ArticlePDF Available

Internet use among university students in Kenya: a case study of the University of Nairobi


Abstract and Figures

This study investigated Internet usage among students at the University of Nairobi using a quantitative case study design. A questionnaire-based survey was done among 381 students while face-to-face interviews were conducted with the university’s library staff. The research findings indicate that the students' level of awareness of the Internet services offered at the university was high. The students had good basic computer and Internet skills; however, they lacked more advanced skills and this negatively affected their use of Internet resources. The students used the Internet for various purposes, including to study, teach and do research; to communicate; and for social interaction. The major recommendations of the study include providing formal Internet training and adequate facilities; implementing a better, inclusive policy on Internet use; and better co-ordinated university efforts. Free Internet access should be made available to all members of the university community.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Internet use among university students in
Kenya: a case study of the University of
Mercy Waithaka, Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha
and Patrick Ngulube
Mercy Waithaka
University of Nairobi
Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha
Department of Information Science
University of South Africa
Patrick Ngulube
Department of Interdisciplinary Research
University of South Africa
This study investigated Internet usage among students at the University of
Nairobi using a quantitative case study design. A questionnaire-based survey
was done among 381 students while face-to-face interviews were conducted
with the university’s library staff. The research findings indicate that the
students' level of awareness of the Internet services offered at the university was
high. The students had good basic computer and Internet skills; however, they
lacked more advanced skills and this negatively affected their use of Internet
resources. The students used the Internet for various purposes, including to
study, teach and do research; to communicate; and for social interaction. The
major recommendations of the study include providing formal Internet training
and adequate facilities; implementing a better, inclusive policy on Internet use;
and better co-ordinated university efforts. Free Internet access should be made
available to all members of the university community.
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 46
Keywords: Internet use, information needs, online databases, e-journals, social
networking sites, computer-mediated communication, user studies, University
of Nairobi
Introduction and background to the study
The Internet is arguably one of the most significant technological developments
of the late 20th century. It is a tool for information dissemination and a medium
for collaborative interaction among individuals and between individuals and
their computers without regard to the geographical limitations associated with
space (Leiner et al 2000). The Internet has transformed all facets of human life
since it became globally accessible to the public in the 1990s. Luambano and
Nawe (2004: 16-19) confirm that the Internet has become an important
component of academic institutions as it plays a pivotal role in meeting the
information needs of these institutions. They sum up the importance and
benefits of the Internet as follows:
It increases access to information all over the world.
It provides scholars and academic institutions with an avenue to
disseminate information to a wider audience worldwide.
It enables scholars and students at different locations on the globe to
exchange ideas on various fields of study.
It has enabled the growth of distant learning, both within nations and
across international borders.
It provides students and lecturers with a communication system that
they can use to communicate with each other irrespective of distance.
According to De Fleur and Dennis (2002: 42), academics (including scientists
and professors) use the Internet extensively and this explains why educational
institutions were early adopters of the Internet. Dawson (2005) explains that the
strengths of the Internet for academic work include currency of online
information sources, accessibility to multimedia resources, and information that
is not limited by distance or time constraints. With improved Internet
connectivity, academic institutions in developing countries are tapping into the
many opportunities offered by modern information societies (INASP 2003).
The increased use of the Internet in academic institutions worldwide means that
educational researchers recognise the significance of, and understand how and
why target groups (including the students), use it. Studies on Internet usage
among university students are desirable as students are heavy Internet users
(compared to the general population) and using the Internet is a matter of daily
routine for them (Jones and Madden 2002). In order for students to make
47 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
effective use of the Internet, students must know the services and the resources
that are available on the Internet and what they are used for. These services
include Computer Mediated Communications (CMC) which constitutes e-mail,
chat rooms, instant messaging (IM), the World Wide Web (WWW), Internet
relay chat, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Usenet Newsgroups, Listservs and
Social Networking Sites (SNS) among others. Some of the resources that are
found on the Internet are e-journals, e-books, e-newspapers and online
Research problem and purpose of the study
Many academic institutions are rapidly adopting information and
communication technologies (ICTs), including the Internet infrastructure.
Kenyan institutions have followed suit. However, studies have shown that while
students in Kenya use the Internet extensively, it is rarely used to further their
academic or educational goals as expected in this information technology age.
For example, a study by Wambilyanga (2002:39) revealed that the youth in
Nairobi did not consider the Internet as an academic hub while Kwanya
(2005:36) found that most of the students who participated in the study did not
visit websites for academic purposes. Jones and Madden (2002:23), too,
observed that it is not surprising that university students use the Internet more as
a medium for social communication than for academic purposes. Seboru (2015)
concurs with Jones and Madden and reports that students in Kenyan universities
and particularly on the University of Nairobi’s main campus, use the Internet
for socialisation.
Another development that has been promoted by tertiary institutionsadoption
of ICTs is the provision of electronic resources or digital resources (e-
resources). Academic libraries, and especially university libraries, subscribe to
these e-resources as additional resources to their print-based ones. However, it
is discouraging to note that e-resources are not adequately utilised. In a study on
college students’ use of the Internet in the library, Jones and Madden (2002)
found that the students used the Internet for e-mail, IM and Web surfing. There
are several reasons why students use the Internet inadequately or ineffectively,
but the major reason is lack of skills to use Internet resources (Luambano and
Nawe 2004:13-17).
According to these authors, insufficient awareness of internet resources that
could enhance learning and students’ lack of motivation were attributed to
lecturers not encouraging them (the students) to use internet resources.
Lecturers, instead, emphasised print resources and this was one of the reasons
for minimal internet usage. Mutula (2001:36) also points out that in East Africa,
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 48
users are not taught the necessary skills to use the Internet effectively. Jones and
Madden (2002:33) further observe that although academic resources are offered
online, students may not yet have been taught, or have not figured out how, to
locate these resources. It is also important to note that many people still think of
the Internet as simply a tool for e-mail communication and not for other Web-
based applications (CIDCM 1998).
It is therefore evident and disappointing to note that although there are increased
efforts by universities to provide Internet services and e-resources to students,
few students use them to further their academic goals. This has caused a lot of
concern to university administrators as well as library administrators. It also
causes concern to those who are involved in designing e-learning websites and
other internet-based resources. As Kwanya (2005: 38) acknowledges, if students
do not fully utilise the internet and e-resources that are available in the libraries,
the efforts invested in their development and provision are in vain. Simply put,
it is a waste of resources.
As a result, this study sought to examine the usage of the Internet among
university students in Kenya with special reference to the University of Nairobi
(UoN) by:
Ascertaining the level of students’ awareness of the Internet services
offered by the UoN
Assessing students’ skills in accessing the Internet services
Determining the factors affecting students’ effective use of the Internet
Examining the use of different types of Internet applications (for example
e-mail, social networking tools, the WWW and search engines)
Establishing the kind of information students look for on the Internet
Establishing the problems students experience in their efforts to use the
Internet services.
Research methodology
A quantitative case study design was adopted to conduct the study. A case study
is defined as a research design that provides a detailed story of the case under
investigation or study (Hancock 2002; Johnson and Christensen 2004; Key
1997; Myers 2007; Tellis 1997; Bryman 2012). The case study design was
deemed appropriate for the study as its application was meant to yield an in-
depth analysis of the case under investigation. The case of study was the UoN.
49 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
The study targeted 50 000 students and 89 professional library workers. The
students were drawn from all the six colleges (see Table 1) that constitute the
UoN. Due to the large population in each college, a stratified sampling
technique was used to select a sample from each college. The stratified
sampling technique allowed the researchers to exercise some control over the
selection of the sampleto guarantee that the crucial people were covered and
in the proportion that they existed in the wider population (Johnson and
Christensen 2004:207).
The students were grouped into the colleges in which they were enrolled. The
university registry office was very helpful in the identification of the target
population as it provided the list of all students according to colleges.
Ultimately, a sample of 381 students (both under-graduate and post-graduate)
was selected using Krejcie and Morgan’s (1970) formula for determining a
sample size from a given population at a 95% confidence level, as advised by
Ngulube (2005:135). Ngulube (2005:135) argues that “a sampling error of 3%
and a 95% confidence level mean that we can be 95% confident that the
population resembles the sample.
