Using Pattern of Internet and E-resources by the Students and Faculty Members of a Private Universit...

Md. Maidul Islam, Umme Habiba

  Open Access OPEN ACCESS  Peer Reviewed PEER-REVIEWED

Using Pattern of Internet and E-resources by the Students and Faculty Members of a Private University in Bangladesh

Md. Maidul Islam1,, Umme Habiba2

1Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

2Library and Information Science, KhwajaYunus Ali University, Sirajgonj, Bangladesh

Abstract

The main objective of this study is to find out the using pattern of internet and e-resources by the Eastern University (EU) students and faculty members. A printed version of the questionnaire was distributed in the respective students and faculty members of EU. To analyze the influence of demographic information on overall satisfaction on internet and e-resources simple frequency were carried out. The results showed that students and faculty members are generally satisfied with the current level of internet and e-resources. They identified limited number of titles, difficulty in finding information, limited access to computers and slow download speed as major constraints. These constraints do affect internet and e-resources use in a private university. However, these constraints are mainly related to the poor IT infrastructure and limited access to internet and e-resources, which may also lead to other constraints such as an unwillingness to use the internet and e-resources regularly and consequently low satisfaction with such resources.

Cite this article:

  • Islam, Md. Maidul, and Umme Habiba. "Using Pattern of Internet and E-resources by the Students and Faculty Members of a Private University in Bangladesh." American Journal of Educational Research 3.5 (2015): 541-546.
  • Islam, M. M. , & Habiba, U. (2015). Using Pattern of Internet and E-resources by the Students and Faculty Members of a Private University in Bangladesh. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(5), 541-546.
  • Islam, Md. Maidul, and Umme Habiba. "Using Pattern of Internet and E-resources by the Students and Faculty Members of a Private University in Bangladesh." American Journal of Educational Research 3, no. 5 (2015): 541-546.

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1. Introduction

The widespread use of information and communication technologies, especially theinternet and web, has brought significant changes in the way information is generated, stored and accessed. With the rapid development and use of the internet and web-based technologies, publishing and distribution of information resources in digital format has become widespread (Ahmed, 2013). Internet has become an unavoidable necessity for every institution of higher learning (Bhat and Mudhol, 2014). The library as an organization is a collection of information resources with the specific purpose of obtaining, preserving and making available recorded knowledge and sharing this knowledge to the user community. The efficiency and effectiveness of the library as a tool of research and learning is determined by the success of providing patrons with relevant and timely information (Ayiah and Kumah, 2011). In recent years, internet and e-resources has emerged as a powerful educational information tools that has been spread technological literacy and given people all over the world fast access to vast resources. Scholars can communicate with each other, as well as accessing news groups, library catalogues, bibliographic databases, and other academic resources. Now-a- days academic libraries have changed in terms of services, holding information and sharing information worldwide because of the revolution in internet and e-resources. Bangladesh is also no exception of these technologies. Most of the academic libraries in Bangladesh completely modernizing the tools of learning as well as process of teaching, learning, research and also change the process of providing and sharing information to the user community through these technology driven service.

2. Background of the Study

Eastern University (EU) was established in 2003 under the Private University Act 1992, as amended in 1998 and approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Now the number of students and faculty members is about 3531 and 155 respectively. The University currently has four faculties named faculty of arts, faculty of business administration, faculty of engineering and technology and faculty of law. EU Library has about 15000 books of 5100 titles, 2000 reports and journals, 810 audio-visual materials, 300 internship reports and thesis papers. It also subscribes more than 29000 online journals and 3000 e-books through Bangladesh INASP-PERI-Consortium (BIPC) and UGC Digital Library Consortium published by various internationally reputed publishers. In addition to these collections, the library subscribes printed issues of 60 journals, 10 foreign and 9 local magazines, 1 foreign newspaper and almost all leading national newspapers of Bangladesh. Eastern University Library has taken an initiative to build a rich digital library with Greenstone Digital Library Software by the EU Library professionals with the help of Digital Library Network in South Asia (DLNetSA). Greenstone Digital Library Software (GSDL) has been taken in consideration due to some unique features of this software (Eastern University Library website).

3. Objectives

The main objective of this study is to find out the using pattern of internet and e-resources by the EU students and faculty members; and to find out the constraints faced by them in accessing the e-resources. The objectives of the study are to:

•  assess the contemporary use of internet and electronic information resources by the students and faculty members;

•  examine the evaluation and satisfaction of the students and faculty members towards university internet and e-resources;

•  identify the constraints that hinder the use of internet and e-resources; and

•  suggest measures for promoting the use of internet and e-resources by the students and faculty members.

