CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION
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CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION

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1


Title: Migration from paper to web-based Teaching & Learning in the
College of Agriculture, University of Ghana

By SGK Adiku

Project Manager: Samuel G.K. Adiku
Scope of project: All works start to finish meeting project goal
Project goals: Establish an ICT-based Teaching and Learning Unit in the College within
9 months at the cost of US$XXXXX
Introduce ICT teaching & learning competency among academic staff and
students of the college within 9 months.
Evaluate several IT web systems and set up tasks and identify resources
that will lead to the establishment of the teaching & learning Unit. 2

Abstract
This study has surveyed the status of the modes of teaching and learning in the College of
Agriculture as well as the preparedness of the College to migrate from paper-based to a more e-
based learning technology. It could be concluded that 40% of lecturers and 50% had sufficient
IT literacy to acquire e-based teaching and learning methods. However, a number of challenges
were identified that would need redress to facilitate the migration process. These include: (i)
reliability of the internet system in terms of speed and capacity, (ii) availability of computer
infrastructure in the college, including WIFI coverage, (iii) training in computer technology and
technology support for migrating to e-based systems and (i) general policy guide for the
promotion of e-learning in the College.
Despite the challenges, there is a general willingness to migrate, provided the challenges are
addressed.
Introduction
Dramatic increases in student enrollment coupled with very slow rate of expansion in physical
facilities in the College of Agriculture, University of Ghana have led to decline in teaching and
learning quality. Physical space to accommodate students has become a major handicap. For
example, the teaching laboratory of the Department of Soil Science, designed to accommodate
15 students maximum must now accommodate 200 students. The face to face method of
teaching, with hard paper course notes delivered by dictation, which is the dominant mode of
teaching in the University, effectively reaches not more than 30% of students. Apart, the limited
availability of reference texts in the University Libraries aggravate the problem, as these
textbooks are only available to Lecturers.
Given that physical expansion projects take a long time to accomplish in Ghana (on the average
10 years), it is important to explore additional methods of course delivery, especially, given that
technological advances in the last few decades have made it possible to deliver courses
remotely via the internet. Course delivery via internet in the University is insignificant, though
there are few pockets of attempts in some departments. The University itself had put in place an
e-learning promotion committee and has acquired some hard and software facilities for some
years now, but has been unable to implement a University-wide migration of teaching methods.
This proposal seeks to explore the possibility of migrating from paper to electronic-based
teaching & learning in the College of Agriculture, University of Ghana. It is proposed to
successfully introduce and train 30 % of lecturers and students to use e-learning methods by
June 2012, beginning from August 2011. The total cost of the project is estimated to be US$
XXXXX.
Materials and Methods
The College of Agriculture, University of Ghana. 3

The College of Agriculture, University of Ghana grew out of the Faculty of Agriculture which was
established in 1953. Currently, the College has two Schools (Agriculture and Veterinary) and
seven Departments (Crops, Soils, Animal, Ag. Economics, Ag. Extension, Family and
Consumer Sciences) and three Research Centers.
The College runs both undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in all disciplines. The
undergraduate course has four levels (100 to 400). Post-graduate programmes vary, ranging
from post-graduate Diploma, Master of Agriculture (M. Ag.), Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. A
total of about 700 students enroll in the College with about 20% at the post-graduate level. The
academic staff strength is about 77.
Project Planning:
The procedure adopted for this study follows that of a standard Microsoft Project Planning. The
details of the approach are summarized in the attached Excel sheets (Table 1) which were built
on a mind map (Fig. 1) of the possible handicaps to the migration from paper to e-learning.


Fig. 1. Summary screenshot
The project is planned with 4 main activities as shown in Table 1 below: 4

Activity A: Needs Assessment
A1. Identify stakeholders
A2. Develop mind map from cross section of stakeholders
A3. Develop and test Questionnaire
A4. Interview stakeholders
A5. Analyze questionnaire
Milestone A: 60% of faculty and students ready to migrate to e-learning platform

Activity B: Train staff and students in web-based course delivery
B1. Discuss results of Activity A with stakeholders (faculty and students)
B2. Develop training modules for faculty staff and students
B3 Organize training workshop to train volunteer students and faculty staff
Milestone B: At least 30% of faculty workshop trainees ready for pilot project

Activity C: Run a Pilot E-learning and Teaching Project in the College
C1 Faculty staff digitize their lecture notes and assignments
C2. Systems analysts provide a website for uploading notes and assignments
C3 Faculty staff and students participate in e-learning pilot for one month
Milestone C: One phase of pilot project successfully completed

Activity D: Evaluate Project
D1: Carry out SWOT analysis on pilot project
D2: Final project Report
Milestone D: Project completed and report available 5


Survey
An initial discussion on the need to migrate to e-learning course delivery was carried out in the
Level 300 class in August 2011. The issues emanating from this survey were used to design
structured questionnaires which were later administered to 60 undergraduate students from the
levels 200 to 400 and 20 post-graduate students. Also, 20 academic staff members and two
members of the Systems Analysts Division were served with the questionnaires. The target
questions included:
 Current teaching Methods
 Access to Computer laboratory
 Computer Literacy
 Knowledge of downloading and uploading
 Support for Laptop ownership Scheme
 Challenges
 Readiness to Migrate to e-learning
 Participation in Online course delivery

Simple statistical methods were used to analyze the data.

