Students' Perception of Digital Resources in Higher Education in Africa

Ngimwa, Pauline (2008). Students' Perception of Digital Resources in Higher Education in Africa. MRes thesis The Open University.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of students on digital resources in universities in Africa. Digital resources in this study encompassed information resources from digital library and from e-learning. A mixed methods approach was employed with qualitative method being dominant, and was carried out within a case study design involving University of Nairobi students from two disciplines, lecturers and librarians. Interviews with students were triangulated with informal interviews with their lecturers and librarians, observations and documented quantitative data. The data was analyzed using thematic analytical approach.

The study found that students take control of their usage of digital resources. They perceive e-leaming resources and digital library resources as intertwined into one learning resource. In addition, high IT skills among students and lecturers impact on students’ expectations of roles and levels of engagement with lecturers and librarians. The librarians’ role seems to be taken on by the lecturers. In this process, librarians are left out of participation in an e-learning environment. A related project suggests a user-focused, more collaborative model in which librarians, lecturers and students can engage with each other more in order to leverage the benefits of digital resources for learning.

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