Using information and communication technology at the University of Zimbabwe: Challenges, successes and recommendations.
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is now an essential service for the effective administration of businesses including colleges and universities. The same technology finds use in the teaching and learning activities. This study looks at how this technology is being used at the University of Zimbabwe as an administrative tool and as a teaching and learning tool. Three faculties from which, ten departments, fourteen lecturers and ten students were used as participants in the research as source of studied information. Further to that students were observed as they used the service at the Library, Economics computer laboratory and Commerce computer laboratory. Technical people responsible for day-today operations of the ICT infrastructure were also interviewed. The study shows that while use of the technology is now widespread, there is no policy framework at department and faculty level to ensure its effective use. Teaching staff proved to be competent in the use of the Internet and e-mail, however students did not comprehend some of the ICT terminology. It also emerged that the ICT services were not fully exploited. The study recommends the setting up of faculty and department ICT co-ordinators or committees with specific roles that champion the effective use of ICT services. Further to that ICT should be part and parcel of a general curriculum for all university students. ICT is a dynamic area needing research and updating all the time. Further research is needed in all the faculties to see how staff and students are coping.