Predictors of education technology's effects on it students' performance
Van der Linde, Suné
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The aim of this research was: • to gain a better understanding of factors that influence the performance of Information Technology (IT) students; • to gain a better understanding of how Education Technology can assist in overcoming some of the factors that negatively influence the performance of IT students; *to gain a better understanding of students’ perceptions about technology usage in classrooms; *to determine the correlation between the use of Education Technology and student performance, and *to identify whether the use of resources posted on a LMS can serve as predictors of IT students’ performance. In order to achieve these objectives, the research used, firstly, a literature review to identify factors that influence the performance of IT students and how some of these problems can be overcome with the use of Education Technology. Secondly, the empirical part of the study consisted of data derived from an online Learning Management System called eFundiTM at the North-West University Vaal Triangle campus in South Africa. A questionnaire was issued as a collateral investigation to determine students’ perceptions about technology use in classrooms. The empirical portion of the study was conducted to gain an understanding of how students feel about Education Technology, whether the students’ perceptions have changed during their first semester about technology use and whether the usage of certain resources have an influence on students’ performance. The findings from the literature revealed that mental models, learning styles, mathematical ability, prior programming experience and gender are some of the most prominent predictors of success in the performance of IT students. The empirical portion of the study revealed that the usage of certain resources influences students’ performance and that students have an overall positive perception about technology. Finally, recommendations are made for additional studies in order to extend the study of Education Technology to full-time BSc. IT students (not only BSc. IT extended students) at other universities in South Africa.