In addition, a purposive sampling technique was used to select six library
workers who were thought to be closely associated with the provision of
Internet or Internet-related services in the library. The library workers
comprised the e-resources librarian, the ICT librarian, two senior library
assistants in charge of the Internet/e-resources laboratory, the Internet
laboratory assistant, and the systems librarian. Data collection was done by
using questionnaires which were administered among the students and
conducting interviews with the six library workers. A total of 381
questionnaires were distributed to the selected students in each College of the
UoN (see Table 1).
The respondents were asked to complete the questionnaires and to return them
to the issue desk of their respective college libraries. A total of 264
questionnaires were completed and returned, thereby accounting for a 69.3%
response rate. The quantitative data was analysed and presented according to the
objectives of the study and the qualitative data obtained through the interviews
was analysed thematically according to the research objectives.
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 50
Table 1: Distribution of respondents according to Colleges of the UoN
No of
Number of
Education and External Studies (CEES)
Humanities and Social Studies (CHSS)
Biological and Physical Sciences (CBPS)
Health Sciences (CHS)
Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS)
Architecture and Engineering (CAE)
Results and discussion
The findings are presented and discussed in line with the research objectives
outlined above, namely:
Level of students’ awareness of the Internet services offered by the UoN
Students’ skills in accessing the Internet services
Factors affecting students’ effective use of the Internet services
Use of different types of Internet applications (for example e-mail, social
networking tools, the WWW and search engines)
Type of information students look for on the Internet
Challenges students face in their efforts to use the Internet services.
Respondents’ profiles
Respondents were asked to provide details about their college affiliation (Table
1), level of study, gender, and age bracket. Regarding the academic status and
level of study of students, 68 (26.0%) respondents were postgraduate students
while 196 (74.0%) were undergraduate students. This distribution is not unusual
as universities, world over, offer more undergraduate programmes than post-
graduate. In the postgraduate category, 11 respondents (16.2%) were pursuing
doctoral degrees, 37 (54.4%) were pursuing a masters degree while 20 (29.6%)
were postgraduate diploma students. In the undergraduate category, 10.2% of
the students were in their first year of study, 28.6% students were in their
second year, 31.6% students were in their third year and 29.6% of the students
were in their fourth year of study. In terms of the composition of the students
according to gender, 184 (70.0%) were male, 72 (27.0%) were female and eight
(3.0%) did not specify their gender. The age group distribution of the
respondents was as follows: 16-20 (122 or 46.2%), 21-25 (78 or 29.5%), 26-30
(48 or 18.1%), 31-35 (12 or 4.5%) and 36+ (4 or 1.5%).
51 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Level of students’ awareness of the Internet services offered by
the UoN
It was found that all 264 students were aware of the Internet services offered at
the UoN. The largest number of students (105 or 39.5%) indicated that they
learned about the services through the library orientation programme and library
staff, while 55 (20.8%) and 44 (16.7%) learned of the Internet’s existence
through fellow students and notice boards, respectively. It is gratifying to note
that the library was actively engaged in creating awareness of the Internet. The
high rate of awareness of Internet services among students aligns with the
findings reported in related studies (Kaur and Verma 2008; Moghaddam and
Talawar 2008).
However, similar studies reported by Hinson and Amidu (2005) and Sinha
(2008) found a low level of Internet awareness among students in Ghana and
India, respectively. Note is taken that the reported studies were conducted more
than nine years ago and therefore may not account for recent changes in Internet
access and use. The interviews conducted among the library workers revealed
that the library was well aware that students’ awareness would increase Internet
usage as observed by Asemi and Riyahiniya (2007). The library workers stated
that the library provided awareness of the Internet services through library open
days, orientation programmes, digital banners and posters.
Students’ competencies and skills in using computers and the
Table 2 indicates that most of the respondents, accounting for 72.8%,
considered themselves as having good to very good computer skills. The same
trend was reported for Internet skills, with 67.8% of the respondents saying that
they had either good or very good Internet skills. This suggests that those
students who had good computer skills also had good Internet skills.
Table 2: Students’ level of competencies/skills in using computers and the Internet (N=264)
Computer skills
Internet skills
Very good
Not sure
Very poor
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 52
Contrary to this study’s findings about the possession of skills on the part of
students, Makori (2013), in his study on the use of ICTs in education and
training of undergraduate students in two selected universities in Kenya, found
that the students lacked preferred ICT knowledge, competencies and skills that
are important in the modern environment. He outlined the areas in which the
students lacked knowledge, competencies, and skills and these included Web
technologies, information programming, software development, distribution
systems, virtual libraries, and digital information systems.
When asked how they acquired the skills to use computers and the Internet,
most of the students reported that they were either self-taught (112 or 42.4%) or
learned these skills from colleagues. The rest of the respondents (84 or 31.8%)
were trained in-house in courses organised by the university or by the library.
Related studies reported in Al-Ansari (2006) and Ngulube et al (2009) concur
that Internet users often learn how to use the Internet on their own. It is evident
that self-training or assistance from colleagues is the mainstay for learning how
to use the Internet whereas formal training played a minor role. It could be that
formal training programmes were not properly marketed or their scheduled
times may not have been convenient for the students. Self-taught methods have
their limitations since the students are often not exposed to various aspects of
network literacy and only learn basic skills that help them to use the Internet in
a limited manner.
Concerning the respondentscompetence in handling various tasks on the
Internet and computers, in general, most respondents had good basic computer
literacy skills and were good at downloading, saving and printing information as
reflected in Table 3. As these are tasks that do not require a lot of technical
training and can be self-taught, it could explain the reliance on the self-taught
mode of learning on how to use computers and the Internet. Library workers
who were interviewed in this study supported this observation as do related
studies (Kamonde 2003; Njiraine 2000). However, in areas such as search skills
and strategies in using information gateways, using search engines, evaluating
information and Web design, most respondents indicated that they were not
confident in using them.
53 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Table 3: Competencies and skills in handling Internet and other computer tasks (N=264)
Basic computer skills
42 (15.9%)
70 (26.5%)
152 (57.6%)
Using internet search engines
136 (51.5%)
55 (20.8%)
73 (27.7%)
Using subject information gateways
178 (67.4%)
48 (18.2%)
38 (14.4%)
Information evaluation
134 (50.8%)
78 (29.5%)
52 (19.7%)
Web design
134 (50.8%)
52 (19.7%)
78 (29.5%)
Downloading and saving information
18 (6.8%)
40 (15.2%)
206 (78.0%)
Printing information
32 (12.1%)
50 (18.9%)
182 (69.0%)
Search skills and strategies
180 (68.2%)
50 (18.9%)
34 (12.9%)
Use of databases
160 (60.6%)
68 (25.8%)
36 (13.6%)
When the respondents were asked whether the UoN should train students on
how to use computers and the Internet, all the respondents (students and library
workers) answered in the affirmative. The following were listed as the key areas
in which students should receive further training: information searching, using
subject information gateways, using databases, using search engines, evaluation
of information for reliability, accuracy and validity, and web design. It is worth
noting that these desired areas of training proved to be the areas in which they
lacked competence. The studies of Kamonde (2003) and Al-Ansari (2006)
agree with these findings.
Access to Internet services in the library and other sites within
the UoN
The questions on access focused on the spaces as well as the technological
devices that students used to access the Internet services.
Spaces used by students to access the Internet
It was found that all the students had an “avenue” or space to access the Internet
(see Table 4). Some of them accessed the Internet from personal offices (26 or
9.8%); others from departmental offices (78 or 29.5%); 122 (46, 2%) from the
library; 258 (97.7%) from cyber cafés; eight (3%) from home and 10 (3.8%)
during laboratory workshops. The results show that almost half of the students
accessed the Internet from the library placing the library second to cyber cafés
as the most frequented place for access.
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 54
Table 4: Avenues used by students to access the Internet (N=264)
Access point
Cyber café
Departmental office
Personal office
Apparently, there are students who accessed the Internet from both the library
and cyber cafés. The use of the Internet cafés may be attributed to the use of the
Internet services in the library being limited to two hours per session per
student. It is likely that after the two hours elapse, some students would go to a
cyber café where the only limitation they could face is the cost (and not time).
