Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 8-21-2023


Online discussion forum (ODF) as an effective pedagogical tool for learning and knowledge construction, designed to make the learning process robust and all-encompassing. It is also expected to facilitate faster and smooth access to learning aid and for individualisation of learning. In spite of its enormous benefits, previous studies have shown that students do not make use of ODF as expected due to factors largely attributed to low level of awareness and perception without recourse to the role of ICT competence could facilitate sustained usage and promote acceptance among students. This study, therefore, investigated ICT competence on the use of ODF among Library and Information Science (LIS) students in selected Nigeria Polytechnics.

Technology Organisation Environment Theory (TOE) (Fleischer, 1990), Media System Dependency (MSD) (Ball-Rokeach and Defleur, 1976) and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1989) provided the framework, while the descriptive survey design of correlational type was used. The population comprised all ND II LIS students in eight Nigerian polytechnics offering LIS as a course. Six hundred and thirteen (613) students were enumerated in the eight polytechnics in Southwestern, Nigeria. The instrument used were ODF (α = 0.87) and ICT competence (α = 0.84). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson Product Moment Correlation and Multiple Regression at 0.05 level of significance.

Majority of the respondents were males (53.4%) while most of the students were found within the age brackets of 21-25 years (44.6%) with a mean age of 22.8+/-1.05. Google Answers Box ( = 1.86) and Experts-Exchange ( = 1.52) were the mostly used ODF by the students but with low frequency of use ( = 2.48). Further, the level of ICT competence of LIS students was moderately high ( = 2.92) on ODF use. There was a strong, positive and significant influence of ICT competence of LIS students (r = 0.318) on ODF use. Finally, ICT Competence have significant influence on ODF use among LIS students in selected Nigerian Polytechnic (F (3, 563)= 88.581, p < 0.05). Also, the relative contribution of each variable measured in beta weights gives ICT competence (β = 0.206, p < 0.05) .

ICT Competence is a vital influencer of online discussion forum use by LIS students in Polytechnics. Government and polytechnic authorities should take cognisance of these factor for optimal and efficient use of ODF.