International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Information and Communication Technologies Access by Students and Staff at the University of Zululand between 2002, 2009 and 2013
Dr Tinashe Mugwisi, Ntando Nkomo

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in institutions of higher education has significantly influenced teaching and learning. Academics have adopted new methods, with the chalkboard a thing of the past in most institutions, their information behaviour changed from traditional visits to the library to electronic (office) access while communication with publishers has also been influenced. Students have not been left behind, and terms such as Google, Facebook, Skype, Twitter and newer social network terminologies, downloading and e-mail are now standard vocabulary to them. Although the library still retains its role as the epicenter of information services within universities, students and staff are increasingly turning to other sources and services for information. Even libraries’ acquisition policies are being influenced by the “just in time” policy compared to the “just in case” acquisition approach. E-learning is a new phenomenon brought about by the introduction of ICTs in higher education. Students and lecturers now communicate electronically to access notes, submit assignments, provide lecture notices, etc. All these developments have been made possible because of the Internet. The purpose of this paper is to explore changes in ICT access at the University of Zululand in light of the important role they play in teaching and learning and research. It is based largely on two studies carried out separately for the submission of MA theses in Library and Information Science (Mugwisi 2002 and Nkomo 2009) as well as presenting what the situation is currently in 2013.

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