Another limitation as far as accessing the Internet services in the library is
concerned is limited points of access and equipment.
This latter aspect was raised by the library workers who indicated that the
library only had a limited number of networked computers that could offer
Internet services. Not only did the interviewees report a limited number of
computers but they also said that the space was too small to accommodate a
large number of students. The fact that only a few respondents accessed the
Internet from home speaks volumes about the economic status of most of them.
The respondents who had access to the Internet from their personal office were
found to be students as well as employees or workers. Similar findings were
reported in the studies conducted by Luambano and Nawe (2004), Okello-
Obura and Magara (2008) and Kamonde (2003) suggesting that not much has
changed, which is a pity.
It is likely that the pattern of Internet access and more particularly through the
Internet cafés may have changed as most people can now access the Internet
using their smart phones and tablets. Furthermore, the cost of using the Internet
through cyber cafés is exorbitant as reported by students. When asked how
much money the students spent on Internet access per month through cyber
cafés, more than 62% of the respondents said that they spent over US $5 on
Internet access per month and the rest (more than 35%) spent between 100 and
500 shillings per month. Although this cost seems to be little, it is still high for
most students who come from poor families. The researchers believe that the
cost can be alleviated if the facilities at the UoN are improved to cater for a
larger student population and this would include creating more WIFI hot spots
on campus for flexible access to the Internet
55 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Technological devices that students use to access the
It was found that the largest number of students (106 or 40.2%) used desktop
computers and laptops to access the Internet, a situation that can be attributed to
the fact that the Internet laboratory from where the students accessed the
Internet comprised desktop computers only. The respondents who reported that
they were using laptops (83 or 31.4%) used them to access the Internet through
the few network points provided in the library and through remote access if
their laptops had been configured to the settings of the UoN proxy. The
respondents who accessed the Internet from their mobile phones totalled 65
(24.6%). This low percentage could be explained by the cost factor since the
students had to buy data bundles to access the Internet. Only 3.8% of the
respondents used iPads. Once again, this figure speaks volumes about the
economic status of most of the respondents, who could not afford such
expensive devices as iPads and other tablets.
Utilisation of the Internet
In order to assess the utilisation of the Internet by students, several questions
focusing on the following areas were posed: length of time spent on the
Internet; length of time needed to satisfactorily use the Internet; purpose of
using the Internet; frequency of Internet use; search engines most commonly
used; perceived usefulness of the Internet; and impact of Internet use on
students’ academic work.
Students’ experience in using the Internet
The study sought to determine for how long the respondents had been using the
Internet in order to determine the students’ experience in using the Internet. It
was revealed that most of the respondents (81.1%) had used the Internet for a
period of three to five years; the rest (that is 50 or 18.9%) had used the Internet
for a period of one to three years. In his study Kamonde (2003) found that most
of the respondents had used the Internet for only two years and this could be
attributed to the fact that the Internet was still a myth for many people at the
time. Attitudes towards the Internet have changed and it has become routine for
most students. The Internet is no longer a mystery as it was in the 1990s and
early 2000s. Furthermore, the emergence of smart phones and other devices has
revolutionised the use of the Internet.
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 56
Forms of Internet services most commonly used at the UoN
Table 5 presents the findings on the frequency with which students use the
Internet and its resources/applications. Email, the WWW, own library OPAC
and e-journals were the services and/or resources most used on a daily basis.
The least used services were discussion groups, online databases and
downloading software. The heavy usage of the aforementioned services and/or
resources on a daily basis may be a reflection of the type of skills and/or
competencies that students possess or the necessity of the services and/or
Although it was found that students lacked the skills to perform more complex
tasks on the Internet, it is likely that students did not consider some of the listed
services and/or resources as necessary. Previously published studies (see Adika
2003; Nasir-Uddin 2003; and Nyamboga, Ongonda and Raymond 2004) have
also noted students’ preference for emails, the WWW, and e-resources over
other services and/or resources offered through the Internet. The library workers
who were interviewed confirmed that students preferred the aforementioned
services. In fact, the library workers have concentrated their training lessons on
the students’ usage of these services and/or resources.
Table 5: Frequency with which students use the Internet tools and its resources (N=264)
178 (67.4%)
32 (121%)
28 (10.6%)
24 (9.1%)
214 (81. 1%)
23 (8.7%)
18 (6.8%)
9 (3.4%)
Discussion groups
28 (10.6%)
44 (16.7%)
22 (8.3%)
42 (15.9%)
128 (48.5%)
Own library
202 (76.5%)
28 (10.6%)
21 (8.0%)
13 (4, 9%)
Other library
12 (4, 5%)
14 (5.3%)
58 (22.0%)
180 (68.2%)
Online databases
45 (17.0%)
55 (20.8%)
48 (18.2%)
52 (19.7%)
64 (24.2%)
152 (57.6%)
98 (37.1%)
4 (1.5%)
Gateways (SBIGs)
264 (100.0%)
8 (3.0%)
21 (8.0%)
24 (9.1%)
193 (73.01%)
Purposes for which students use the Internet
57 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
The study noted a high response rate from students who use the Internet for
communication purposes (134 or 50.8%), research (128; 48.5%), and teaching
(102 or 38.6%). The interviews with the library staff members reported similar
patterns. The researchers are of the opinion that students identified research,
teaching and learning as well as communication as most of their activities as
students revolve around these activities (see Kamonde 2003; Al-Ansari 2006;
and Kaur and Verma 2008).
It is, however, unclear why students picked teaching in high numbers as this
was thought to be a preserve of educators. It might be that teaching was selected
by mature students, or students studying towards qualifications in the subject
field/s of education (see Table 1). It is mandatory for students studying for
education-based qualifications, e.g. Bachelor of Education to undergo
experiential training/teaching practice or fieldwork as they carry out their
studies at the university.
Time required by students to effectively use the Internet for
academic purposes
As mentioned above, the library’s Internet access is limited to two hours per
session and this might have led students to heavily use Internet cafés. Further,
note is taken that searching for information on the Internet is tedious and
sometimes leads to frustration due to information overload or slow Internet
connectivity. In view of this, the study sought to find out how much Internet
access time the respondents required to adequately perform academic searches.
The results revealed that most of the respondents (i.e. 245 or 92.8%) needed at
least three hours of Internet access to do a meaningful academic search. Of
these, 113 (42.8%) indicated they needed three hours, 97 (36.7%) needed four
hours, while 35 (13.3%) indicated they needed five hours. The students
responses show that the two hours limit offered by the library for Internet access
per session is far from enough for an academic search. Only 6.1% of the
respondents indicated that they needed two hours, while 1% indicated that one
hour was enough.
Moreover, it has been noted in previous studies (for example, Seboru 2015) that
most students (that is, 66.5%) at the University of Nairobi log onto the Internet
five times and beyond per day. Students are increasingly relying on Internet
connectivity to carry out several activities for various purposes, including
academic work, research or socialising.
Students’ use of search engines
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 58
It is now common for one to consult search engines (and more so Google) as the
first step in a search for information. It was therefore deemed necessary to find
out the frequency of search engine usage. Students were asked to state how
often they consulted a list of search engines for information on the Internet.
The frequencies with which the respondents used various search engines are
shown in Table 6. The most popular search engines were Google and Yahoo.
Burns (2007) and Hock (2007) mention several reasons for Google’s
phenomenal popularity and success. Google is the largest of all the commercial
search engines. In conjunction with this, the internal algorithm for the relevance
ranking of retrieved results is based on the popularity of previous use. The user-
friendly, uncluttered simplicity of Google's interface also contributes to its
The respondents used the other search engines much less and this may be
attributed to the popularity of Google and Yahoo. The results of this study were
not totally contrary to those of Al-Ansari's study (2006), which found that
Yahoo (which scored second in this study) was more popular than Google. The
preference of Google has also been reported by Asemi (2005) and Kaur and
Verma (2008) meaning that its popularity has not changed.
Table 6: Frequency of using search engines (N=264)
Frequency of
Info Seek
Value and impact of Internet use on students’ academic work
In order to gauge the uses and value of the Internet, the respondents were asked
to estimate the percentage of their information needs that were satisfied through
the use of the Internet as well as the impact of the Internet use on their academic
work. The findings were as follows: 18.2% of the respondents indicated that
less than 10.0% of their information needs were met through the Internet; 46.2%
indicated that 11.0% to 50% of their information needs were met through the
59 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Internet; while 35.6% of the students indicated that over 50% of their
information needs were met through the Internet.
