USAGE OF WEB-BASED EDUCATION TOOLS BY BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 4 STUDENTS STUDYING TOWARDS BACHELOR OF TECHNOLOGY DEGREE IN OFFICE MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY AT THE DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Durban University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
In this paper, the researcher presents the findings of an investigation into the usage of web-based education tools by Business Administration 4 students studying towards the Bachelor of Technology degree in Office Management and Technology at Durban University of Technology. I explored three aspects:
• the extent to which Web-based tools can be used.
• preferences towards the type of Web-based tools used; and
• the impact the Web will have on facilitating the growth of Educational Technology.
This research investigates the use of Web-based education tools i.e. quizzes by Business Administration 4 students in the Department of Information and Corporate Management to support teaching.
The researcher has been lecturing Business Administration 4 for the past four years and the researcher thinks that it is now time to change the way the subject is delivered and my colleagues were happy with my long-term plan for the online classroom. The subject comprises both the practical and theory components and it is possible to blend traditional teaching and online classroom.
Over the past years, great strides have been made in the confluence of IT researchers and educationalists (Ely, 1995). The term Educational Technology, that addresses this confluence, has evolved to mean more than simply a computer in a classroom, but rather how the educator uses technology to present material, and how students use technology to build upon the material (Ely, 1995).
According to Gauer (2001:87), “It is vital for students to have the understanding and the skills to interface successfully with technology.” This can be achieved by making technology a tool for skills enhancement, information retrieval and systematic thinking (Gauer, 2001). This is especially applicable in the area of web-based technologies and education. Warschauer (1996) suggest that “lecturers can enhance student motivation by helping students gain knowledge and skills about using computers, giving them ample opportunity to use electronic communication, and carefully integrating computer activities into the regular structure and goals of the course.” Morrall (1999) suggests that using the Internet as a tool for communication “can emphasize and practice research skills in finding learning resources; critical thinking skills in judging the reliability and usefulness of those resources; organisational skills in analyzing information, and presentation skills in communicating information efficiently and effectively.
Over the past two decades, numerous universities around the world have implemented the use of Educational Technology Tools to support the learning process. The use of Educational Technology Tools to enhance education has generated considerable interest and hype, and many claim it has revolutionary potential for academic institutions (The Observatory, 2002). This raises the question, as to what extent these tools, and particularly web-based tools, are being used by Higher Education institutions in South Africa.
This research will investigates the use of Web-based education tools i.e. quizzes by Business Administration 4 students in the department of Information & Corporate Management to support teaching.