ELECTRONIC LEARNING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN AND THE CHALLENGE OF USAGE AMONG SELECTED UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA
Tolulope Abiola Allo1, Tayo Ola George2, Oluwatobi Dorcas Adelowo3*
1Dr. Covenant University, NIGERIA, email@example.com
2Associate Prof. Covenant University, NIGERIA, firstname.lastname@example.org
3Miss, Covenant University, NIGERIA, email@example.com
This paper examined the various electronic learning platforms adopted by students in both private and public Universities in Nigeria and the challenges associated with their usage during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. With the ripple effect of the coronavirus cutting across all countries and sectors, about 91% of the global student’s population was affected by this global health catastrophe. The objective of this study is to compare the experiences of private and public University students to determine whether there is a significant disparity in the accessibility, affordability, and ease of use of the various e-learning platforms that were adopted during the global pandemic lockdown. The study employed the survey method in eliciting useful information from undergraduate students at Covenant University, and the undergraduate students at the University of Lagos. The population of study consisted of 374 undergraduate students from both schools. Questionnaire was physically administered to students in Covenant University while a google form was created for students in the University of Lagos due to the inaccessibility of students whose lecturers are currently on an industrial action. Data was analyzed using descriptive techniques in frequencies, percentages, and linear regression analysis. Results from the study revealed that 68.1% of students in Covenant University utilized more e-learning platforms like Moodle, Coursera, Zoom and WebEx unlike their counterparts in the University of Lagos who used only Moodle and Zoom by 43.6%. Also, 87.5% of Covenant University undergraduate students made use of their laptops mostly for their e-learning classes while 56.4% of their counterparts in the University of Lagos mostly made use of their smartphones. Findings revealed that students from the public University faced major challenges such as unstable internet connectivity, limited financial capability in buying devices such as laptops and lack of skill and competence in navigating the e-learning platforms while students in the private University on the contrary had relatively stable internet connectivity, could afford laptops and smart devices and had the requisite skills to properly navigate their e-learning platforms. The study concludes by recommending the provision of substantial financing that will aid in the acquisition of relevant technology to promote and support e-learning in public Universities in Nigeria. It also suggested the inclusion of public University students in adequate training on how to navigate the e-learning platforms, thereby equipping them with requisite skills needed in maximizing the benefits of e-learning. By so doing, the Nigerian educational system would be better prepared in facing future emergencies that may warrant remote learning.
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