Availability, accessibility and use of information and communication technology in management of students’ academic affairs in Makerere University
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The study was about availability, accessibility and use of ICT in management of students’ academic affairs in Makerere University. This emerged because of the problem that there was mismanagement of students’ academic records despite the technological advancement that had advanced in the University. Such problems include loss of marks, miscalculation of marks to mention but a few. The study intended to establish how ICT affected management of students’ academic affairs. It applied both correlation and cross sectional survey design. Data were collected using semi-structured survey questionnaires and interviews. Correlations were used to determine the extent to which ICT was related to management of students’ academic affairs and a cross sectional survey design was used because data were to be collected at one time from the sample of lecturers and administrators of Makerere University. Findings indicated that internet facilities, computers, management information systems, electronic databases all were available and accessible to administrators, lecturers and students though with restricted access for viewing results, record keeping, setting and marking exams. ICT for registration was used for tracking students’ registration progress by administrators and academic progressing. It was concluded that ICT facilities such as computers Management Information System and internet were the most common used for examination management and they were mainly applied for processing examination results, tracking students' academic progress, grading of students according to their performance, communication between lecturers and heads of department, communication to students via emails. It was again noted that ICT was accessed for communication between administrators and other teaching staff members in the University, for returning results to students online, calculating students’ GPA and CGPA and processing transcripts. Investigation about the level of use of ICT for registration management in Makerere University established that ICT facilities were used for provision of information easily on registration of students, easy monitoring of students’ registration progress, easy comparison of registration status with other data such as students’ academic progress and enhanced time management. So ICTs were reliable compared to the previous manual system. However ICT had not effectively improved collaboration between University administrators, students and the university outside community. Electronic Registration System was more It was recommended that the University authorities should adequately train and acquaint users with ICT skills such as database management, typing and printing, online examination management, skills in management information systems and internet and facilitate them with ICT facilities and University authorities should make it a policy for lecturers to use ICT facilities for examination management. It was also suggested that University authorities should train administrators and provide them with the required facilities like computers, computer software, internet facilities and reliable databases and there must be a formal procedure to be followed to enforce strict use of ICT structures in the University. It was also recommended that a framework of guideline be provided for prior to purchasing an e-registration system, that is, a list of the required specifications be made after consultation with users (administrators) to enable purchase of a reliable ICT structure and initial ICT training for administrators must be undertaken to engender commitment to e-registration initiative and support for new ICT skills acquisition for effective implementation of online registration.