It is certainly encouraging to acknowledge that the Internet has become a real
alternative source of information for students’ academic work as opposed to the
reliance on class notes and textbooks. In terms of satisfaction levels, most of the
respondents (that is, 84.0%) agreed or strongly agreed that they preferred using
Internet resources over print resources. A small percentage of the respondents
(that is, 14%) disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The
preference for the Internet will have far-reaching implications for the library
which is the main official Internet provider in the university and may call for
new Internet access strategies at the university.
Regarding the impact of Internet use on the students’ academic work, it was
found that the Internet had a positive impact. Out of the 264 students who
responded to this question, 209 (79.1%) indicated that using the Internet helped
them to access quality and up-to-date information, 128 (48.5%) indicated that
the Internet speeded up completing and receiving assignments, 107 (40.5%)
indicated that the Internet had improved their communication with lecturers and
184 (69.7%) indicated the Internet had helped them to share information. The
most useful aspect of the Internet seems to be in relation to the provision of up-
to-date information for students’ academic work. The findings further imply
that the Internet has increasingly become a very important component of
learning in the lives of students.
Finally, the study sought to find out how reliable the students found the
information from the Internet to be when compared to other sources. The
findings reveal that while 71.2% of the 264 students who responded to this
question reported that they found Internet resources reliable or very reliable, and
28.8% were either not sure or they found the Internet to be unreliable or very
unreliable. Reliability, in this case, was taken to mean that students could rely
upon the information retrieved from the Internet to complete their academic
assignments. As a result, the majority of students considered the Internet as a
reliable tool for their academic work. The library staff members who were
interviewed in this study concurred with students by observing that students
often retrieve information they need for their academic work, sometimes with
the assistance of the library workers.
Students’ use of social networking sites
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 60
As social networking sites (SNS) and Web 2.0 have become a common feature
on cell phones and tablets and whereas cell phones have become very common
among all categories of people, the researchers opted to separately seek the
students’ responses on various aspects regarding their usage of SNS.
Furthermore, the researchers noted that the popularity of these sites has
increased significantly (ComScore Inc 2007; Onyancha 2015) across all age
groups, including university students. It should be noted, however, that not all
social networking sites are accessed through the Internet as in some cases the
platforms are accessed through applications, but as the results would reveal,
there was a high likelihood that whenever some students visited the Internet, the
students would also visit a social networking site.
Firstly, the study sought to find out the type of social media that students have
accounts with. The findings revealed that 232 (87.9%) of the students had
Facebook accounts while 103 (39.0%) students had accounts on Twitter, 73
(27.7%) on LinkedIn, 18 (16.8%) on Flicker and 11 (4.2%) on MySpace. The
large number of students who have accounts on social networking sites was also
reported in studies conducted by Raacke and Bonds-Raacke (2008) and Salaway
and Caruso (2008). In their studies to assess the prevalence of SNS usage
among undergraduate students, the authors noted that approximately 90% of the
participants had Facebook accounts. Dodaro (2014) has observed that while
Internet penetration rate stood at 35% as at January 2014, social networking
penetration was at 26% and mobile penetration was at 93% of the 7.1 billion
people in the world. It therefore follows that majority of the people who have
accounts with social networking sites includes students. Winkel (2013), too,
observed that users “with Internet access are likely to use social media”.
When ranking the SNS in the current study, Facebook topped the list followed
by Twitter, LinkedIn, Flicker and MySpace in terms of the number of
respondents with accounts with each SNS. The results are concurrent with
world trends wherein Facebook has the largest number of followers (Winkels
2013). When asked how often they visit SNS, 148 (56.1%) of the students said
that they visited SNS four times and more daily, 81 (31.8%) visited the sites
three times daily, 22 (8.3%) visited twice daily, and about 4% of the students
visited the SNS either once daily or once a week. These findings further
reinforce the contention that whenever the students used the Internet, most of
them visited SNS, too.
Table 7: Purpose of using SNS by students (N=264)
61 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Sending messages to friends
Creating and joining groups
Writing comments on your own profile
Searching for new friends
Sharing photos
Writing comments on your friends’ profiles
Looking at profiles of other people
Having events/parties and inviting people
As far as the purpose for which the respondents used SNS is concerned, Table 7
above shows that the largest number (that is, 131 or 49.6%) used SNS to send
messages to friends, join groups (112 or 42.4%) and write comments on their
own profiles (108 or 40.9%). It is apparent from Table 7 that just on half of the
students used social media for communication purposes among peers and
sharing information. When asked to state if there were any other purposes for
which they use the SNS, the students did not offer any suggestions. It is
therefore assumed that the students rarely used social media for academic
purposes (for example, writing assignments, accessing and sharing course work)
unless this was part of sending messages to friends and the like.
It is also likely that the students, and more particularly the post-graduate
students, used social media for research purposes as observed by Cann (2011),
Bianchini (2012), Carpenter, Wetheridge and Tanner (2012), Onyancha (2015),
and Rogers (2015). The aforementioned authors have observed that social
media have become a major tool for researchers to conduct various activities
such as exchanging scientific knowledge, developing and maintaining
professional relationships, and communicating research findings.
With regard to the respondents’ perceptions of their use of SNS, Table 8 reveals
that more than half of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that using SNS
distracted them from their studies. In other words the time they spent on SNS
eroded their study time. However, the majority of the students did not believe
using SNS interfered with their studies, doing academic work or affect their
academic performance. The findings also indicated that most of the respondents
could control their SNS usage so that it did not interfere with their studies.
Table 8: Respondents’ perceptions of their use of SNS (N=264)
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 62
Survey question
Sometimes I visit SNS when I
am in class.
My grades are suffering
because of my use of SNS.
My use of SNS distracts me
from studying.
I think I am addicted to SNS.
The time I spend on SNS
means I have less study time.
I have missed class because
of being on SNS.
(12.0 %)
I am able to control my use of
SNS so that it does not
interfere with my studies.
I use SNS to communicate
with my class mates about
course-related issues.
Factors hindering effective use of the Internet at the UoN
The findings of studies by Saeed et al (2000), Ngulube et al (2009), Talja and
Maula (2003) and Oyadonghan and Eke (2011) on Internet use among students
bear similarities with those of the current study, especially with regards to the
problems the respondents encountered when using the Internet. The problems
associated with access were the most cited by the students at the UoN. The
respondents had limited access to the Internet laboratory due to its physical
location, limited hours of operation and inadequate points of use. All these
factors on access hindered the students’ effective use of, and access to, Internet
A majority (80%) of respondents further indicated that they encountered
difficulties in finding relevant information. This could be linked to their lack of
skills in terms of search techniques and strategies, which was cited by 82% of
the respondents as a challenge in using the Internet. Information overload was
cited as a problem by 70% of the respondents. This happens when the retrieved
information is too much for the user to synthesise. Another problem the
respondents identified was slow connection, which was caused by too many
users being online at the same time. Sadly, this same problem was also
identified by Njiraine (2000), Kamonde (2003), Okello-Obura and Magara
(2008), and Luambano and Nawe (2004) in their studies on Internet usage by
students. In the current study this problem resulted from the university’s
bandwidth capacity, which was low in relation to the number of students
63 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
seeking to use the Internet at the university. Many of the respondents (that is,
74%) identified the possibility of addiction as a problem in using the Internet.
This was especially true when using some Internet applications such as Web 2.0
technologies, which include SNS like Facebook, on which students tend to
spend a lot of time.
From the interviews with the library staff, it emerged that the library also
experienced challenges in providing Internet services. These included lack of
personnel, limited funding to increase bandwidth capacity and the cost of e-
resources. While some of the challenges faced when searching for information
on the Internet have been highlighted, there are others and these include power
failures, limited search skills on the part of students, and limited knowledge of
the type of information that students requires for an academic assignment (low
information literacy levels).