4. Literature Review

There have been a number of studies conducted on the students and faculty member’s use of and satisfaction with e-resources in the universities worldwide. While the use of such resources by students and faculty members in developed countries is well-recognized, their use and adoption by universities in developing countries are still mixed. In light of this topic, a survey of available literature is made here to make the study more strengthen and widen. Though there have been a number of studies carried out worldwide and also in Bangladesh concerning the use of internet and e-resources, but no in- depth study has been done on the use of the internet and e-resources in the Eastern University. The present study is an attempt to clearly establish the present status of internet and e-resources use in Eastern University.

Internet has become an invaluable tool for learning, teaching and research. It could be regarded as technology evolved in furtherance of the concept of paperless society. It is also called the super high wave invention, which is already advancing the cause of humanity of the greatest height especially in this millennium (Onatola, 2004).A recent study in Bangladesh by Islam (2013) conducted in the Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka for the purpose of showing the need for information, information media preferences, frequency of internet use, search engine preferences and purpose of using internet. The result showed that most of the students in this department including 1styear, 2nd year, 3rd year and 4th year, a majority of students from 2nd year, 31(68.89%) use internet every day and a vast majority of students use internet for their courses and assignments. Ahmed (2013) showed that faculty members are not generally satisfied with the current level of university subscribed e-resources. They identified limited number of titles, limited access to back issues, difficulty in finding information, inability to access from home, limited access to computers and slow download speed as major constraints. These constraints do affect e-resources use in the public universities. However, these constraints are mainly related to the poor IT infrastructure and limited access to e-resources, which may also lead to other constraints such as an unwillingness to use the resources regularly and consequently low satisfaction with such resources.

Whereas, the study of Arthurand Brafi(2013) revealed that many students in the municipality had learnt how to use the Internet from their teachers and were more likely to use the internet cafes as access point. Many of them also believed the cost of access was expensive. They also showed that more students are using the internet technology to look for information for assignments. Habiba and Chowdhury (2012) surveyed a study at Dhaka University Library (DUL) where they discovered that most (44.00%) of the users access to e-resources every day and use e-resources for many purposes such as for learning (54.0%) and for current information (35.00%).They also found the problem faced by DUL users as slow download speed and bandwidth of internet connection in DU campus.

Another study by Mulla (2011) reported that majority of the students learnt the use of Internet by assistance from the teachers, compared to formal training self- instruction and assistance from others and 50(51.02%) users use internet to prepare their assignments/seminars. This survey also showed that majority (81.65%) of the students were satisfied with the use of internet and those who were not satisfied and also indicated that lack of organized information was the major source of dissatisfaction. A study of Annamalai University which is conducted by Thanuskodi (2011) showed that the researchers in sciences are more positive about the use of internet and its impact on their educational experience. All of them (100%) have a positive attitude toward the internet and feel comfortable gaining information through it for academic and personal purposes. About 60% of researchers in social sciences also agree with the importance of internet's information resources. 80 % of the internet use is for academic purposes by the researchers in science, whereas only 45% in social sciences use it for academic purposes.

Kaur and Manhas (2008) conducted a study at engineering colleges of Punjab and Haryana (India) which showed that teachers and students of this university used the internet for consulting technical reports (64.9%), for reading e-journals on the internet (59%) and for consulting e-books (56.1%). The results of the study further showed that more than 80% of the respondents felt that the internet could not replace library services and that it was only a supplement to the library services. Aqil and Ahmad (2011) conducted a survey at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to find out the status ofinternet-based services usage by the users. Internet-based information is the most satisfactory one for the research scholars and post graduate (PG) students. Therefore, 70 (46.05%) users opined that the internet-based information services are the most satisfactory for their academic activities, while 50 (32.89%) chose journals/magazines. Most of the research scholars and PG students of the science faculty use the internet for their research work. Dhanavandan (2012) has investigated the use of e-resources by Krishnasamy College of Engineering & Technology Library users to find out the purpose and utilization of the e-resources and services by the users, the type of information accessed and the difficulties encountered by the users while using e-resources. In view of the above literature, the study sought to examine the use pattern, acceptance, perceived importance and satisfaction on e-resources.

