Dr. Hellen Amunga
Consultant for AGI- Information Management Consultants
Dr. Amunga holds a PhD in Library & Information Science.
She has been engaged in teacher training and capacity building for practicing teachers and librarians for years. She has also served as an E-Learning Coordinator for School of Education, Kenyatta University. She is currently consulting for AGI – Information Management Consultants on uptake of Dandelon metadata software by libraries.
Presentation Topic: An overview of Information Literacy and Information Ethics as Missing Links in E-Learning in Kenya
The impact of technological innovations on all sectors of world economies cannot be overstated. The educational sector as the main feeder of economic, political, technological and cultural sectors has not been spared the impact as both public and private companies of all sizes, corporates and educational institutions continue churning out innovations that feed back into e-learning. E-Learning can therefore be said to be a product and beneficiary of various innovation cycles. E-Learning has existed in Kenya from 1998 with the establishment of the African Virtual University. Thereafter, local institutions of higher learning like Kenyatta University, the University of Nairobi, Maseno University and Mount Kenya University among others continue to advertise and compete for students for their e-learning programs. Currently, the focus is on primary schools following the introduction of digital literacy programs by the Government of Kenya.
Description of the presentation
Based on literature review and the author’s experience in higher education, this paper gives an overview of issues regarding development and evolution of e-learning in Kenya. It argues that although e-learning in the country continues to develop and grow, two significant missing links in the equation are information literacy and information ethics. These missing links also exist in the conventional curricula at all levels of education in Kenya. This may be blamed for the country’s grapple with academic malpractices. The malpractices, for instance, manifest themselves in form of rampant plagiarism, leakage and cancellation of examination results at both secondary and primary school levels. While information literacy will equip learners with skills and competencies that make them effective, creative and life-long learners, information ethics aims to equip learners with knowledge and skills that help them to access and use information ethically as well as protect themselves from the dangers that lurk in virtual space.
Results: a proposal
The paper advocates for integration of information literacy and information ethics components in the conventional and e-learning curricula across all levels of education in the country.
Integration of information literacy and information ethics in the curriculum, if well implemented, should lead to an effective educational system that produces literate, life-long learners. These are learners who are able to effectively access and use information for academic, economic, social, political and other purposes within ethical boundaries.