Conclusions and recommendations
The study focused on the use of the Internet among university students in
Kenya, with particular reference to the UoN. It can be concluded that most of
the students who participated in the study were aware of the Internet services
offered by the UoN. A majority of the students had taught themselves to use the
Internet or learned from colleagues. Formal training did not play a big role in
developing network skills. The respondents’ skills in the use of ICT tools to
access information in a networked environment were limited. Many applications
(such as blogging, video sharing and discussion groups), which may facilitate
students’ collaborative and communicative activities, were not widely used.
The study found that Google and Yahoo were the most commonly used search
engines. University students used the Internet for various reasons including
research, academic work, communication and social interaction. Network skills
and digital information literacy have become critical skills for university
students to acquire. The skills are needed for students to be discriminative
readers and competent information evaluators and to succeed in their academic
and research activities.
Academic libraries, especially university libraries, may have to be reinvented
and redesigned to remain competitive and relevant to the next generation.
Professional librarians’ skills are likely to be stretched further as the demand for
various Internet-based services increase and become more complex. Finally, the
role of academic libraries has to change to incorporate the current generation of
users’ digital information-seeking behaviour and preference for cutting-edge
digital technologies. This has implications for library planning, training,
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 64
promotion and services to ensure that libraries remain relevant to this generation
in their quest for information. University libraries should therefore provide high
quality services in the form of digital assistance, support and training to users of
the Internet and its applications in order to promote the effective and maximum
use of e-resources and to help students develop into lifelong learners, critical
thinkers and effective users of these resources.
It is advisable that both the library and university management consider ways of
improving internet accessibility, skills and infrastructure since these will help
students to compete in a world that is largely defined by the use of information
For the Internet to yield maximum benefits for the students at the UoN, the
following should be considered:
Access: Access to the Internet is paramount for students’ effective use of
the Internet and related resources, and should be considered a priority at
the UoN. Greater access to the Internet can be achieved by ensuring that
there are sufficient computers that are connected to the Internet. Besides
the main Internet laboratory, which the university already has put in
place, more Internet laboratories should be established through
decentralisation while individual initiatives by the colleges should be
Training: Skills training in the use of both the computer and the Internet
should be extended to students at all levels. The libraries should cast their
nets wider to reach the majority of the students. However, such
programmes should not be left to the library alone but should be extended
to the academic departments.
Marketing: Marketing e-resources should be intensified in all the
colleges of the UoN through such means as organised workshops, open
days of the library in conjunction with the ICT department, and through
faculty and departmental meetings where library activities are included
on the agenda. Library committees, which usually have representatives
from each department, could be used as vehicles for communicating
Technical support: Trained personnel should be available at all times
when the Internet laboratories are open so that they can assist users with
their computers and Internet usage, and any problems that may occur
while they are using the Internet.
Future research should focus on the following:
65 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
From a national perspective, a comprehensive study should be carried out
on the implications of the Internet for higher education and institutions of
higher learning in Kenya.
A study on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in higher education should form
part of the agenda for future research.
A study to evaluate the effectiveness of network literacy training
programmes that are currently offered at the UoN is necessary in order to
improve the training thereof.
Adika, G. 2003. Internet use among faculty members of the University of
Ghana. Library review 52(1): 29-37.
Al-Ansari, H. 2006. Internet use by the faculty members of Kuwait University.
Electronic library 24(6): 791-806.
Asemi, A. and Riyahiniya, N. 2007. Awareness and use of digital resources in
the library of the University of Medical Science, Iran. Electronic library 25(3):
Bianchini, L. 2012. Social networks for scientists: what social media to use for
your research activity.
networks-for-scientists Accessed 24 July 2014.
Burns, E. 2007. US search engine ranking. April 2007. Accessed 14 April 2013.
Bryman, A. 2012. Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cann, A. 2011. Social media: a guide for researchers.
researchers. Accessed 10 March 2014.
Carpenter, J., Wetheridge, L. and Tanner, S. 2012. Researchers of tomorrow:
the research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students.
of-Tomorrow.pdf Accessed 12 July 2014.
Centre for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM).
1998. The Internet in Kenya: Impacts and Development. Staff Report.
http://www/ in Kenya.pdf Accessed 14 May
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 66
ComScore Inc. 2007. Facebook sees flood of new traffic from teenagers and
adults Accessed 19
January 2011.
Dodaro, M. 2014. Social media statistics that will guide your strategy. Accessed 3 March
De Fleur, M.L. and Dennis, E.E. 2002. Understanding mass communication: a
liberal arts perspective. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Dawson, A. 2005. The impact of the internet on college students. The good, the
bad and the ugly. Paper presented at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, 13
October. Accessed 6 May 2009.
Hancock, B. 2002. Trend focus for research and development in primary health
care: an introduction to qualitative research. Accessed 7
April 2010.
Hinson, R. and Amidu, M. 2005. Internet adoption among final year students in
Ghana’s oldest business school. Library review 55(5): 314-323.
Hock, R. 2007. The extreme searcher’s internet handbook: a guide for the
serious searcher. 2nd ed. Medford, NJ: Cyberage Books.
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).
2003. Optimising internet bandwidth in developing country higher education.
INASP Infobrief 1: July.
infobrief-final.pdf Accessed 18 May 2010.
Johnson, B. and Christensen, L. 2004. Educational research: qualitative,
quantitative and mixed method approaches. Boston: Pearson.
Jones, S. and Madden, M. 2002. The internet goes to college: how students are
living the future with today’s technology. Washington DC: Pew Internet and
American Life Project.
Kamonde, R.M. 2003. The diffusion, adoption and development of ICTs for
research, teaching and communication in public universities in Kenya. MA
thesis. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.
Key, J.P. 1997 Qualitative research.
http// Accessed
on 23 February 2011.
Krejcie, RV and Morgan, DW. 1970. Determining sample size for research
activities. Educational and psychological measurements 30: 607-610.
67 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Kaur, B. and Verma, R. 2008. Use and impact of electronic journals in the
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. Electronic library 27(4): 611-622.
Kwanya, T.J.M. 2005. Uses and gratification of the World Wide Web (WWW)
among secondary school students in Kenya. MA thesis. Nairobi: University of
Leiner, B.M., Cerf, V.G., Clark, D.D., Kahn, R.E., Kheinrock, L., Lynch D.C.,
Postel, J., Roberts, L.G. and Wolf, S. 2000. A brief history of the internet. Accessed10 April 2010.
Luambano, I. and Nawe, J. 2004. Internet use by students of the University of
Dar-es-Salaam. Library high tech news 10: 13-17.
Makori, E.O. 2013. Use of information and communication technologies in
education and training of undergraduate library and information science
students at two selected Kenyan universities. Library review 62(8/9): 585-601.
Moghaddam, G.G. and Talawar, V.G. 2008. The use of scholarly electronic
journals at the Indian Institute of Science: a case study in India. Interlending
and document supply 36(1): 15-29.
Mutula, S.M. 2001. Internet access in East Africa: a future outlook. Library
review 50(1): 28-34.
Myers, D.M. 2007. Qualitative research in information systems. Management
information systems quarterly 21(2): 241-242.
Nasir-Uddin, M. 2003. Internet use by the university academics: a bipartite
study of information and communication needs. Online information review
27(1): 225-237.
Ngulube, P. 2005. Research procedures used by Master of Information Studies
students at the University of Natal in the period 1982-2002 with special
reference to their sampling techniques and survey response rates: a
methodological discourse. International information and library review 37(2):
Ngulube, P., Shezi, M. and Leach, A. 2009. Exploring network literacy among
students of St Joseph’s Theological Institute in South Africa. South African
journal of libraries and information science 75(1): 58-69.
Njiraine, D.M. 2000. Underutilisation of internet services by university staff
members: a study of University of Nairobi and United States International
University (Kenya). MA thesis. Makere: Makerere University.
Waithaka, Onyancha and Ngulube: Internet use among university students 68
Nyamboga, C.M., Ongonda, M.A. and Raymond, W. 2004. Experiences in the
use of the internet at Egerton University library, Njoro, Kenya. DESIDOC
bulletin of information technology 24(5): 11-21.
Okello-Obura, C. and Magara E. 2008. Assessment of the problems LIS
postgraduate students face in accessing e-resources in Makerere University,
Uganda. Collection building 29(3): 98-105.
