1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The Internet is a global network of computers linked together over
large distances (Daramola, 2004). It was created by the American
Military as a means of communication and has been in existence since
the 1950’s. Up until the mid to late eighties commercial organizations
and educational institutions mainly used the Internet. This was due to
high costs. The rapid development of technology has seen improvement in
communication links and a lowering of costs. The implication of this
is that the Internet is now more widely available to more people.
Since the Internet is now available to a wide sector of the
population in the western world many educational establishments have
seized on its educational potential (Audu, 2006). The Internet is a
valuable source of information for students looking for ideas for
projects and assignments especially the final years students who must
carry out a compulsory research work to meet the academic
requirement/criteria for the award of various degrees in the higher
institutions. With over 50 million web sites on the net the chances are
any information however obscure can be found (Fatoki, 2004). The only
tools required to find this information would be some patience and a
decent search engine. It also serves as a useful tool for lecturers in
helping to prepare lesson plans as there are a number of sites,
especially in America, dedicated to providing educational material
(Adegboji & Toyo, 2006). And also to ascertain the correctness of
any information obtained during the course of research works.
It also serves as a forum to promote group
discussion, which is time and distance independent. There are many forms
this group discussion can take. These include video conferencing,
where by the use of a small video camera and microphone members of the
group can actually see and hear each other. Also group discussion can
take the form of chat rooms where everyone comes together in a host
area and communicates with each other via the keyboard (Daramola,
2004). This has particularly helped distant learners in communicating
with their project supervisors to provide proper guidance during their
research work. This is the platform distance education is based upon.
Although there may be many advantages to be gained from using the
Internet as an educational tool for final year research work but there
are also many drawbacks. For first time users the Internet can be a
very unfriendly environment but with frequent use users can get
familiar with pretty quickly (Igun, 2006). The amount of information
available on the net means that user tend to be side-tracked with a lot
of unnecessary useless information. As the Internet is not owned by any
one there are no checks or censorship of information available. The
upside to this is that information is freely available to everyone
without restriction but the downside to this is that information can be
placed into the wrong hands. Also as there are no checks on the
information on the net this may lead to inaccuracies and misleading
information being published. Final year students can mistakenly make
use of wrong information in their research work taking it to be right.
The Internet is heavily dependent on hardware which can be
expensive especially as the Internet is constantly evolving. This
therefore means to take full advantage of this evolving technology;
upgrades in hardware and software are required. With the advent of the
Internet education has definitely benefited in more ways than can be
mentioned especially the final year students doing research works but
it will not take over the traditional methods of education, it will
continue to play a major part in research and development in the
respective higher institution of learning.
University of Uyo was established on October 1, 1991 by the
Federal Government of Nigeria. The University of Uyo inherited
students, staff, academic programmes and the entire facilities of the
erstwhile University of Cross River State established by Cross River
State in 1983. Academic activities commenced during the 1991/92
It is located in the heart of Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State,
Nigeria's second largest oil producing state. Uyo is easily accessible
by road and there are two international airports within 150 km radius.
Currently, it operates from two temporary campuses; the Main Campus
which accommodates the Central Administration, Faculties of Arts,
Education, Social Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, Pharmacy and
the Post Graduate and Annex Campus, home for the Faculties of
Agriculture, Business Administration, Law, Engineering, Environment
Studies and General studies. The permanent site of the University is
along Nwaniba Road, Uyo is about 4.5 km from the city centre and covers
an area of about 1,443 hectares.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nigerian university undergraduates are required to carry out
research projects in their final year in the university. Project
writing is a major pre-requisite for the award of degrees in tertiary
institutions in Nigeria. Every student considers project writing
important to his or her academic success. Research project writing
involves a student or group of students carrying out a study on a topic
of interest. When the project is completed, it is evaluated by the
quality of the work submitted within the stipulated time. It is used to
indicate the student's ability to select, research, and draw logical
conclusions from findings. The quality of the research project is to a
large extent dependent on the quality, quantity, and how recent the
resources consulted and cited. The use of the Internet (if maximized)
plays a major role in helping undergraduate researchers' access large
number of materials from different parts of the globe.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the impact of internet on student’s final year research.
- To examine other educational benefits of internet to final year students.
- To determine the advantages and disadvantages of internet on students education.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the impact of internet on student’s final year research?
- What are the other educational benefits of internet to final year students?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of internet on student’s education?
HO: There is no significant relationship between internet and student’s final year research.
HA: There is significant relationship between internet and student’s final year research.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The outcome of this study will educate students especially the
final year students on the impact of internet on the final year
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature
in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic
performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future
research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the benefits of internet to the final year
research work of final year students of the University of Uyo.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to
impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant
materials, literature or information and in the process of data
collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This
consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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Daramola, I.S. (2004). Knowledge and skills possessed by
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Fatoki, O.C. (2004). Impact of library resources and the
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Igun, S.E. (2006). Use of Internet resources in a Nigerian university community. Global Review of Library and information Science 2: 21-32