It is clear that there is insufficient research on internet and e-resources use in Bangladesh. In addition, there are no empirical studies conducted on the students and faculty member’s use and satisfaction with internet and e-resources accessed through university networks. This is the first time an effort has been made to study internet and e-resources use by the students and faculty members in a private university in Bangladesh. It is hoped that this study will help to identify students and faculty members need for internet and e-resources and their satisfaction with current subscriptions available to various private universities in Bangladesh.

5. Methodology

The study sampled all the students and faculty members of EU. The total numbers of users both students and faculty members (150) of EU were considered as the research population. A printed version of the questionnaire was distributed in the respective students and faculty members of EU. The data were collected from August through December 2014. Out of these 150 questionnaires, 137 were returned, giving a response rate of 91.33 %. Four responses that were either incomplete or contained skipped answers were dropped from the analysis. Consequently, the researchers analyzed 133 responses. The questionnaire consisted of following elements:

(1) demographic information such as faculty, user category, gender and age;

(2) purpose and frequency of internet ande-resources use;

(3) users’ evaluationwith university library facilities; and

(4) users’ satisfaction with the university internet and e-resources.

For the category (4) above, users were asked to evaluate each questionnaire item from 1 – ‘‘lowest’’ to 5 – ‘‘highest’’, corresponding to a 5-point Likert scale.

6. Results of the Study

The respondents’ demographic information is shown in Table 1. A total of 133 students and faculty members took part in this study. Among them 89 (66.92%) were student and 44 (33.08%) were faculty member and 82 (61.65%) were male and 51 (38.35%) were female. This indicates a balance between male and female users as respondents for this survey. Out of 133 users 22 (16.54%) were from faculty of arts, 41 (30.83%) were from faculty of business and administration, 30 (22.65) were from faculty of engineering and technology and 40 (30.08%) were from faculty of law. Most of users from the age group between 18-24 years and 25-30 years.

Table 1. Demographic information of the user

The frequency of library use varies among students and faculty members. Table 2 shows that the largest group of students and faculty members used library daily (48). A significant proportion of students used library on two or three times a week (41).

The frequency of internet use varies among students and faculty members. Table 3 shows that the largest group of users used internet every day (52). A significant proportion of users used internet on once a month or less (19) or weekly or several times a day basis (27).

Table 4. Sources of access to internet (multiple)

Table 4 reveals the sources of access to internet of users. Most of the users used internet from home (96). A significant proportion of users accessed to internet from library, work place and computer lab. It indicates that the majority of the respondents accessed the internet from their home and library.

It is evident from the Table 5 that, majority of the respondents accessed e-resources most days (74), followed by respondents accessed few times every week (30), at least once a week (19), at least once a fortnight (4) and similarly of the respondents accessed e-resources at least once a month (6).

According to Table 6, most of the respondents reported that they used e-resources for learning purpose (116). The table also showed that they also used e-resources for current information (99), for research work (52). In addition, to that respondents used e-resources for teaching purpose (43).

The preferences given by the library users to various types of e-resources are as follows, most of the respondents used library catalogues (98), for e-books (90), for e-newspapers (85) followed by for e-journals (70), for bibliographic databases (38), for e-magazines (36) and the respondents used e-thesis (24) respectively. A large number of the respondents used the e-resources for searching library catalogues while the lowest number used it for e-thesis (see Table 7).

Table 6. Purpose of using e-resources (multiple)

Eastern University Library users’ evaluation on library facilities, resources and catalogue searching shows in Table 8. Most of the cases, users evaluation is satisfactory except the opinion of printing facilities are adequate, the library’s collection meets my research needs, group study facilities are adequate, photocopying facilities are adequate and computer room is adequate on library facilities; the library does not have the enough item, all copies/titles are in use, the catalogue says the item is in the library but you cannot locate it, there are not sufficient resources on the topic you are researching on resources; and do you use the catalogue via the internet from home on catalogue searching of Eastern University Library.

Table 9 shows the mean and standard deviation (SD) on computer literacy and overall satisfaction with e-resources of EU Library users.It is cleared that, library users are agreed with the importance of computer literacy of EU Library (mean=3.81). Moreover, they also satisfied with the e-resources that their library provides (mean=3.61).

Table 9. Computer literacy and overall satisfaction with e-resources

The respondents were asked to evaluate their satisfaction with e-resources of EU Library. Table 10 reveals the mean and SD of users opinion on satisfaction with e-resources. It shows that library users satisfied with their library website, accessing online databases, searching online catalog, electronic journals and electronic books in their library. Moreover, it is also cleared that the library users also satisfied with the e-resources like full text databases, listserv, discussion groups and online ILL form. It suggests users are overwhelmingly satisfied with e-resources of EU Library as most ratings are above three.

