Universities are gradually evolving and moving from the purely traditional system to the modern technological induced system. The rate of this technology driven state of universities globally is unprecedented. This makes it imperative for new entrants who are not abreast with information and communication technology (I.C.T.) skills to catch up at relatively short times. Thus, an immediate orientation course in I.C.T. targeted at developing the competencies of students in coping with the technologically charged university environment must be a prerogative of universities. This would aid in boosting teaching and learning activities at the universities while maximizing the expected behavioral change in learners after their education at the university.
The course activities at the universities today are streamlined in technology. For instance, the teaching and learning materials are now in electronic formats. These e-resources must be downloaded by students from specific websites given by the lecturer.
Sometimes, some lecturers hold virtual classes online with their students due to geographical constraints due to emergency workshops, conferences, and meetings. In addition, numerous assignments require that students carry out extensive research using online databases. These assignments are mostly to be submitted electronically to the electronic mailing address of the lecturer or uploaded on a virtual platform created by the lecturer or institution. Thus, if a student is deficient in I.C.T. skills, how can s/he cope with this technologically induced university environment?
Some may bicker that students at the Senior High school level were required to take lessons in I.C.T. to cushion them for the tertiary education steeped in technology. True this may be, the majority of the students at the High school level were not privileged to have had this opportunity due to many challenges. This may be as a result of the lack of technological accouterments as well as qualified instructor in the field to better handle the instruction delivery. These pool of students at most local communities and some urban centers are thus, highly deficient in technology. When they find their way to the universities, they meet an entirely unfriendly environment full of technology which they must speedily get abreast with all by themselves. Fast learners are able to learn these I.C.T. skills quickly from friends who were privileged to technological training while slow and shy students’ ends up throwing in the towel to university education.
Others experience the first attack of unfair grading as the primary by-product of their deficiency in technological skills. Sadly, these ‘snail-to-technology’ students are objects of ridicule by their colleagues and some lecturers who are technology-privileged. This is much experienced when group assignment and presentations are to be carried out on virtual platforms. Demoralized students usually fall prey to absenteeism to lectures that are solely technology grounded. This gap that exists between students who are able in technology and those who are deficient must be bridged.
An immediate remedy would be the organization of I.C.T. lessons tailored to meet the requirements and expectations of students at the university. This short course or orientation must be carried out in the very first week of student’s admittance to the university. It can even be scheduled as part of the orientation sessions usually promulgated at virtually all universities globally. This training aimed at endowing new entrants with basic skills in I.C.T. would help them to be able to cope and succeed in their newly found technologically induced environment.
Tertiary institutions must make it a priority to organize this I.C.T. lessons since the traditional face of universities is being fast transformed into technology-induced condition. This great feat would aid in beefing up academic work at the universities while arresting the ill of truancy on the part of students due to lack of technological skills.