The objective of this study was to evaluate the level of awareness and utilisation of the internet for academic research and learning among level 400 (final year) students of Ghana's oldest business school.
The study utilised a cross‐sectional survey approach because it was restricted to final year students in the 2003–2004 year graduating class. The study also employed a convenience sampling technique and was executed by means of questionnaire administration and personal interviews. The final year students were asked to fill the questionnaires before a business policy lecture. The basic research instrument used in this research was a structured questionnaire with both open and close ended questions. Apart from questionnaires, in‐depth interviews with the respondents were also conducted with the respondents because we felt that because we were dealing with a research that had to do with technology, there could be latent issues that could only be uncovered by open discussions. Data were analysed and presented by means of simple descriptive statistics.
Developing countries, especially in sub‐Saharan Africa, are often rich in the resources of people and staffing, if not in material resources. The promotion of information literacy is essentially dependent on using people differently, that is to better effect, not on injecting more resourcing into under‐funded services (although this is also important in many regards). Authorities at teaching universities, including lecturers, and heads of departments, must, as a matter of urgency, adopt mechanisms for creating better information skills and internet usage awareness among the students. This should focus on what the internet is, the services available through the internet, and the basic skills required to use the internet. This policy is not limited by resourcing, it is simply a new way to better use the richest resource of developing nations, the people and their talents.
Owing to the exploratory nature of the research, the results cannot be generalised with certainty. The research however gives pointers to gaps in the internet use propensities of business students in Ghana's business school and an internet education policy has to be instituted immediately to properly prepare students for an increasingly online Ghanaian business environment.
The University of Ghana Business School should move towards the setting up of instructional labs. These labs should work in close association with the school's library to ensure that students are properly trained on business, teaching and research uses of the internet.
One of the first studies focussing on business students at the disadvantaged end of the global digital divides which regards skills training rather than resourcing as a key issue in information usage.
Hinson, R. and Amidu, M. (2006), "Internet adoption amongst final year students in Ghana's oldest business school", Library Review, Vol. 55 No. 5, pp. 314-323. https://doi.org/10.1108/00242530610667585Download as .RIS
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