Lecturers’ knowledge, access and utilization of inclusive virtual learning platforms in Nigerian tertiary education: Implications for learners with visual and hearing impairments
INTRODUCTION: The ability of lecturers to choose and use appropriate virtual e-learning platforms for learners with visual and hearing impairments comes from the awareness of its existence, accessibility, and their perceived level of competence.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine the knowledge, access and utilization of lecturers of virtual learning platforms that accommodate learners with visual and hearing impairments.
DESIGN: Descriptive survey method was used. Simple random sampling was used to select representative samples from the study. A structured questionnaire adapted from Okoro (2015) and titled “Lecturers e-learning knowledge, access and utilization questionnaire (LEKAUQ) was used for data collection. Collected data were analyzed using statistical mean. The results of the analysis were used to answer research questions. The study population is made up of all lecturers from the Alvan Ikoku Federal Colleges of Education Owerri in Nigeria as at the time of the study.
RESULTS: The result showed that the lecturers had knowledge of multimedia virtual learning resources that accommodate learners with visual and hearing impairments. Their perceived level of accessibility is moderate. The variation in ways of utilization is low; however their use of voice notes and WhatsApp is high. Challenges that affect lecturers ‘use of virtual learning platforms and resources include poor supply of resources, data, electricity, funding, and students’ absence from online classes.
RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that institutions of higher learning should take responsibility for making virtual learning resources available and accessible to lecturers and students. Equally lecturers should be formally sensitized on the need to use a variety of inclusive virtual learning resources. Institutions of higher learning should get lecturers involved in designing institution based resources.
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