AN ASSESSMENT OF USES OF THE INTERNET BY FEMALE UNDERGRADUATES OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

AN ASSESSMENT OF USES OF THE INTERNET BY FEMALE UNDERGRADUATES OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

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LIST OF ACRONYMS/ABBREVIATIONS

Ahmadu Bello University

Advanced Research Project Agency Network

Information and Communication Technologies

Internet World Statistics

Federal Capital Territory

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Internet Effect Scale

Information and Communication Technology Directorate

Wireless Distribution System


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ABSTRACT

An assessment of uses of the Internet by female undergraduates of Ahmadu Bello

University Zaria is a survey that is meant to determine the behaviour of female undergraduates of A.B.U Zaria towards the Internet and the purpose for which they use it. The study has five specific objectives among which include: to find out the behaviour of the female undergraduates of A.B.U. towards the Internet; to identify the purpose for which the Internet is used by the female undergraduates of A.B.U. and to determine the frequency of surfing the Internet by the respondents. Data was gathered using 1,200 questionnaires in the twelve faculties of the University. A systematic random sampling method was used to select the respondents from the faculties. The questionnaire was administered on the female undergraduates at each of the faculties and the results were collated and analysed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The major findings of the study revealed that 74.1% of the female undergraduates of the university have interest, good perception and positive attitudes towards the uses of the Internet; 84.2% identified internet as an integral part of education; 81.7% said it is easier to use than the library and 56.7% said it is more informative than their lecturers. Also, 62.5% used it for educational purposes, 71.6% for communication, news and information; 69.1% used it for entertainment; 29% revealed daily use of the internet; 88.5% complained of slow and irregular internet connectivity and 65.1% lack adequate knowledge of websites related to their course of study. However, 91.9% of the respondents revealed that they had never uploaded any materials to the Internet. The study therefore recommended that the university should improve the quality of its Internet services; give proper orientation on the importance of good uses of the Internet; make current and relevant websites available to the students and upload course materials online especially in friendly websites and social networks that are frequently patronized by the students as this will facilitate on-line academic exchange.

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The Internet is a network of hundreds of thousands of computers all over the

world, connected in a way that lets other computers access information from them. So if

a computer is connected to the Internet, in principle, it can be connected to any other

computer on the network. Today, the Internet comprises more than 45,000 regional,

national and international networks, which connect more than 30 million people in over

200 countries. The networks include organizations, schools, universities, companies,

governments, groups and individuals (Gray, 1999).The Internet began in 1969 as

ARPANet (Advanced Research Project Agency Network) by the United States

Department of Defense to share military intelligence and research with university

sources. The Internet has since the 1990s become a widely-used civilian tool for

communication, research, entertainment, education and advertisement (Hinson and

Amidu, 2006).

The history of the Internet has long been linked to university education. This is

because the adoption of the Internet in university system has intensified access to

information and communication by providing un-reserved access to e-mail messages,

web boards, online services and e-publications.In practice, much of the recent focus of

technological development in Nigerian Universities has been concerned with promoting

the use of the Internet as a teaching and learning tool. Internet is appealing to

Universities for a number of reasons: it reduces the time lag between the production and

utilization of knowledge; it promotes international cooperation and exchange of

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opinions; it furthers the sharing of information; and promotes multidisciplinary

research.

Since the Internet‘s infancy, higher education institutions have pioneered many

innovations (Cookson, 2000). According to Bates (1996:47), ―information technologies

integral to the Internet have allowed higher education to (1) expand access to education

and training, (2) raise quality, (3) lower costs, and (4) increase cost-effectiveness‖.

Internet-related technologies have also enabled higher education institutions to: (5)

expand the number of courses and programs, (6) generate higher levels of tuition-based

revenues, (7) develop specialized programs of study that would not otherwise be

possible, and (8) use the process of technological innovation as a vehicle for

revitalization of other aspects of their operations (Daniel, 1996)


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