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1.1 Background to the Study
Information technology has influenced learning greatly. Before now academic contents both within and outside the curriculum and course modules depended on the lecturers in charge and buying the hard copy of materials. In the event that one needed a book which both the lecturers and the book vendors did not have one either had to order for them abroad and pay outrageous money in shipping fees or one forgets having it and relied on reviews in academic journals on the book or the topic.
However, with the advent of information technology (IT), the information system of every educational institution in the country and the world at large has been affected deeply. Primary, secondary and tertiary schools have been forced to change their information systems after all the information technologies and their gadgets. The universities have been most affected and with time the same is happening to the secondary schools with equal speed. In the country most Universities both government owned and privately owned have installed the WiFi devices all over the school to give the students free access to the internet. Most universities too have made it mandatory for entry schools to have a laptop computer and /or its equivalent.
In fact the bigger information gadgets aren’t as fast in information dissemination as the cell phones which are now relatively very easy to acquire and cheap in relation to the level of information they can house and the various means through which these pieces of information can be shared. And it is not only academic related information but information on all kind both the ones that are advantageous to learning and those that hamper a good learning attitude and environment.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The present research work recognizes the trend in information sharing in the university campuses across the country in present time. Compared to the 90’s before the advancement of cell phones and smartphones, one sees a drastic change in this regard. And like every development of this sweeping velocity the volatility of it always has remarkable influences on the users one which are usually not predictable. Against the above background, the present research work has set before itself the task of studying the influence of cell phone in information sharing among students of the university with students of the National Open University of Nigeria as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
1. Do students of National Open University own at least a cell phone and what constitutes owning a cell phone(s)?
2. What are the main patterns of cell phone use among the students?
3. What are the benefits of the use of cell phones?
4. What relationship(s) exists between demographic factors (age, gender, income and type of programme) and GSM usage?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main Objective of this study is to examine the influence of cell phone on information sharing among university students of Nigeria.
Specifically, the study seeks to
1. Investigate if students of NOUN own at least a cell phone and what constitutes owning a cell phone.
2. Examine the main patterns of cell phone use among the students.
3. Examine the benefits of the use of cell phones.
4. Examine the relationship(s) between demographic factors (age, gender, income and type of programme) and GSM usage.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The present research assumes that cell-phones especially smartphone influence greatly information sharing in the National Open University of Nigeria campuses and also other universities in the country.
HO: There is no statistically significant correlation between positive and negative influences of cell phone on information sharing in Nigerian university campuses.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research will be of importance to university authorities of all the NOUN (National Open University of Nigerian) campuses and also every other university both public and private. It will shed light on these influences and infer how authorities can use this medium in combating exam malpractice and insecurity in the different campuses.
The positive influences would be promoted by government, university authorities, parents and religious leaders and it will almost influence the above in that they see the social importance of cell phones and learn its uses in order to better protect the students from its harmful influences.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study will focus its research solely on the students of the National Open University of Nigerian campuses with emphasis on the ones closest to the researcher with references to other public and private universities generally. The influences to be identified and discussed will be both the positive and the negative ones with more emphasis on the negative ones. Especially as they have made some private universities prohibit their students from using cell phones in the campuses.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The major limiting factor of this research is time and space to properly document every finding related to this research.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Influence: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Cell-phone: A portable usually cordless telephone for use in a cellular system.
Information sharing: The term information sharing has a long history in information technology. Traditional information sharing referred to one-to-one exchanges of data between a sender and receiver. These information exchanges are implemented via dozens of open and proprietary protocols, message and file formats.
University students: A college student who is teaching under the supervision of a certified teacher in order to qualify for a degree in education.
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