Date of this Version
This study sought to determine the extent of internet access and use by students of Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU), Ago Iwoye, Nigeria. A descriptive questionnaire survey was employed to obtain data from a sample of 1140 undergraduate students of OOU from March to April, 2010 with a total of 1066 validly retuned representing response rate of 91.3%. Additional information was also obtained with an informal interview and observations. The results showed that almost all the respondents (97.6%) had accessed the internet, with mean internet use experience of 4.2 years. Majority of the respondents, i.e. 66.1% accessed the Internet from cybercafés outside the University campuses, followed by cybercafes within the University campuses (30.4%), and homes (19.5%). The acquisition of internet skills was mainly by self through trial and from colleagues and friends.The respondents relied upon their fellows and friends and cybercafé operators for assistance on internet related problems. The students used internet mostly for communication (90.6%), doing class assignments (43.5%), to update knowledge (32.9%) and to supplement lecture notes (27%). Email was used to communicate mostly with their friends and family members (72.0%), fellow students (40.1%)) and their lecturers (10%). Respondents obtained academic information mostly by using search engines and by typing the web address directly and only 2.5% used the library free online resources. Google was the most used search engine, followed by Yahoo, AltaVista and Scholar Google. The internet was preferred over the library by 67.1% of respondents. The major factors that hinder access and use of internet by students were identified as slowness of the server, limited institutional internet facilities, frequent power outage and high cost of usage. The study showed that the University needs to put up appropriate ICT policies that will facilitate optimum use of the Internet. Students should be made to have access to internet with high speed in libraries, departments/faculties and computer laboratories. Also there is the need for ongoing education and training on use of internet resources for the undergraduates to have the skills to efficiently source for information to support their learning.