Internet as a Learning Tool
International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011 INTERNET AS LEARNING TOOL: INDIAN ENGINEERING STUDENT’S PERCEPTION Vandana Sharma , Rishu Chhabra 1 2 Education & Research, Infosys Technologies Limited, Mysore, Karnataka, India Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Chitkara University, Punjab, India, ABSTRACT Our global economy now relies on brainpower and innovation rather than manual labor and raw material as a generator of wealth and good education has become the key part in shaping the success of the countries.
Over the last decade, t h e I T revolution has brought in advancement that shows increasingly visible effects on the education with the birth of online education. First student community realized the effect of the internet on their education.
Invention of internet has removed all the barriers to learning. The scope of this paper is to analyze the north Indian engineering student’s perception about internet as learning tool effects of internet on them in perspective of their relations, education, entertainment and and socialization.
Technology can have both positive and negative consequences on people in different walks of life at different times. Now necessity is to understand the true impact of it so that everybody gathers benefits that yield a healthy mind. In this paper, with the help of an empirical study it was inspected that whether the contacts via e- mail, online chatting and availability of information through Internet would lead our students in a better learned and connected individual. Study also examines the kind of learning mode students prefer.
These issues are discovered in detail and suitable solutions are proposed to counter the negative effects of internet on students. Keyword: Internet, education, learning tool INTRODUCTION Internet is a tool for the improvement of learning. A textbook which was a traditional learning tool are now out of date as internet moves quickly and provides updated information and includes a wide variety of International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011 international sources. Now learning has a greater reliance on information acquired from the internet rather than from textbooks.
Dependence on this tool has increased exponentially and unbelievably. Social, geographical, economical barriers are disappearing as students interact worldwide. The technological revolution has a faster and deeper impact on more and more lives. This has further increased with the improvement of technology. Venkatesh  surveyed in his paper that all technologies create an impact of s o m e k i n d . For example, the television technology has had an influence on the media habits of the public, their attitudes and behavior towards entertainment and the interaction between family members.
Cole  assessed the requisite of Internet as a mainstream medium t h a t m a y s o o n b e a s prevalent a s television although pace of its diffusion seems much faster. Kraut e t al  conducted a longitudinal study on the effects of Internet on social involvement and psychological well-being. Their findings show that the greater use of the Internet was significantly related with decreased community within the family, a decrease in local social network and loneliness and depression. In a report of SIQSS,  N.
Nie has also continued with the negative consequences of the Internet that are similar with the outcomes of the Kraut group. Katz and Aspden  made a survey using 2500 respondents, 8 percent of them were Internet users. Comparing users with non-users, they establish no evidence t h a t t h e u s e o f i nternet reduces people’s membership in social and religious organizations. Among users, more use of the Internet was related with additional contact with family members and an increased involvement in online communities. This survey contradicts the discoveries presented in  and .
Wellman  made a survey on “the National Geographic Society website” and came out wi t h t h e s u g g es t i o ns t hat t h e I n t er n e t can be used for increasing interpersonal connectivity and organizational involvement. Not only can expose people to more inf ormation and more contacts, it can reduce commitment to community. However, this increased connectivity and involvement. In 2009 there were nearly 81,000,000 users of internet in India. There are many studies available at global level about the impact of internet on students but studies about Indian engineering students are not available.
INTERNET IN EDUCATION There are number of main advantages of using internet for education  A . Flexibility and Variety The flexibility of the internet is possibly the greatest advantage for online education. Websites, interactive activities, lecture notes, videoconferencing, webinars, chartrooms, and blogs, online education students and their educators can interact in ways that are already known to them. Internet provides user friendly interface International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011 to user and new users also feel more comfortable with time B.
Ease and Low Cost of Access Internet has defeated the distance barrier for learning. Students need not to move to gain knowledge. It has become easy and affordable for everyone from a rural area student to a working professional. For the purpose of interactive courses and videoconferencing rural students are facing problem and this still requires attention C. Ease and Low Cost of Setting Information Online Email, chat and interactive online meeting has become new way of learning. Information regarding a course is all available online. This is not only accessible but is affordable for institutes also.
Records are available for 24X7 for any time use. D. Ease of Updating Information Online Information updation is easier than revising a textbook. Results can be displayed just after an exam. A new course is easy to add. New research or finding can become part of syllabus instantly. In  Aytekin ISMAN, Fahme DABAJ studied students-teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards internet based on various parameters. It was concluded that at education cycle of students concentrate more to learn internet alternatives and functions for getting great positive benefit their future life by adapting contemporary trends.
In  Hong etal studied . Students’ attitudes toward the use of the Internet for it is important that students should b e exposed learning at a university in Malaysia and showed that to this web based learning so that they could get benefit from Web-based courses and Web-assisted conducted in their field of specialization by the various departments. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The purpose of this research was to collect information about the impact of internet on learning of engineering students. This study is directed to answer following questions: • • • What is the attitude of students towards using internet for their course contents?