Onyancha, O.B. 2015. Social media and research: an assessment of the
coverage of South African universities in ResearchGate, Web of Science and
Webometrics ranking of world universities. South African journal of libraries
and information science 81(1): 8-20.
Oyadonghan, J.C. and Eke, FM. 2011. Factors affecting students’ use of
information technology: a comparative study of Federal University of
Technology and Niger Delta University. Library philosophy and practice.
htpp:// Accessed 11 November 2011.
Raacke, J. and Bonds-Raacke, J. 2008. MySpace and Facebook: applying the
uses and gratifications theory to exploring friend-networking sites. Cyber
psychology and behaviour 11(2): 169-172.
Rogers, S.S. 2015. How do scientists share on academic social networks like
academic-social-networks-like-researchgate/ Accessed 1 April 2015.
Saeed, H., Asghar, M., Anwar, M. and Ramzam, M. 2000. Internet use in
university libraries in Pakistan. Online information reviews 24(2): 154-160.
Salaway, G. and Caruso, J.B. 2008. The ECAR study of undergraduate students
and information technology.
htpp:// SO808W.pdf Accessed
1 November 2011.
Seboru, K.A. 2015. Influence of Internet technologies use on socialization
among the youth: a case of undergraduate students at University of Nairobi
main campus.
Accessed 23 July 2016.
Sinha, M.K. 2008. Information communication technology (ICT) and internet
awareness amongst the college and university teachers. International calibre
(6): 94-103.
69 Innovation no. 57, December 2018
Talja, S. and Maula, H. 2003. Reasons for the use and non-use of electronic
journals and databases: Aadomain analytic study in four scholarly disciplines.
Journal of documentation 59(6): 573-569.
Tellis, W. 1997. Introduction to case study. Qualitative report 3(2): 1-5.
Wambilyanga, F.W. 2006. ICT and society: an exploratory survey on the role of
the internet on knowledge acquisition among Nairobi youth. MA research
project. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.
Winkels, M. 2013. The global social network landscape: a country-by-country
guide to social network usage.
social-network-landscape.html Accessed 5 June 2014.
... According to Ehikhamenor (2003), non-use of internet in Nigeria is often attributed to the problems of accessibility and cost. This finding is consistent with that of Ani (2010) and Waithaka (2013) in which most of the respondents indicated they accessed the internet from the cybercafés. This study also agrees with Adekunmisi et al. (2013) who reported that the universities under study lacked internet facilities and the students accessed internet facilities from the privately-owned cybercafés. ...
... The result is summarized in Table 7. The finding of this study agrees with that of Khan et al. (2011) and Waithaka (2013) who reported that majority of the respondents specified they required 1 to 2 h. ...
... The findings of Mishra (2009), Ani (2010 and Anasi (2006) on the use of the internet among university students in Nigeria is similar to the findings of this study regarding the challenges encountered in using the internet. From the result in Table 8, it is evident that erratic power, inadequate internet access in school, and high cost of browsing are part of the crucial challenges faced in (2010) and Waithaka (2013) in their studies on internet use. The findings of this study also agree with that of Adekunmisi et al. (2013) who reported high cost of browsing, slow internet speed, inadequate browsing skills, overload of information and power outage as the problems encountered by students of Olabisi Onabanjo University in the use of internet. ...
Full-text available
The internet technology over the past few decades has become an important tool in higher education for learning, teaching and research. The study investigated the internet activities engaged in, frequency of use of the internet and challenges limiting the use of the internet among the undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. A survey research design was adopted. A close-ended questionnaire was used to collect data from 300 undergraduate students. Findings were analysed using descriptive statistics and the result indicated that the respondents had good computer skills and used the internet for various activities which vary across faculty of study. The respondents were dissatisfied with the high cost of accessing the internet and inadequate internet facilities. The major recommendation of the study is the provision of basic internet training for the students; equipping the university with adequate internet facilities; regular power supply and free internet access to all university students.
... ind information. Ani (2010) studied how undergraduate students at Nigerian universities used the Internet. The survey found that undergraduate students in Nigerian universities extensively utilize the Internet. These studies demonstrated the widespread everyday Internet use among college students for communication, leisure, and academic objectives.Waithaka et al., (2018) investigated how University of Nairobi students used the Internet. The study's conclusions show that students were highly aware of the university's Internet services and that they frequently used them for socializing, communicating, and conducting research.Apuke & Iyendo (2018) investigated how students at three Northern universities us ...
... This demonstrates that the institution offers Internet services to its staff and students to improve teaching, research, and learning. This result is consistent with that ofWaithaka et al., (2018), who discovered that students at the University of Nairobi had access to the Internet on campus. The results of research questions two and three showed that the majority of students regularly utilize the Internet for learning purposes, personal growth, and enjoyment. ...
The study looked at how students at the University of Africa, Toru-Orua (UAT), in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, used the Internet. A descriptive survey approach was chosen, and the study’s execution was driven by five research questions. The population of the study consisted of 1300 undergraduate students, and the Taro Yamane sample size algorithm was used to select the sample size, which was set at 300 students. The instrument for gathering data was the questionnaire. Experts in research techniques and statistics approved the questionnaire. The instrument’s dependability was determined using Cronbach Alpha, which produced a result of 0.87. Frequency counts and simple percentages were used to examine the data. The research found that the majority of students have access to Internet services on campus and that most of them regularly utilize those services for learning, personal development, and pleasure. The findings also showed that most students choose to use the university library’s Internet services and that obstacles to efficient use of these services included slow Internet speed, unpredictable power supply, weak information retrieval skills, and issues identifying relevant information. The researchers’ recommendations were based on the findings, and they included an upgrade to the institution’s electrical infrastructure, Internet infrastructure, and the provision of Internet access in the students’ dorms to maintain its efficient Internet services. The university library should also instruct students in digital literacy to enhance their search techniques and strategies.
... In Kenya, Waithaka (2013) observed that students used the internet extensively for social communication at the expense of academic purposes and that subscribed electronic resources were not adequately utilized. A study of network literacy and its influence on a similar population would therefore help unravel why such situations still abound despite stepped up information literacies in academic institutions (Kingori, Chege & Kemoni, 2012). ...
... A network literate student can be described as one with capacity to effectively utilize resources available over the internet. Despite huge investment and sensitization on usage of electronic resources, instances of inadequate utilization still abound, partly due to lack of relevant adequate skills that can be applied in the networked environment (Waithaka, 2013). This is despite concerted efforts by universities to sensitize every new student on access and use of electronic resources through orientation programmes (Muhia, 2015;Kingori, Njiraine & Maina, 2016). ...
Full-text available
Libraries acquire and facilitate access to electronic information resources that support core functions of universities they serve. Despite substantial investments by universities in infrastructures and resources to facilitate access to electronic resources, studies have revealed that these resources are at times not optimally utilized as expected. Network literacy is defined as the knowledge of web-based information resources, ability to effectively use ICT tools to access resources available online, ability to judge the relevance of information retrieved, and capability to use computer-mediated communication tools to manage or utilize the accessed information. The purpose of this study was to assess network literacy and utilization of electronic resources among Kabarak University students in Kenya and consequently provide some insight into usage of networked resources at the university. Objectives of the study entailed assessing users’ awareness of internet applications and utilization of electronic resources; assessing users’ awareness of Social Networking Sites (SNS) and utilization of electronic resources, establishing the levels of user awareness of electronic resources available at Kabarak University, evaluating users’ competencies in using electronic resources and establishing challenges encountered in utilizing electronic resources at Kabarak University. The study was anchored on the Digital Library model that depicts users’ interaction with networked environments, taking into consideration the various systems involved. The study was undertaken at Kabarak University main campus library. Stratified sampling was used to segregate students and librarians whose opinions were also sought on matters covered by the study. Simple random sampling was used to select students for the study while purposive sampling was employed to select resourceful librarians for the research. The study adopted a descriptive research design and used an approach where qualitative and quantitative data were gathered using a set of structured questionnaires that contained open and close ended questions based on objectives that guided the study. The questionnaires were first pilot – tested at Moi University Eldoret Town campus to determine their validity and also subjected to Cronbach’s Alpha reliability test to determine that acceptable internal reliability levels were attained. These questionnaires were then directly issued to the selected respondents. Analysis of the collected data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software version 23 and thereafter, responses arranged in themes as appropriate. Frequencies and percentage distributions were used to highlight patterns in the data and facilitate interpretation. Among the findings was that students were aware of existence of electronic resources though some of them were not aware of what these electronic resources entailed specifically, and that among the greatest challenges they faced in using the electronic resources were slow internet connectivity speeds and inadequate points of accessing the internet. The study also established that the library relied majorly on orientation to sensitize students on electronic resources. Reinforcement and regularly conducting orientation programmes were recommended as a means of promoting network literacy at the University.
