Pasifika Tertiary Students' Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are pervasive in our daily lives. In New Zealand tertiary education institutions, the adoption of ICT is widespread. Meanwhile, Pasifika students’ participation in tertiary education has been increasing. Yet, for this group of students, academic success has been a concern to successive governments, tertiary institutions, and Pasifika peoples. ICT may offer an opportunity to improve Pasifika students’ academic achievement. The study is premised on the belief that positive learning experiences will lead to improved academic outcomes. Consequently, the study explored ways of using ICT to enhance Pasifika students’ learning experiences. Adopting an interpretivist approach, the case study investigated the ICT skills and the use of ICT for learning enhancements of a group of Pasifika students at a New Zealand institute of technology. Over a period of eighteen months, data was gathered through talanoa, participant observation, and the researcher’s reflective journal. The three method approach enabled data triangulation. Data analysis adhered to the theoretical propositions of the study. Among the key findings, is the disturbing realization that Pasifika students’ ICT skill levels were not at the level assumed by the institution. The main uses of ICT by the Pasifika students in this study were for personal communication and entertainment. The students’ use of ICT for educational purposes was limited due to the mismatch of their ICT skills and those required by the institution. Inadvertently, this has further disadvantaged the students’ learning experiences. The study concludes by offering an ICT skills development framework for use with Pasifika students. Moreover, the study proposes a number of recommendations for practice, policy, and further research.