Effectiveness of ICT in Improving Academic WritingSkills of Tertiary Students
The study was aimed to test the effectiveness of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) to improve students’ Academics writing skills. Academics writings are an integral part of syllabus of English in Pakistan where English is taught as a foreign/second language. The idea to use ICT to improve students’ essay writing skills came from the increasing use of technology in Pakistan. The Educational system in Pakistan has many limitations which include obsolete teaching methodologies, limitations of syllabus and discouraging environment for the teachers which do not help many of the students to get good skills in writing. It has been observed, all over the world, the ICT has become an important part of education. Teachers use modern means of communication technologies in their teaching practices which help the students to understand the lessons better and their individual skills are enhanced by the help of these tools. However, in Pakistan, only at higher level of education ICT is being encouraged, though, it is not being practiced with full effects. The students after passing their intermediate join universities and degree awarding institutes where they are expected to have good language skills. Unfortunately, their twelve years of education had have not helped them improving language skills and especially their writing skills. The study was conducted in a degree awarding HEC recognized institute, Karachi, Pakistan, where 34 students of BBA & BSCS programmes were selected for the study. The students were given an assignment to complete in eight academic weeks by the help of ICT. They were asked to write an essay of 3000 words on the topic of their own choices. They were guided and taught to use internet resources effectively and they were instructed to avoid plagiarism which was allowed up to 20 %. The students showed a positive response and most of the students were able to write as per instructions. Majority of the students could not keep the plagiarism they were asked but most of the students were able to keep the plagiarism less than 40 % which was quite encouraging as their first attempt in a limited time. The research demonstrated a welcoming sign of interest among the students and, the students were excited using ICT helping to improve their academic writing skills. The Basic writing skills of the students improved significantly and the mean of the students score rose significantly, which was compared by the help of T-Test. It also suggested including ICT as a permanent tool in educational system and especially its growing effects to improve students’ academics writing skills.
Keywords - Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Academics writing.