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This work is dedicated to God Almighty and my best friend, Emmanuel Eromonsele Ujiadughele.


The successful completion of this work is owed to the help, co-operation and contribution of a number of persons. Special thanks go to God Almighty for His protection and guidance throughout my course of study.

My profound gratitude goes to my supervisor, UzamereRasakOkunzuwa, who in spite of his schedule always found the time to attend to the work and also for the useful corrections he gave.

I sincerely want to thank my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Macaulay Odali, for their immeasurable contribution, my beloved friends, Emmanuel Ujiadughele and Arati Moses, my siblings, Melvin, Marvel, Macaulay Jnr, Marvin and Marlin. God bless you all.


Title page-------i




Table of contents-----v




Background to study-----1

Statement of the problem-----7

Purpose of the study-----8

Significance of the study-----9

Scope of the study------9

Research questions------10

Limitation of the study-----10



Concept of e-learning-----12

Meaning and definition -----12

Theoretical framework-----18

Theories of e-learning-----18

Theoretical studies------26

Evolution of e-learning-----26

Awareness of e-learning among teachers and students 31

Access to e-learning devices----35

Students’ utilization of e-learning---37



Research Design------39

Population of the study-----39

Sample and sampling technique----40

Research instrument-----40

Validity of the instrument----41

Method of data collection----41

Method of data analysis-----41



Data analysis ------43

Discussion of results-----53




Conclusion --------58

Recommendation -------59

Suggestions for further studies-----60




This study investigated the factors influencing the utilization of e-learning in the University of Benin. Five research questions were posed. Students in the University of Benin made up the population of the study, out of which 320 students were used as sample. The research instrument was a structured questionnaire. Simple percentage was used to analyze the data collected. Major findings of the study were as follows: respondents are aware of e-learning. Respondents did not consider all students in the University of Benin computer literates and competent in the usage of computer. Respondents agreed that there are skilled computer lecturers in the University of Benin. To encourage the utilization of e-learning in the University of Benin, it was recommended among others that the management of the university should provide e-learning infrastructures like free wireless internet connection on the campus premises. Videoconferencing should be introduced through collaboration with foreign institutions and some course contents should be restricted using e-learning units that can be recorded on CD/DVD which students can use. Also, the management of the institution should come up with a policy that will ensure every student in the institution is provided with a laptop at little or no cost especially on their gaining admission into the university and also to make a course on the fundamentals of computer compulsory for all first year students.



Background to the study

The recent advancement in scientific discoveries has made the world a global village. New technologies are invented on a daily basis that would never have been thought of or ever imagined few years. Tinio (2003) noted that globalization which was once thought of as just a concept, has now become a reality. This has led to the advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which is turning around businesses for good as well as the educational institutions all over the world. Globalization and changes in technology have created a new global economy that is being powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge.

The drive for acquisition of more information within the shortest and quickest period of time has led to the development of modern technologies. Examples include the advent of computer in the 1950s and the internet in the 1990s which made a way for the current revolution in Information and Communication Technology. Okereke (2005) observed that modern computers have the capability of reading, processing and storing millions of instructions per second. The internet has also caused an indescribable and amazing expansion in the way information is transferred from one place to another. Today, people can get information about anything by just logging into the internet. The difficulties experienced by the old means of transfer of message (posting of mails, telegrams e.t.c ) have been removed as the internet provides quick delivery services to users anywhere in the world.

The impact of ICT to education is enormous. The Information and Communication Technologies are powerful tools that are enablement for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICT gadgets help expand access to education, it also strengthens the relevance of education and raises the quality of education by helping to make teaching and learning an active process that engages the students and teachers and connects them to real life.

The introduction of ICT in the educational system, has led to the development of E-learning. E-learning literally means electronic learning i.e learning by electronic means through electronic devices. Tinio (2003) observes that e-learning encompasses learning at all levels, both formal and non-formal that uses an information network called the internet whether wholly or in part, for course delivery, interaction or facilitation of what has been learnt. E-learning actually goes beyond the mere usage of the internet.

For the purpose of this research, the definition of e-learning will be restricted to that of Allen (2003) who views e-learning as a structured, purposeful use electronic system or computer in support of learning process.

The use of e-learning in tertiary institutions is witnessing fast growth in developing countries. Most tertiary institutions in developed countries have websites from which students can online lectures and also participate in other educational activities. Omo-Ettu (2001) reports that in developed countries, electronic mail (e-mail), real time text conferencing, and online tutorials have been used in the teaching and learning process for several years. Schools use the internet to provide homework, assignments and other information for students who cannot make it to class due to bad weather or sickness. Some schools allow students to retrieve textbook information, check and complete assignments from their laptops or personal computers. Students in developed countries get 24-hours access to class room assignments, study guides and their teachers through e-mail.