This study also found the positive outcomes from the users of the EU library about the performance of the library in satisfying users’ information needs via e-resources except ‘how do you rate the typical access time when you search an electronic resource’. Moreover, they agreed that the EU library provides adequate access to e-resources and the librarians offer adequate bibliographic instructions and assistance enable them to use the e-resources effectively as most ratings are above three (see Table 11).

Table 11. Performance of the library in satisfying users’ information needs via e-resources

Table 12. Level of satisfaction with the content and services provided

Table 12 shows the level of satisfaction with the contents and services provided by the EU Library. It is found that, on the evaluation of content part, the level of materials available in the library are not adequate (mean=2.93), but they agreed that the contents that the library provide are easy to use (mean=3.24). Despite the fact that the respondents also give negative opinion in case of technical evaluation of resources, i.e., availability of computer facilities in the university library are not well (mean=2.92) and inadequate bandwidth to access to resources (mean=2.88) and easy navigation to resources from library websites (mean=2.98). But the overall satisfaction with the e-resources is average.

7. Findings and Discussion

A majority of the respondents (48) used library daily and other significant proportion of users used library on two or three times a week. It was found from the survey that largest group of (52) of users used internet every day. Respondents were asked about the sources of access to internet they used. From the analysis it is found that, most of the users used internet from their home (96) and a significant proportion of users (65) accessed to internet from library. A good percentage of the respondents (74) accessed e-resources most days and few of the respondents (30) used few times every week. The respondents’ main purpose of searching e-resources for learning (116), they also searching for current information (99) and for research work (52). Most of the respondents (98) given preference to use library catalogs, they also use e-books (90), e-newspaper (85) and e-journals (70). In case of facilities and resources of the library, it was found that, opening hours of the library is not adequate (mean=1.80), computer facilities and electronic equipment are not accessible (mean=2.04), and study space in the library is not enough for library users (mean=2.04).

Moreover, in case of library resources, it was reported that, borrowing facilities are not good as well (mean=1.89) and recommendations for new or different resources are listened to by the library staff (mean=1.98).This study also found the performance of the library in satisfying users information needs via e-resources i.e., the evaluation of the search results of e-resources they have used are relevant to their query. Moreover, they agreed that the EU Library provides adequate access to e-resources and the librarians offer adequate bibliographic instructions and assistance enable them to use the e-resources effectively. In case of satisfaction with the contents and services provided by the EU Library, this study found that, the level of materials available in the library are moderately adequate (mean=2.93), but they highly agreed that, the contents that the library provide are easy to use (mean=3.24).Despite the fact that the respondents also give moderate opinion in case of technical evaluation of resources, i.e., availability of computer facilities in the university library are not well (mean=2.92) and inadequate bandwidth to access to resources (mean=2.88).

8. Conclusion

This study has examined the pattern of use of internet and e-resources by the students and faculty members of a private university in Bangladesh in order to find out the constraints faced by them in accessing the internet and e-resources. This study showed that the uses of internet and e-resources are very common among the users both students and faculty members. It also showed that a significant numbers of users are reliant on internet and e-resources to get desired, relevant, and current information. The following observations and inferences are made from the study: more computers should be installed in the library for the benefit of the library members; EUL should be equipped with the internet facilities as well; the problem of slow connectivity should be overcome by using or subscribing to higher bandwidth connectivity; EUL should provide computer facilities and also provide assistance in case of using electronic equipment; EUL should develop their collection to meet the research needs of the user; library staff should inform about the new services and collections to the user community; library and its study space should be increased so that user can use this accurately; the library staff also should provide resources that are up to date and relevant to the user needs; they should also assist the user community to find their needed resources and provide it to the user at the right time. Moreover, borrowing facilities should be developed; the librarians should offer adequate bibliographic instructions and assistance for enabling them to use the e-resources effectively; the EU library should also provide adequate training program to the users and library staffs about e-resources; the library should provide high quality of sources and services, etc.

Finally it is hoped that this study will inspire private university libraries elsewhere, both within and without Bangladesh, to identify and assess students and faculty members’ needs for internet and e-resources and their satisfaction with current internet and e-resources available to a private university.

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the students and faculty members of the Eastern University, Bangladesh for taking part in this study.

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