Do the students prefer using internet over books? Does internet builds confidence in students by helping them in presentations etc.? METHODOLOGY The research instrument in this study was a questionnaire. There were total of 20 questions in this questionnaire each with five selections of response from “Strongly Agree” to Strongly Disagree”. Questions were divided into four categories. In first category questions were framed to measure student’s attitude toward International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011 he use of internet for their course purpose. Sample question for this category is “With the help of internet I am able to collect more study material “. Second category asks students about their preference of internet over books. Sample question for this statement is “For study purpose I prefer spending time on internet surfing rather sitting in a library “. Third category measures the student’s attitude for internet as a tool of confidence builder. Sample question is “Internet has boosted my confidence as I am able to present my reports, seminars etc. n better way“. In the last category miscellaneous questions were asked to get student opinion about group learning through internet using blogs and discussion forums, their time spent on internet etc. As all students were engineering students, questions were not asked to measure their basic knowledge and skills of the internet. Population under investigation included 100 students of Computer Science & Engineering of a Wifi enabled engineering institute campus. All students use Laptop and Internet on daily basis. RESULT AND DISCUSSION A.
Student’s attitude towards using internet for their syllabi There were four questions under this category. For each statement responses were coded 2 for “Strongly disagree “to 5 for “Strongly agree” and 1 for “No opinion”. Thus the scores for each student on the statement ranges from 8 to 20. Scores from 8-10, 12-16 and 17-20 were classified as having “negative” ,”neutral” and “Positive” attitude towards the use of internet for learning. Table 1 shows the result. Table1. Student’s attitude towards using internet for learning. Scores 8-10 12-16 17-20 Attitude Negative Neutral Positive Frequency 2 58 40
B. Student’s preference of internet for study material over the books For each statement responses were coded for 2 “Strongly disagree “to 5 for “Strongly agree” and 1 for “No opinion”. Thus the scores for each student on the statement range from 10 to 21. Scores from 10-14, 1517 and 18-21 were classified as “do not prefer using internet “,”no preference” and “prefer use of internet” over books. Table 2 shows the result of student’s preference of internet over books International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011
Table2. Student’s preference of internet over books Scores 10-14 15-17 18-21 Preference Frequency Do not 15 Prefer No 48 preference 37 Prefer C. Student’s attitude towards internet as a confidence builder For each statement responses were coded 2 for “Strongly disagree “to 5 for “Strongly agree” and 1 for “no opinion”. Thus the scores for each student on the statement range from 2 to 10. Scores from 2-4, 5-7 and 810 were classified as having “Negative “,”Neutral” and “Positive” attitudes towards the use of internet for learning.
Table 3 shows the attitude of students toward internet as confidence builder. Table3. Student’s attitude towards internet as a confidence builder. Scores 2-4 5-7 8-10 Attitude Negative Neutral Positive Frequency 11 31 58 Despite of the fact that the students in this survey were from computer science & engineering stream half of the students find it difficult to understand all the terms on WebPages. 90% students spend 1-5 hours on internet. 66% students use blogs and discussion forum for the solution to their technical problems.
Only 8% students disagree that internet can be helpful in group learning. 79% students consider that mixture of online course and classroom course will be better for learning process. 84% students feel that internet helpful to prepare them for examination. 71% students do not find internet adding to laziness. 51 % students believe that the use of internet has decreased the verbal communications among themselves. Internet has positive impact on learning domain but has negative impact on social aspects of a student’s personality.
Though students realize this they should indulge more in social interactions and activities. Institutes should hold seminars time to time to make students aware about the importance of internet as learning tool. Institutes should encourage group learning through internet and should promote the use of blogs for learning purpose. Courses should be designed in blended format of classroom and online teaching. As result of this survey showed that more Indian students are opting online books as compare to paper book so use of online book
International Journal of Computing and Business Research ISSN (Online) : 2229-6166 Volume 2 Issue 2 May 2011 reading devices should be promoted. The use of such devices is user friendly. CONCLUSION In this paper result of the survey of use of internet as learning tool by engineering student has been presented. Engineering students are using computer and internet on daily basis. Maximum students find internet a very useful tool for their studies. Students prefer online books and study material. They find internet helpful to boost their confidence for presentations and reports.
Engineering institutes should promote the use of internet as a learning tool and should provide infrastructure to facilitate the students. Students also feel that excess use of internet may cause some socialization problems. REFERENCES  A. Venkatesh, A c onceptualization of Household/Technology Interactions, Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 12, 189-194, 1985.  J. I. Cole, The Impact of the Internet on Our Social,Political and Economic Life, The UCCLA Center for communication Policy, 2000.  R. Kraut, M. Patterosn, V. undmark, S. Keisler, T.
Mukophadhyay and W. Scherlis, Internet Paradox: being? , a Social Technology that Reduces Social Involvement and PsychologicalWell53(9),1998a. American Psychologist,  N. Nie, Study of social Consequences of the Internet, Stanford Institute of the Quantitative Study of Society (SIQSS), 2000.  J. Katz, and P. Aspden, Motivations for and Barriers to Internet Usage: Results of a national publicopinion survey,Internet Research-Electronic 170, 1997.  B. Wellman, A. Q. Haase, J. Witte, K. Hampton, Does the Internet Increase, Decrease, or Supplement Social Capital?
Social Networks,Participation, and Community Commitment, The Internet in Everyday Life, American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 437-456, 2001. http://www. college-university- directory. com/internet_1. html  Aytekin ISMAN, Fahme DABAJ, Attitudes of Students Towards Internet,Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE October 2004 ISSN 1302-6488 ,5 (4)  Kian-Sam Hong, Abang Ahmad Ridzuan , Ming-Koon Kuek , Students’ attitudes toward the use of the Internet for learning: A study at a university in Malaysia. networking Applications and Policy, Vol. 7(3),