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Article Review

Title of Article : The Use Of The Internet In The Higher Education

Name of the journal: Emerald

Issue : 2

Volume : 57

Page number : 168-180

Year Publish : 2005

1. Overview

Computer and the internet are a great resource for classroom teachers. Teachers can find
suggestions, lesson plans, practical support, information and materials through the
internet. There is so much that students can do with the Internet. Not only can they
communicate with international students, they can gain from others' knowledge and
experiences, participate in chat rooms, share ideas and solutions and learn about the many
diverse cultures out there.

Teachers can adjust to the different learning styles and in the classroom. They can also set
their own pace of teaching. Individual teaching techniques can become more available,
which has been proven to be a factor in student achievement.

This article is about a study to explore academics experiences of using ICTs for teaching
and learning in order to provide a clearer vision of where it is appropriate to use new
technologies in higher education and to develop strategies to support existing initiatives
and ensure the successful development and implementation of future technological.

In this article, the author describes that there are a range of individual, practical and
cultural factors that shape academics use of new technologies for teaching and learning.
Two factors that are likely to influence academics use of ICTs in teaching and learning
are the institutional and disciplinary contexts. Thus, this study was set out to investigate
the potential similarities and differences of academics use of new technologies for
teaching and learning both within and across three disciplines namely English, Law and
Nursing. Academics were invited to one of three discipline specific events to share and
discuss their own experiences of using ICTs for teaching their students.
2. A description of the methodology

In this article, the author came up with four research questions that focused to be
discussing in this article. The questions are:

How ICTs are being used in teaching and learning?
What are the motivations of academics to adopt ICTs in teaching and learning?
What are the difficulties they have encountered when using these technologies for
their students?
What are the factors that may influence the further adoption of new technologies
in higher education?

To conduct research in this study, three discipline focus groups were held with academics
from English, Law and Nursing that used ICTs to teach their students. Each discussion
group was part of one day, discipline specific, event where staffs from Higher Education
Institutions across the UK were invited to a workshop where they were presented with the
finding from a research project that explored the use of the web for teaching and learning
in higher education.

Seven academics participated in each focus group and each group encompassed
academics from higher education colleges, pre and post-1992 universities. Five
participants from each group were traditional academic who carried out typical teaching,
research and administrative responsibilities. The remaining two members had slightly
different roles and responsibilities within their own institutions. The focus group
discussions lasted an hour and a half and were semi-structured. The debates were
recorded and notes were made at each meeting. The tapes were transcribed and the
resulting transcripts were analyzed in accordance with the principles from the qualitative

After discussions conducted, analysis and results have been made to answer the questions
that have been raised before. For the first question, the author found that the most
common ways participants used ICTs for teaching and learning was to provide students
with access to a range of online resources, often including online discussion boards with
some participants using more advanced multimedia to provide webcast of lecturers,
simulations and problem based learning exercises.

For the second research question, the author found that in all the focus group, the
participants’ main motivation for using ICTs was to enhance the educational experience
for their student in some ways. It was clear from the discussions that for all subjects the
decision to utilize ICTs was based on educational and not technological.

The author also found that the difficulties encountered by the academic when using ICTs
for teaching and learning. For the overall, the discussions in each of the three groups were
overwhelmingly positive and lack of the time was an issue for the majority of the
participants in each group. In this article, the author found that the factors influencing the
adoption of ICTs for teaching and learning and this will answer the fourth question. The
factor was split into for areas that are the institutional level, the school or department
level, the staff level and the other factors.
3. Evaluation
The author has adequately established the significance of the research questions.
Based on studies that have been conducted, the authors have discussed and make
some analysis and also explanation of the study. Most have been discussed in this
study, have met the requirement of the research questions. From this article, the
author already state that the most common use of ICTs in all subjects was to provide
students with access to a range of online resource and this is the discussions that have
been made and one of the significance of the research questions.
The methods of the data collection and analysis appropriate to the research questions.
This is because the approach that has been use in this study is the qualitative. To get
the data collection, a group discussion has been conducted and recorded into a tape
and notes. After that, thetape has been transcribed and the resulting transcripts were
analyzed in accordance with the principles from the qualitative method.
The study did not find any significant methodological weakness in the study to find
the answer.
In my opinion, this study has been done in a small scale and this is exploratory study.
Further research required that is sampled in such a way as to ensure that the findings
can be generalized to all academics in all institutions in the UK.

4. Discussion of implications

According to the author, an interesting finding arising from the analysis is the high
level of agreement within each of the three groups. Due to the very different
institutional and department contexts within which the individuals work, their
different roles and the different aspects of the discipline they teach, it was anticipated
that there would be a great deal of different amongst academics even among those
who are using ICTs to teach the same discipline which is not obviously apparent in
the analysis.

According to Barron &Orwig, 1995, the internet is a large source of reference
materials and data required for all types of educational activities in studying and
learning directly in management of educational systems and in scientific and
methodical work.

In my opinion, one of the reasons the internet is so important in education is because
of the wealth of information that the internet contains. The internet has become very
useful in the field of education and every news information is available online so
teachers and students can update themself any time according to their own needs and
time table. The biggest source for online information for education is the
encyclopedia and it is available online and any one can use it to get desired
information. One of the most important advantages of the internet in the area of
information is the increased accessibility of reference materials and data for all
categories of users. With the use of the internet is widely used in education, there is a
possibility to decrease the gap in the quality of information provided for education
between developed and developing countries.