An investigation into the use of the Internet by students at St. Joseph's Theological Institute, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The discussion of introducing the Internet at St. Joseph's Theological Institute in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa took place in 2002 and access to the Internet was introduced in 2003 via 70 computers which were housed in the library. Given that the Internet has emerged as an important learning tool at the tertiary level, the aim of the study was to investigate the use of the Internet by the students at St. Joseph's. The specific objectives of the study were as follows: to find out which students were using the Internet, to find out what students were using the Internet for, to find how often students used the Internet and when they used it, to find out the problems experienced by those students who used the Internet, to find out why certain students do not use the Internet, and lastly the study aimed to make recommendations concerning the use of the Internet by students. The survey research method was used and the data was collected through a self administered questionnaire. No sampling was done as the entire population of 188 students was surveyed. Sixty five students responded - a response rate of 34.6 %. Findings revealed that of the 65 students who completed the questionnaires 34 (52.3%) had used the Internet and 31 (47.6%) had not. Out of the 24 respondents who gave reasons for not having used the Internet, the majority 17 (70.8%) of respondents said that they had not received formal training and did not know how to use the Internet. The major problems facing the Internet users at St. Joseph 's were the shortage of computers mentioned by 13 (38.2%) respondents and computers being slow as indicated by 13 (38.2%) respondents. Six (17.6%) respondents also pointed to not having enough training in the use of Internet facilities. Recommendations concerning Internet use at the Institute were made and suggestions for further research put forward.
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