... By following the scrutiny of Howell and Rogers (2013) on the shallow utilization of online store patronage in the literature, this current study adopts a differentiated strategy in characterizing and, in this way, operationalizing online shopping patronage. From its Latin roots, patronage refers to the close connection between a patron and their customer (Waithaka, 2013). Regarding online shopping, the patron refers to the customer and the customer to the online company, or all the more particularly the online company's indications, for example, a physical store or website (Darden et al., 2015). ...
The advent of the internet has given rise to the new era of e-commerce which is the trading of information, goods, and services via the internet leading to the growth of online shopping or e-shopping (Klakota & Whinston, 2008). Online business has grown very fast due to numerous preferences related to purchasing on the web due to lower transactions and inquiry costs when contrasted with different types of shopping. Through online shopping, consumers can purchase more quickly, have more alternatives, and order products and services with relatively minimal value (Cuneyt & Gautam, 2004). Along these lines, Marketers have painstakingly examined the consumers' behavior towards online shopping and spent billions of dollars to facilitate all the demographics of online customers.This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of online shopping and patronage for online stores, specifically among customers of the Philippines e-commerce giant website-, and to identify those variables that satisfy them and increase their patronage. This should enable online store merchants to identify the most effective ways of closing gaps between effectiveness and patronage of online customers and choose which gaps to focus on.The outcome of this study will be necessary to online marketers, sellers, and investors in that it will help them formulate policies, frameworks, and marketing strategies that will enhance online shopping penetration and its effectiveness in the Philippines. Additionally, findings from this study may also help retailers improve the quality of their services to consumers. The study may inevitably add knowledge to the research area of online shopping and e-commerce in the country by providing an up-to-date assessment of the sector.
... Secondly, internet usage is being incorporated in learning organizations towards enhancement of research and educational work (Deusen, et al., 2015). Internet technology is greatly used in Africa and Kenya and is adopted by most universities as a means of enhancing learning (Waithaka, 2013). Like other countries, in Kenya, a great number of institutions of higher learning provide free and limitless internet to students and staff. ...
Full-text available
The objective of the study was to investigate the role of problematic internet usage in the risk of addiction to online sexual violence among undergraduate students in Kenyan universities. The study utilized Behaviourist Theory and Social Learning Theory. Ex-post facto research design was used for this study. The target population for the study was 97284 comprising all the undergraduate students in four universities and the accessible population was 2nd and 3rd year students comprising of 18911. The sample size comprised of 391 undergraduate students, 16 peer counsellors and four (4) student counsellors making a total of 411 participants. Data was collected by use of a questionnaire, an in-depth interview schedule and focus group discussion. The questionnaire was administered to undergraduate students, in-depth interview schedule was used on the student counsellors and focus group discussion was conducted among peer counsellors. Each focus group discussion comprised of four participants. Purposive sampling was used to select the universities of study. Purposive and simple random sampling was used to select the respondents. One university with similar characteristics with the sampled universities was purposively selected for piloting to ensure reliability of the research instruments. The pre-test was administered to and the instruments were modified accordingly. The reliability coefficient was online sexual violence 0.770. Descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages and means were used to analyse data. Chi square was used to test the null hypotheses while t-test was used to compare the study variables. Quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 23.
... It was also discovered that just a small fraction of students (31%) accessed the internet to do a course or education-related research. The findings match with those of Waithaka et al (2013), who discovered that impactful usage of the internet among college students is extremely low, with just 10% of students using it for educational reasons and 77.5 percent using it for enjoyment. ISSN 2330-9709 2022 This might be because students can easily be drawn to social media sites to kill boredom during their study time while searching for course-related resources on the internet. ...
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to determine how students in Middle-Level Colleges use the internet, with a special focus on the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS). The study was conducted using a descriptive research approach. The student population was determined using a purposive sample strategy, while the stratified sampling approach was utilized to divide the population into distinct subgroups (strata) based on the eight courses that students took. Both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires were used to collect relevant data. The questionnaire was tested for validity and reliability in a group of randomly selected students. Following data collection, descriptive statistics were used to examine pertinent data. To summarize the data and report the research findings, descriptive statistics such as percentages, frequencies, bar graphs, and pie charts were used. This research focused on the NIBS College, which has approximately 3000 regular students. A total of 138 people were sampled from the population to participate in the study. The majority of students, according to the report, use the internet for entertainment. For communication and pleasure, students utilize social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter at nearly the same rates. The respondents also stated that using the internet has expanded their access to more up-to-date educational information and has had a good impact on their academic efficiency. When compared to traditional materials, respondents found the Internet to be more informative. The respondents also said that the internet saved time and provided reliable information. To access the internet, most students possess and use smartphones (iPhones). They use the internet in their dorms compared to other locations on campus or at home, where internet access was unreliable. The majority of students preferred Google to other Internet services. This demonstrated that students rely extensively on Google to find current and relevant information. The vast majority believed that people do not need to be trained on how to use the internet to find information. The trial-and-error method was the most prevalent strategy for obtaining relevant Internet skills. Others sought advice from their peers or took official training given by several computer colleges to learn how to utilize the internet.
... The use of the Internet has become essential for students because it is a daily necessity for academic work (Bidin, Shamsudin, Asraf, and Sharif, 2011). Previous studies (Odell, Korgen, Schumacher and Delucchi, 2000;Otunla, 2013;Waithaka, 2013) have also reported daily use of the Internet by students. Internet usage has also been reported to be more prevalent among younger and more educated people (Bashir et al., 2008). ...
Full-text available
This chapter examines the management of e-records at Uasin-Gishu County, Kenya and assessment of its impact on service delivery in the County. The specific objectives of the study which led to the chapter were to identify the services provided by Uasin-Gishu county headquarters using electronic records; investigate how e-records are managed at Uasin-Gishu County; find out the correlation between electronic records management and service delivery at the Uasin-Gishu County headquarters; and analyse the challenges faced by Uasin-Gishu county government in the management of e-records. The study was based on the Records Continuum Model developed by Frank Upward (1980) and the Service Canada Model developed by the Canadian government (2005). It utilised a qualitative research approach based on a case study design. The study population comprised of 112 respondents drawn purposively based on their work experience in records management services in various departments of Uasin-Gishu County headquarters. The findings of the study indicate that Uasin-Gishu County headquarters generates vast volumes of paper records. It also revealed that the County headquarters faces challenges in electronic records management. Some of the challenges include poor storage of electronic records, slow retrieval of records, among other shortcomings. This has consequently affected the overall service delivery at Uasin-Gishu County due to inefficiencies. The study recommends the adoption of a comprehensive e-records management and service delivery model which links records management and service delivery. Keywords: Electronic records, Records management, Service delivery
... The availability and free access of internet in universities and the high rates of internet subscriptions through mobile phones makes university students among the highest users of internet in the country (CCK, 2014). Waithaka (2013) also found that all the university students were internet savvy and used the internet mostly for socialization and entertainment and not for academic work. This indicates that university students in Kenya are increasingly depending on the internet for their daily activities and are at risk of becoming pathological internet users. ...
Full-text available
There is a rapid growth in internet use in Kenya and especially among university students. This puts them at risk of becoming pathological internet users. This study sought to establish the relationship between depression and pathological internet use among university students in Kenya. The study used correlational design to establish the relationship between the variables. The target population was university students in Kenya. Convenience sampling was used to sample students from one public university and one private university. A total of 400 respondents participated in the study. Young’s Internet Addiction Test and Beck Depression Inventory were adapted to measure pathological internet use and depression respectively. Davis’ cognitive model of pathological internet use provided a theoretical basis for the study. Percentages and measures of central tendency were used to describe the data. The findings revealed a prevalence of 16.8% of pathological internet use and a prevalence of 23.6% of depression. Independent samples T-test was used to test for differences in pathological internet use between male and female students. The findings revealed that female students were likely to be pathological internet users compared to male students. Pearson’s product moment correlation was used to establish the relationship between depression and pathological internet use and it was found that a weak positive relationship existed between depression and pathological internet use. Based on the findings, it was concluded that there was need to identify and help the affected students exercise moderation and self control when using the internet in order for them to achieve their academic and lifetime goals. The findings of the study also provide empirical evidence on the gender differences in depression and pathological internet use which may be useful in improving counseling interventions for university students.
