The efficacy of conducting teaching and learning through email to a distance learning class in Nigeria
Against the backdrop of the huge opportunities provided by internet and electronic mail for useful exchange of information between the learner and the teacher as well as for controlling and evaluating the work of learners, this study was carried-out to determine the efficacy of conducting teaching and learning through e-mail among 300 level distance learning students in the Department of Adult Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The study was conducted in 2007/2008 contact session between the learners and the tutors. However, it actually began in 2006/2007 session. It adopted the descriptive research design of the ex-post facto type. The entire population of the class (82) participated in the study. Four research questions, transformed from the objectives of the study, were raised and addressed. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire tagged efficacy of teaching and learning through e-mail (ETLEMQ) and was complemented with the analysis of students' performance in the examination. Data were analysed through simple percentages and cross-tabulation. The findings showed that there was a persistent increase in the number of assignments written by the learners as they were continuous exposed to e-mail conducted teaching and learning. Similarly, the findings revealed that the learners attached more attention and seriousness to this method which eventually led to the development and enhancement of their computer literacy skills. Based on these findings, it is recommended that distance learning institutions should design a compulsory course on the uses of computer for the learners right from their first year of admission so as to develop their computer literacy and skills. Similarly, distance learning tutors should be encouraged to conduct their teaching mostly through electronic mail. This can be subsequently complemented with face-to-face conventional method.
Key words: Teaching, learning, E-mail, Distance-learner, Nigeria