Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet Access and Information Retrieval Competencies of High School Students in Ghana

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet Access and Information Retrieval Competencies of High School Students in Ghana

Article excerpt

Introduction

The Internet is a major technological tool that provides important opportunities for its adoption and use in educational institutions. The development, acceptability and adoption of the Internet and other ICTs by countries all over the world provide clear and great opportunities for enhancing quality teaching and learning (Van Reijswoud, 2009). These advancements towards the use of the Internet have changed the methodology of education and this has therefore made the Internet a very powerful tool within the educational sector (Jain, 2016:769). Technological development and increasing growth of the Internet connectivity have also helped in the building of inclusive and participatory knowledge societies as well as access to quality education. Similarly, it has also been found that, successful employment of ICT in education has helped in the promotion of effective teaching and learning (Gholami et al., 2010).

The Internet and other ICTs play an important role in development and maintenance of a country's economic growth and Ghana is currently changing the old system of classroom teaching and learning through the development and integration of ICT in its educational system thereby making learners in Ghana become more technology oriented (Appiahene, Kesse and Ninfaakang, 2016:23). The integration of ICT into teaching and learning is seen as a priority by many governments and educational institutions in Ghana (Buabeng-Andoh and Yidana, 2015:105).

Information seeking is a complex communication process that involves the interaction between the information seeker, the information, as well as the information provider (Khosrowjerdi and Iranshahi, 2011). It is the process where an individual goes about searching for information, and this process requires the information seeker to apply personal knowledge, skill or personal information for the purpose of solving a problem (Olorunfemi and Mostert, 2012). Nkomo (2009:19) maintained that information-seeking has a long history; however, Internet-based information seeking is a "relatively new phenomenon". This study therefore looks into the Internet-based information seeking and retrieval competencies of high school students in Ghana.

Methodology

The study employed a quantitative approach through the use of the survey design. SHS 3 students from three high schools in Ghana, namely: St. Louis Senior High School (SHS), Effiduasi SHS and Simms SHS participated in the study. The SHS 3 students were selected because the ICT curriculum for high schools in Ghana prescribes the teaching of the Internet as a topic in SHS 2. This attests to the fact that among the students, the SHS 3 s may have had more experience on the use of the technology. A total of 322 students were randomly sampled from a population of 2575 through the use of Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill's (2012) sampling model Table at a 5% margin of error for the study. The table maintained that researchers can select 322 samples for a study when the study population is between 2000 and 5000. Hence the formula for selecting the samples for each school as presented on Table 1 was:

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The simple random sampling technique used for the study is noted to be unbiased, while also requiring "some kind of sampling frame from which people can be chosen which lists everyone in the population of interest" (Gomm, 2008:135). A survey questionnaire was used for the data collection from the students. Content validation as well as cross-tabulation of data increased the credibility and reliability of the study (Mertens,2012).

Theoretical framework

The study employed Wilson's (1999) model of information behaviour as the theoretical framework. An attribute of the model refers to 'demands on information system' by the information user. In this case, learners are the information users and information system is the Internet. Wilson's (1999) model's 'information seeking behaviour' attribute guided the study on high school students' online information seeking and retrieval competencies since this attribute looks into ways that information users are able to seek and access information. …

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