However, in Nigeria, the use of e-learning in our tertiary institutions has witnessed slow growth which may be as a result of mass unawareness. Manir (2011) noted that awareness to ICT in Nigeria started gathering momentum two decades ago. The early exposure came through lecturers, researchers, academics and students who studied abroad and had opportunities of attending conferences in ICT. However, Manir postulated that a large number of people are still not aware of the use these ICTs in education. This is because Nigeria had no specific policy on e-learning until February 2007 when the ICT department of the Federal Ministry of Education was created. (Manir 2011).

Awareness means having knowledge of the existence and usefulness of something. E-learning cannot be utilized in the University of Benin except teachers and students are aware of the different e-learning facilities and activities. Teachers and students need to be aware of available e-learning tools that can be utilized in teaching/learning process. Ipaye (2011) listed some of these tools to include websites, Wikipedia, blogs, e-mails, Twitter, Facebook, course management systems, video/audio podcasts, video/audio text chat, videoconferencing software e.t.c. Awareness of the usefulness of these learning tools should help the lecturers to organize course contents in such a way that will enhance the e-learning experience of the student. Students alike seem not to be aware of e-learning applications and as such there seems to be underutilization of ICT equipment in education. It appears that unavailability of e-learning infrastructures, like digital libraries, computer studios,e.t.c in the University of Benin has affected students’ awareness and utilization of such e-learning tools.

The utilization of e-learning by students is affected by their level of computer literacy. Computer literacy has to do with the degree of proficiency of students and lecturers in basic computer oriented operations. Students and lecturers who are not competent in the use of computers will not be able to utilize them for educational purpose , hence, they will discourage the new phenomenon of utilizing electronic devices for education.

Gender can be an influencing factor to the awareness and utilization of e-learning by lecturers and students in the University of Benin. Murphy and Greenwood (1998) reported that age and gender effects could be the factors in determining the extent of the low student teacher ICT uptake. Summer (1990) suggested that male students experience less anxiety about ICTs and make more frequent use of it. Also, female students are assumed to show lower confidence or knowledge ability than males while using computers. (Van Braak, 2001)

Wagner Hassanein and Head (2008) pointed out that the success of the utilization of e-learning is influenced by the stakeholders. As noted by Wagner et al (2008), one of the stakeholders is the educational institution, others are the students, the instructors, content providers, technology providers, accreditation bodies and employees. Also noted is the fact that the budgetary factors could make the procurement of e-learning facilities difficult.

Eke &Okiki (2011) noted that the use of e-learning facilities has begun in some Federal Government owned tertiary institutions but this is not the case in the University of Benin. Hence, this study.

Statement of the problem

As indicated in the background of the study, though the importance of e-learning is enormous, it seems that its level of awareness and utilization in instruction and learning in the University of Benin is not yet effective. Furthermore, there appear to be lack of computer culture amongst students which according to Manir (2011) tends to hinder the rapid spread of new technologies. There is also the issue of shortage of skilled manpower among lecturers and computer illiteracy amongst students. These are part of the challenges that the growth of e-learning in Nigerian tertiary institutions ,particularly University of Benin, faces. When students are not xomputer literates, they would find it difficult to adapt to the use of computers in teaching and learning.

Authors such as Manir (2009), Eke (2011) and Okiki (2011) have conducted studies on various aspects of e-learning but to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, no research has been carried out the factors influencing the utilization of e-learning in the University of Benin, hence this study.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to:

To determine the level of awareness of e-learning amongst students in the University of Benin.

To determine the means by which students have access to e-learning facilities in the University of Benin.

To determine the extent of skilled manpower among lecturers and computer literacy among students in the University of Benin.

Significance of the study

The outcome of this study could be of benefits to the students of the University of Benin. It could also be of benefits to the lecturers as it could enable them plan their course contents to suit students’ knowledge and ability. Students could also be aided to know how they synchronize the use of electronic devices in the educational process.

Additionally, management of the University of Benin could benefit from the findings of this study as it would show the access to e-learning facilities that students have. They could be aided to know the role they play in providing free or low cost e-learning facilities for students and how access to these facilities influence their utilization.

Scope of the study

The focus of the study is to determine the factors that influence the utilization of e-learning in the University of Benin. It is limited to the University of Benin (students and lecturers). The views or perceptions of other tertiary institutions will not be considered in this study.

E-learning in this study does not exclusively mean 100% online course delivery or distant education. It rather includes the use of electronic devices like telephones, radio, television, projectors, videophones, mobile phones, computers, internet, e.t.c. for education.

Research Questions

Are students aware of e-learning in the University of Benin?

By what means do students in the University of Benin have access to e-learning facilities?

Are there skilled computer lecturers in the University of Benin?

Are the students of the University of Benin computer literates?

How can e-learning facilities be utilized amongst students of the University of Benin?

Limitation of the study

This study was limited by several factors. In the first instance, most students were reluctant to fill the questionnaire. Many of them felt it was a waste of their time and not necessary. This led to the researcher pleading with them that the questionnaire was for research purpose only. Also, the study was done alongside other academic work. The study was limited also to the accuracy of information gotten from the respondents; logistics problems and financial constraints.

However, in spite of these limitations, the researcher was determined and had the grace to complete the work successfully.


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