INTEGRATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN DISTANCE EDUCATION PROGRAMME OF ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY UTURU
This study was designed to examine the integration of information and communication Technology (ICT) in Distance Education programme of Abia State University Uturu. The specific purposes of the study were to find out the ICT facilities available for distance education programme of the University, to ascertain the extent of integration of these ICT facilities in distance education programme; to determine the challenges militating against the integration of ICT facilities in distance education programme and to suggest strategies for integration of ICT facilities in distance education programme of the University. The study was guided by four research questions and two null hypotheses. The design of the study was descriptive survey. The population of the study was 4,075 administrators, instructors and students. The sample consisted of 570 respondents made up of 107 administrators, 63 instructors and 400 students. This sample was determined using Yaro’s statistical formula. The instrument was the questionnaire designed by the researcher and was validated by 3 research experts. The data collected were analyzed using mean scores and standard deviation while t-test was used to test the two null hypotheses formulated for the study. The data analyzed revealed among others that out of the 13 ICT facilities listed by the study, seven were available but not integrated in DE programme of the university while the other rosix (6) were said not to be available by the respondents. It also revealed that availability does not translate to integration as only one out of the 13 ICT facilities were accepted to have been integrated into the DE programme of the institution. The respondents accepted all the items listed as the strategies for enhancing the integration of ICT facilities in DE programme of the university. It was recommended among others that Abia State University Uturu should incorporate ICT literacy courses in the University programme generally and distance education programme in particular. This will enable them to reach a number of people who want to engage in distance education programmes and would equally help them attain their general objective of providing University education to as many Nigerian as possible irrespective of sex, age and constraint of time due to full time employment.