Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing use of the internet by students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and to establish the variation of this use by students' personal characteristics, and as a result to recommend improvements where necessary to the benefit of the student community. Design/methodology/approach – Participants are recruited through a random sampling technique, and data are collected from them using a questionnaire. A one‐way analysis of variance is used for the analysis to uncover the variation of use across demographic and other factors. Findings – It is shown that students who communicate with varies significantly with age, gender and level of study while the various tools they use vary significantly with age, gender, faculty and level of study. Both younger users (<24 years) and older colleagues (>24 years) use chat rooms. Across gender, educational purpose dominates the use of the internet, but it varies with age, level of study and faculty. Higher educational level is associated with less use of the internet for leisure and entertainment. About 73 per cent of the respondents considers internet information as useful while much less than this (44.4 per cent) reported finding internet information as trustworthy. Research limitations/implications – A major limitation of this paper is that data are collected using only a questionnaire, whereas interview sessions would have uncovered more issues. Practical implications – Based on this result, this paper suggests discriminated internet education programmes and access by faculty, level of study and gender in order to maximise the use of the internet services by the students in the university. Originality/value – This study provides useful research information that can guide the university in fine‐tuning its internet projects for optimal benefits of the student community. Other universities in similar situations in Africa as well as elsewhere can also benefit from the findings.
The Electronic Library – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2009
Keywords: User studies; Universities; Internet; Nigeria
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