Implications of internet based technology on policy framework and learning culture: the case of Kenyatta University’s City Campus
Internet Based Technology (IBT) has been implemented in a number of organisations both in public and private sector. The Education sector has not been left behind in the implementation and use of technology in learning particulary in the Institutions of higher learning. This has transformed the learning environment and influenced the learning culture of students both positively and negatively. IBT use in academics has its shortcoming and there seems to be no clear guideline on how to regulate the usage and protect users against the vices and challenges that arise. It is against this background that this study sought to assess the implications of the IBT on the policy framework and learning culture of University students in Kenya. The study sought to establish the effect of IBT on the teaching methods, establish the effect of academic best practices on the learning culture and investigate the effect of IBT on policy formulation of Kenyatta University City Campus. The researcher used case study research design purposively selected 120 respondents. This comprised of 100 students selected from four departments, 10 administrators and 10 lecturers. Primary data was collected using selfadministered questionnaires. The collected quantitative data has been analysed using descriptive statistics. In addition, content analysis was used for qualitative data. To aid data analysis the researcher used the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The study found out that respondents preferred online materials and that internet had helped in reducing the duration for doing assignments, and internet has improved inter-campus sharing. Internet availability had also improved the quality of assignments and has improved the overall conceptualisation of ideas and subjects by students. The respondents also used internet for academic research, social interactions, and games as well as for business purposes. The students also agreed that they spent more and unnecessary time on social websites, internet games than on academic research, students accessed and download the wrong materials from the university web access points, and students directly downloaded class assignments and presented them without their own input, since they found it is easier to download class assignments. Generally, the results indicate that internet use have had a negative effect on the learning and as well teaching within the City Campus. Internet also had influenced learning abilities of students by reducing class attendance by avoided lessons since they could easily access notes online, lack of indepth research from different source (prefer internet) among other negative aspects. The respondents preferred online/distance and e-learning methods to traditional classroom lectures, indicating the need to respond to the new challenges and needs of the students by adopting internet based teaching methodologies. On whether the policy framework had been modified since the advent of internet based teaching and learning within the university education, the 50% the respondents agreed that it had been modified while the other 50% did not agree. The study also found out that plagiarism could not be stamped out with the advent of the internet based learning. The learning culture had also changed with the internet with students no longer appreciating classroom-setting lectures, nor hard copies of notes rather they would appreciate more the online notes and other online functionaries like submission of assignments through internet.