The Impact of Educational Technology Initiatives on Student Learning Outcomes: Perspectives of Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract

Despite the numerous impact studies reported in the literature, the impact of ICT use on student learning outcomes remains difficult to measure and open to much reasonable debate especially when it is preceded with an educational technological initiative This study sought to explore the impact of an Africa Digital Schools ICT-intervention on learning outcomes of 542 students from six project participating countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study adopted an online survey evaluation tool in which a semi-structured questionnaire followed by a focused group discussion was used to conduct a robust evaluation of project impact on student learning outcomes. Findings revealed that the ICT initiatives and its package were well received and patronized by the student target groups and were the reasons for students improved learning outcomes demonstrated in their reported improved attitudes, developed competencies and behavioural changes in the use of computers.  Nevertheless, the findings showed that essential conditions required to support the sustainability of project ideas to school levels were seemingly not adequate. The study therefore advocates the need for implementers of ICT initiatives or research projects in Sub-Saharan countries and countries of similar contexts to ensure that enabling conditions for the continuous use of innovations are provided in order to foster an effective adoption as well as support long-term goals.

 

Keywords: Learning outcomes; computer attitudes; computer competencies; ICT initiatives

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 43-62 (Download PDF)

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