Full-text available
The internet has taken the new role of community through online groups where youth congregate to interact, exchange ideas and pursue interests. As they engage in self-expression and self-presentation online, it is important to understand how virtual identity is negotiated and formed in those spaces. This research analyzed online group interaction and the development of virtual identity among the youth in Nairobi County. The objectives guiding the study were: 1) To establish the extent to which the youth are part of online groups. 2) To establish the reasons that influence the youth to join online groups. 3) To determine the extent to which online group membership develops the virtual identity of the youth. The independent variable in the study is online group interaction while the dependent variable is virtual identity development. Review of literature in this research is based on various aspects of online group interaction in relation to its potentiality in forming the virtual identity of group members. The communication theory of identity (CTI) and uses and gratification theory (U&G) were adopted to form the theoretical framework for this research. The study employed a mixed method research design in which the main methods used in data collection included; Self-administered questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions, and In-depth interviews. This study comprised four focus group discussions of ten members each sampled from two Universities in Nairobi County, a young professionals group in Kasarani sub-county and a youth support group in Mwiki Nairobi, County. Eight social media experts were interviewed. A cross-sectional survey targeting the youth was conducted in two Universities in Nairobi in which 384 questionnaires were administered to the targeted respondents. The data collected was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively based on the themes derived from the objectives of this study. Quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS software, while the qualitative data was analyzed using the NVIVO software. The three-dimensional identity model by Crocetti, Rubini, & Meeus, (2008) was also used to analyze objective three of this study. Findings revealed that the independent variable of online interaction influenced the performance of users online leading to the development of a virtual identity that they are associated with. Equally the reasons for interaction online such as bonding and bridging influence the kind of self-expressions that the users exhibit online thus characterizing their virtual identity. The study concluded that because the youth are engaging online, they are performing ever-changing identities. There is therefore a need for them to be guided for positive outcomes. Equally the study made the following recommendations, firstly, online group interactions could be used positively as a platform for social interaction and change. Secondly, more online groups that address youth related matters should be created as a way of addressing this transitional stage in life. The study suggested further research in rural context and the adult segment.
Full-text available
The emergence of social media, including social networking technologies, has had a profound impact on almost all human activities. Social media’s application in research is the most recent occurrence, as the technologies have gained prominence among researchers who regard social media as an avenue for not only strengthening their own networks, but also sharing their research. This article focuses on one of the social networking services for researchers, namely ResearchGate (RG), to assess the research visibility and impact of universities in South Africa. It also examines the correlation between the universities’ ResearchGate-based metrics and Web of Science (WoS) citation statistics on the one hand, and the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities’ (WRWU) ranking on the other. Results reveal that researchers in the top-ranking South African universities have quickly moved to embrace social media; there is a high correlation between RG and WoS in terms of their coverage of papers produced by universities in South Africa; there is also a high correlation between RG and WoS in terms of impact; and ranking of universities in RG, WoS and WRWU is similarly highly correlated. Further discussions, conclusions and recommendations are provided in the paper.
Full-text available
A survey of two universities in Nigeria explored the use of information technology by students. Registered student users of FUTO and NDU library make adequate use of IT resources. However the return of duly completed questionnaire shows that 500 level students of FUTO and 400 level of students of NDU uses the IT in the library more than other levels as shown in table 1. The use of photocopying machine ranked highest amongst the student of both University. But a similar study on the use of internet and electronic resources by Dental science students at Baba Farid university of health science shows that the use of e-mail topped with 163(95.3%) out of 171 respondants, unlike the use of photocoping machine that ranked topmost in Nigeria.
Full-text available
The main purpose of this study was to explore the level of network literacy among theological students at St. Joseph's Theological Institute. The survey research method was used and the data collected through a self-administered questionnaire and an in-depth interview with the Librarian. The entire population of 188 students was surveyed; only 65 students responded. Findings revealed that the major problems facing Internet users at St. Joseph's were the shortage of computers and lack of training in the use of Internet facilities. Further, students did not use a wide variety of Internet resources, had limited skills and knowledge to access networked information resources and made limited use of computer-mediated communication tools. Recommendations concerning network literacy at the Institute were made and suggestions for further research are put forward.
Full-text available
A comprehensive and practical textbook on research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed.
Full-text available
Some findings are reported from the three-year Researchers of Tomorrow study of research behaviour among doctoral students in 'Generation Y'. Commissioned by the British Library and UK Joint Information Systems Committee, it is the most intensive study of its kind to date. Generation Y doctoral students are sophisticated information-seekers and users of complex information sources, highly competent in but not dazzled by technology and acutely aware of authority and authenticity issues in research. The study indicates heavy dependence on secondary, published resources as the basis for original research, which may have implications for research quality and the 'research apprenticeship' experience. eJournals dominate across all subject disciplines; authentication of access to and licensing limitations on subscription-based resources are a source of frustration. There is widespread lack of understanding about open access. Generation Y doctoral students are not keen users of new technology applications in their research and prefer those that do not challenge existing research work practices. The majority work alone, not in research teams, sharing research outputs only with peers. Despite potential benefits of greater openness and sharing they are constrained by lack of confidence in their research work and the need for them to demonstrate originality in research findings.
Purpose ‐ The paper aims to establish the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in education and training of undergraduate library and information science (LIS) students in two selected Kenyan universities and suggest recommendations to improve ICT education and training in the country. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study utilised a qualitative method. A survey research design was used to collect data from various categories of respondents in LIS including lecturers, undergraduate students, information professionals and employers. Interviews and document analysis were also used to collect data from the respondents. Findings ‐ Findings show that the graduates lack preferred ICTs knowledge, competencies and skills important in the modern information environment such as web technologies, information programming skills, software development, distributed systems, virtual libraries and digital information systems. Information sciences education in Kenyan universities and other institutions of higher learning need to review the curriculum and provide ICT education and training that address the needs and demands of the current job market and performance requirements. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study was effectively carried out at Kenyatta and Moi Universities being the leading universities offering LIS programmes in Kenya. Practical implications ‐ In the twenty-first century and beyond, students can no longer be confined to traditional practices of LIS education. Information sciences programmes from around the global have recognized the importance to fully integrate ICTs education and training in order to meet the needs and demands of students and employers. Originality/value ‐ Present employment and career opportunities favour information professionals with intensive technological competencies and skills.
The study investigated the research procedures used by Master of Information Studies students at the University of Natal between 1982 and 2002 with special reference to their sampling techniques and survey response rates. Methods employed by researchers are key to the quality of their research outputs. The results indicated that sample surveys dominated the research arena during the period under review. Many theses rarely defined the population of the studies. Some quantitative theses used ad hoc sampling procedures. The instruments of data collection were pretested before being used in the field. Questions of reliability and validity of the survey protocols were not adequately addressed. Response rates of the surveys were above average. Most of the theses ignored the evaluation of the research procedures. The argument put forward is quite simple. For research in library and information science to contribute to theory and improve planning, practice and decision-making, it should rely on objective methods and procedures. Readers would make use of the findings and recommendations of LIS research if they have some degree of confidence in the quality of work described and the accuracy of conclusions drawn.
The East Africa sub-region comprises the three states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania which belong to the sub-regional economic bloc, the East African Cooperation (EAC). Under the framework of EAC, the member states’ development agenda emphasizes development of infrastructure and technological capacities as critical dimensions in the realization of a single market and investment area. EAC envisions the need for sub-regional integration in the development of information systems and information networks in all sectors of their national economies. This paper discusses Internet access in the sub-region as an important component in the realization of the sub-region’s vision. Problems hindering Internet access are identified and the future outlook assessed.