Use of ICT tools in Education
Use of ICT tools in Education

Tools of Information and Communication Technologies play an important role in the performance of students. They help the students in several ways. For example, if students want support to complete his essay he will get assignment help from academic ghost writers available online. Similarly, several studies have confirmed that e-learning policies of universities are driving forces to improve the quality of education. But they also show that universities must move forward in the search for institutional models for quality training based on the use of digital technologies.

What is the impact of ICT on students’ performance?

The policy of using ICT tools in education is aimed at improving student success and academic performance. The literature analysing the impact on students' performance of new digital teaching practices has thus developed. A number of studies attempt to compare the success of traditional students versus online students. Some studies conclude that online students perform less well than their counterparts in classical training. This work compares online education with that offered on campus. They share a common trait that of defining the online course as a homogeneous good, without specifying the methodology. Nor does it capture the role of student profiles and their intensity of use of new technologies.

Among these works dealing with the relative performance of online students are the works of several researchers who depict the performance of online students. Some of the scholars conclude that students who have followed their teachings on a campus (face-to-face) perform better than those who use online courses. These researchers explain these significant differences in performance by the importance of direct interactions between students and teachers on a campus compared to online teaching. On the other hand, some researchers show that there are many differences in performance but that they are insignificant. They are due to the relationship between students' success and their profile. A selection effect benefits students on campus permanently. Comparisons between the two modes of education are thus biased by selection effects. It is therefore more prudent to assume that there is no a priori superiority of one mode of teaching over another.

The other group of works proposes to focus the discussion not on the use or not of new technologies in higher education, but on their use and intensity of use by teachers and students. In other words, the benefits for student performance from adopting educational innovations do not affect all learning and teaching methods in the same way. The success of adoption is based on a necessary balance between the adoption policies of new technologies, the capacities of students, the use of technology by students and teachers and the use of techniques or tools already tested by the users.

These researchers are come to the conclusion by conducting a study of 3986 students in 67 introductory economics classes delivered by 30 teachers in 15 institutions in recent past. However, they refute the idea that teachers who use ICT extensively spend more time teaching than those who are more reluctant to use new technologies in their classrooms. An analysis of the relationship between the time spent on the introduction of tools and their use indicates that thinking must shift from the choice of technology adoption to the way in which they are used.

Technological innovations and educational innovations

In the same vein, another study conducted on the different teaching practices in economics courses at the University of Nebraska, concludes that pedagogical capital should be replaced in some basic social science courses requiring significant resources and appropriate work by classes small enough to allow meaningful dialogue and interaction between the student and the teacher in the most advanced courses. Classes taught in small classes have the advantage of giving more responsibility to the student. It is no longer the object of a passive pedagogy, masterful, centred on and dominated by the teacher and which assigns a passive role to the students and limits their interventions, but it must be the centre of the activity and is actively involved in the pursuit of knowledge acquisition.  

It follows that the introduction of information technology tools in education positively affects students’ performance, if technological pedagogical innovations are pursued. Therefore, in order to analyse new learning practices, ICT-based teaching should be implemented in the classroom.

The importance of pedagogical and organizational changes

A set of variables conditioning the benefits derived from new teaching practices in digital environments has been identified. Indeed, collaborative working groups or simulation (in which reading, observation and interaction replace the simple listening of the teacher). Results from a National Training Laboratory study show that some eLearning teaching methods allow students to achieve higher levels of comprehension and learning. In particular, the use of a teaching method based on the learning-by-doing allowed students to assimilate 75% of teaching, whereas this proportion is only 50% for a course based on discussion groups. On the other hand, classical courses only allow us to retain 5% of the volume of teaching!

More generally, the diffusion of new technology adoption in higher education and the panoply of digital available to students tools involve significant changes, not only in terms of teaching, but also in organization and management methods of universities. The expected positive effects of adopting these technologies are conditioned by appropriate and effective use, involving such changes.

Routines and incentives

A study shows that despite the positive effects of an interactive mode of learning based on new technologies, combined with continuous monitoring of students' performance. They are reluctant because the introduction of ICT-based tools into their teaching practices involves an investment, sometimes irretrievable, that they are unwilling to accept.

The decision to use the same traditional method chalk-and-talk than previous generations of teachers be better teachers who want to cover more concepts and themes in their courses, while leaving the most possible time for their own research, hobbies and other activities. The existence or not of an incentive to introduce digital tools in education is then a determining factor.


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