Results
This results presented here are for the first activity (Needs Assessment).
Students’ responses
The analysis of responses from students indicated that the major mode of current teaching is by
lecturing and handouts (60%; Fig. 2). About 2% of teaching is by dictation. There is a significant
progress towards the use of PowerPoint (38%) for teaching.


Fig.2. Teaching methods.
6

Access to computers was one important issue raised by students. About 43.5% of the students
could access the facilities in the College’s computer laboratory. The majority indicated that
access to computers in the laboratory was a major handicap (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Accesibility to computers in the College Computer Laboratory
Although computer literacy among students was satisfactory, this was mainly limited to
MSWORD usage (Fig. 4). Literacy in computing using Excel was 31.5% while database
software knowledge (e.g. ACCESS was negligible (6.8%). Knowledge of project planning
methods (e.g. MSPROJECT) was completely absent (1.09%). Thus, out of the 4 major basic
computer literacy skills, students appear to know only word processing.

Fig. 4. Computer literacy among students.
Internet knowledge is high among students. As much as 87.5% could upload and download files
onto or from the internet system (Fig. 5). However, most students seem to be unaware of the 7

Colleges’ website or do not see any relevant information at the site. Hence, they hardly visit the
site.

Fig. 5 Download and upload skills among student.
Most student would like to own a computer (laptops) which should improve their access to WIFI
and hence web-pages. However, costs are prohibitive. About 92.8 % expressed the desire to
participate in an “own a laptop” scheme, whereby the College could facilitate the hire-purchase
system from commercial companies to be paid for in installments (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6. Willingness to participate in an “Own a laptop scheme”
Regarding the major challenges that handicap an effort to migrate to web-based learning
system, four categories of challenges were considered, namely, (i) training, (ii) internet
availability and speed, (i) availability of WIFI hotspots for access, and (iv) policy guidelines for
internet usage. Training was rated as the most important (61% of the students) priority (Fig. 7). 8

About 27% rated training as important while the rest indicated that training was not necessary.
In the case of availability of internet, 66.6% of the students regarded it as very important. For
WIFI connectivity/Access Points, 58.8 % of the students rated it as being very important for their
internet accessibility. 32.4% of the students rated it as important and the remaining 8.8% did not
see the importance of it at all.

Fig. 7. Challenges regarding migration to web-based learning.
About 35.3% of the students regarded policy guidelines for internet usage as important. About
20.6 % thought it was important and the rest (44.1%) rated it as not important.

Lecturer Responses
The breakdown of academic staff interviewed showed that 45.5% were in the professorial rank,
18.2 % were Senior Lecturers, and 36.3% were Lecturers (Fig. 8).

Fig. 8 Ranks of Academic Staff interviewed. 9

Of all the teaching modes used by the teaching staff, the lecturers indicated that 5.5% of the
time, lecture notes was dictated to the students. Majority of the time (56.3 %), teaching mode
was delivered by lectures with handouts. PowerPoint usage accounted for 38.1 % of the
teaching mode delivery (Fig.9).


Fig. 9 Current Teaching Modes in the College

Figure 10 shows a relatively high Computer literacy by academic staff especially in word and
data processing (MSWORD and Excel). About 45%, 45% and 10% reported to have excellent,
very good and good skills, respectively, as far as MSWORD usage is concerned. With regard to
Excel, 36.3%, 54.5% and 9% of them had excellent, very good and good skills, respectively.
However, In the case of Data base Management and Project planning, knowledge was only
satisfactory with 18.1% of the academic staff having excellent skills, 27.2% expressing very
good proficiency and 9% having only a fair amount of knowledge. Excellent proficiency in the
use of Project planning was only 9% while 27.2%, 36.3%, and 27.2% of the lecturers were, very
good, good and fair, respectively (Fig. 10).
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Fig. 10 Computer literacy Among Lecturers
So far, none of the academic staff interviewed had previously participated in any online course
as illustrated in (Fig.11) although more than 50% have heard about it.


Fig.11 Previous participation in an on-line course.

The range of challenges which could hinder the migration to an online system has been
grouped according to the following: Bandwidth, Internet speed, Training, Technical support and
the Security systems (Fig. 12).