, there were eight (8) items to be answered using five (5) scales. Part III deals with frequency on ICT use, there were thirteen (13) items asked using five (5) scales. The last part deals with the obstacles that encountered towards the integration of ICT tools in teaching; there were twenty first (21) items to be answered using three scales.

3.5 Reliability & Validity of instrument

The reliability and validity of instrument is seen to be good since the questions used in this instrument have been used in different studies. The question items were mixed from two studies done by Mokhtar (2005) and Wee & Abuu Bakar (2005)

4. Findings

The questionnaire consisted of four parts. In the first part in which personal information were asked, it was found that in term of gender, there were 8 female lecturers and 2 male. In term of age, about 9 lecturers fall under category of 25-35 years. In experience, 5 lecturers have experience between 1-5 and the remaining lecturers fall under 6-10 category.

In the second part which deal with technology experience, it was found that most of lecturers have experience ICT in their teaching. Also most of them agree that integrate ICT either in classroom or college lab.

Statement

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Undecided

Agree

Strongly Agree

I have no experience with them.

8o%

10%

 

10%

I have attempted to use them in my classroom but I still require help on a regular basis.

10%

20%

 

60%

10%

I feel comfortable using them in my classroom.

 

 

 

70%

30%

I am very proficient in using a wide variety of applications in my classroom.

 

 

10%

60%

30%

I often integrate them in my teaching activities.

 

10%

 

70%

20%

I often use my classroom computers.

 

20%

 

70%

10%

I often use our school lab.

 

10%

 

70%

20%

I feel comfortable using digital portfolios with my class.

 

10%

20%

60%

10%

When asked about, frequency of using ICT in their teaching process, they often use audiovisual in class instruction and those assigned to students. Multimedia is used frequently both for in-class presentation and for individualized learning. They always use electronic mails for individualized contact with students as well as communication with on-and off-campus colleagues. But they frequently use electronic mails for discussion with colleagues. When asked about using computer in assisted instruction, many of them said they frequently use it. Also, most of them always use word processing to prepare examinations and class materials, spread sheet to key grades and records as well as presentation software to prepare hands out and transparencies, but they often use statistical computing to enter, analyze and manipulate data.

ICT tools

Seldom

Occasionally

Often

Frequently

Always

Audiovisual technologies used in class instruction

10%

20%

40%

20%

10%

Audiovisual technologies assigned to students

30%

50%

10%

10%

Multimedia for in-class presentation

30%

50%

20%

Multimedia for student individualized learning

10%

30%

50%

10%

Distance learning technologies

20%

20%

30%

30%

Electronic mail: individualized contact with students

10%

20%

30%

40%

Electronic mail: communication with on - and off-campus colleagues

10%

10%

30%

20%

30%

Electronic lists for discussions with colleagues

40%

50%

10%

Computer assisted instruction

20%

30%

40%

10%

Word processing to prepare examinations and class materials

40%

60%

Computer spreadsheets to keep grades and records

40%

60%

Presentation software ( such as power point) to prepare handouts and transparencies

30%

70%

Statistical computing to enter, analyze, and manipulate data.

10%

30%

30%

30%

Concerning the part of obstacles, many lecturers agreed that many obstacles appear in their process of integrating ICT such as management did not do any incentive for lecturers to integrate ICT, network connectivity is poor, there is no evaluation done by management on integration ICT and problem of getting quality programme.

Also, the management did not have long staff development to support the integration of technology into instruction; they did not provide any clear instruction on how to integrate ICT in their teaching; they did not have any vision on integration on ICT in teaching and they did not initiate any programme to encourage ICT supported teaching.

Statement

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

ICT tools are changing too fast to keep current

70%

30%

I had to spend extra time and effort in teaching after integrating ICT tools in their teaching

50%

30%

20%

The management did not any incentive for lecturers to integrate ICT tools in their teaching

40%

50%

10%

The network connectivity is poor

50%

50%

The management did not have any evaluation on integration tools in teaching

30%

50%

20%

The ICT tools are not reliable

20%

70%

10%

I have had problem getting quality training programme

40%

50%

10%

There is no long term staff development to support the integration of technology into instruction

50%

40%

10%

Some of my peers have failed to integrate ICT tools in their teaching.

30%

70%

I have had difficulty getting support from technical staff

40%

60%

When asked about students' attitude and their feedback towards ICT supported teaching, lecturers agreed that students have positive attitude and give positive feedback towards ICT

Statement

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

The hardware available was not sufficient to accommodate ICT supported teaching

70%

30%

The software available was not sufficient to accommodate ICT supported teaching

80%

20%

The management did not provide a ny clear instruction on how to integrate ICT tools in my teaching

50%

50%

The hardware available had already outdated to accommodate ICT supported teaching

70%

30%

The management did not initiate any programme (such as seminar and workshop) to encourage ICT supported teaching

50%

40%

10%

The software available had already outdated to accommodate ICT supported teaching

60%

40%

The management did not have any vision on integration on ICT tools in teaching

50%

40%

10%

My peers have been giving negative comments about using ICT tools.

90%

10%

Students have negative attitudes towards ICT supported teaching

10%

30%

60%

Students gave negative feedback on ICT supported teaching

10%

40%

50%

I found myself difficult to change from my current teaching practice to integrate ICT tools in teaching.

20%

30%

50%

4.1 Discussion

The results of this study do not differ to the previous studies. In terms of technology experience the results of this study is seen to be like the results from Wynn et al (2006) who discovered young lecturers are more experienced in integrating ICT in their teaching activities.

Moreover, concerning the issue of using ICT integration in the teaching process, the study results stresses the previous studies that ICT is integrated in the field of education now. The only difference is level of integration.

Apart, from that the study revealed the conditions facilitating integration of ICT in the college. All 8 conditions were present even if some conditions their presence were not good. The study directly supports the study of Mokhtar et al (2005) which revealed the same results.

Likewise, in the part obstacles, the results of this study resemble with the results of Wee & Abuu Bakar (2005), more interestingly in this study the involvement of management is too low to compare with other studies.

5. Conclusion

To sum up this paper, the study found out the integration of ICT in the private college and obstacles towards the integration of ICT in teaching process. Since the study conducted to the private college it was expected things to be different but the results revealed were not different from the previous studies.

From this study it is recommended that:-

The management should play their role effectively to ensure the ICT integration is taking place in desired manner in their college.

Lectures should be given training as well as being evaluated concerning ICT integration in their instruction process.

The management should ensure they bring updated hardware and software in their colleges.

The Ministry of education should make proper inspection to both public and private institutions so as to ensure that they produce quality education.

There is a need to conduct more studies to compare between public and private colleges in ICT integration.

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