The increasing demand of students enrollments is leading to undesirable student-lecturer ratios which ultimately results in turning away of qualified applicants, has sparked numerous higher institutions especially those that runs distance programmes to adopt at least one learning management system. This study investigated the perceptions and use of the Sakai LMS among Distance Learning students of the University of Ghana. It investigated students’ awareness of the Sakai LMS and its tools, students’ attitude and intention to use the Sakai LMS, the relationship between computer literacy skills and perceived ease of use of the Sakai LMS of the students, perceived usefulness of the Sakai LMS to the students, the extent of use of the Sakai LMS System by the students, and some major challenges the students face when using the Sakai LMS. Also, some hypotheses were tested in the bid to find out relationships among variables. The study is useful to three critical categories of people; education practitioners, management of Distance Education, policy makers, learning management system developers.
The study was based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). It study adopted the survey methodology with a sample size of 230 of level 300 Distance Learning students of the University of Ghana, Accra campus. Convenience sampling was adopted, data were gathered using a questionnaire and were analysed using SPSS.
The study revealed a universal awareness by the students of the Sakai LMS mostly through their tutors and the orientation programme. However, some of the Sakai tools were not utilised as the results of lack of awareness of them; there was moderate positive attitudes towards the use of the Sakai LMS and most students did not have intention to use the Sakai LMS due to some perceived challenges. Further, the study revealed moderate perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness
of the Sakai LMS. The extent of use of the Sakai LMS was relatively low due to some perceived challenges such as inadequate training on how to use the Saka platform, system errors and inability to access the Sakai platform at the point of need, difficulty to get access to the internet, slow internet connectivity etc. Chi-square test revealed that computer literacy skills was significantly associated with the perceived ease of use of the Sakai LMS, whilst perceived usefulness of the Sakai platform was not significantly associated with the extent of use.
It was recommended the Distance Education unit should provide adequate orientation and training to students, instructors and tutors on the Sakai tools. Also, there should be the provision of effect support system, bandwidth for internet connectivity, linking Sakai to social media, and redesigning of the Sakai interface to make it more interactive.
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