The Internet Connection Obstacle in ICT in Language Learning Quiz
The influence of ICT’s popularities and effectivenes can be seen in learning activity. Most of universities use the ICT to support teaching and learning process due to its practicality compared with the traditional ways.
Most of teaching and learning process in language learning also use ICT to optimize learners’ achievement and potency. The example of ICT usage in language learning are blog and IBT. Two of examples above are both using internet connection. Internet does help those who are having high mobilitation, so they can still access everything from everywhere.
Nowadays, internet is easy enough to access, moreover in campus areas. However, the internet access is not always good. Sometimes there are some problem with the connection so everybody prevent it by using modem. But, not everyone having modem due to its expensiveness.
English Departement of State University of Semarang has been provided internet access or WiFi years ago. Many lectures are also can be accessed by internet, included the quiz. One of them is ICT in Language Learning quiz. However, not all of students feel comfort in using it. By writing this essay, the writer would like to try to discover the problem(s) that make students discomfort in using IBT in ICT in Language Learning class, especially from the internet connection aspect.
The writer’s objectives in writing this essay are to discover the problem(s)of discomfortness that students face when they are taking an on-line test, and finding solution of that problem(s).
C. Review of Related Literature
IBT or internet-based testing is a form of competence, skill or knowledge assessment through computer or internet. Another form of IBT is WBt or web-based testing.
a. IBT example using Drupal 6
Drupal 6 is a PHP-based content managementsystem (CMS). Drupal 6can also be downloaded and freely developed as it is open source.
Drupal has a vast potentioal development in various field. Therefore, practitioners prefer to call Drupal 6 as a generalist website. Here is the drupal usability in general:
- Community portal site
- News publishing
- Aficianado sites
- Intranet/ corporate web sites
- Resource directories
- Art, music, multimedia
- Social networking sites
Generally, Drupal based IBT offers functionality in which it has various quiz types, multimedia compatibility, good administration and managenent practicality.The outline of IBT application is stated as follows:
- Administrator provided IBT, students’ username and password, and polls.
- Students visited the administrator’s web address.
- Students logged in to the website using username and password given.
- Students did the quiz.
- Students filled out on-line polls after they have finished doing the quiz.
- Administrator updated students’ account and change students’ password for security reason.
- Administrator managed IBT result and polls.
There were some obstacles to consider in developing Drupal:
a. Internet connection
Downloading Drupal core and modules need robust internet connection.
b. Human resources
This problem emerges because the developer/researcher has limited skill in developing website as a beginner. However, by realizing huge benefit researcher needs to hone his skill.
c. Time allocation
In order to get a good website with appealing appearance and functionality developer needs enough time allocation. Bear in mind that a website is not a one shot project, however, a continuous project.
The IBT prototype was hosted to a free hosting “000space.com”. it served well, however the disk capacity and services was limited. In order to get better service it is suggested to use commercial hosting. By considering this reason, website with the URL “hartoyomedia.000space.com” was upgrade to “hartoyomedia.com”.
While the obstacles found in IBT application are:
a. Notebook availability
Not all of the students had notebook, so that some of them had to borrow from their friend.
b. Internet connection
Almost all of students use wireless hot spot services provided by the department, and only few of them used personal modem. The internet connection was very limited to accomodate test takers as a result the connection was slow.
c. Power outlet
Power outlet availability needs to consider. Many notebooks had to be recharged before test takers finished doing the test. Unfortunately power outlets were not enough.
d. Student’s honesty
The major concern in IBT application is students’ honesty because internet provides “unlimited” information in almost all fields, students could easily browse to the references they needed. Better system and better attitude is absolutely needed.
Internet use in ICT in Language Learning class give students new experience and, hopefully, practicality. However, there are some problems for those who were not used to do IBT. In this essay, the writer will focus on the internet connection obstacle, because actually, there are some unrevealed facts/problem found in the field than what is written in the books.
The first problem is the poor internet connection and the strickness of the system. The word system here refers to IBT system. The system never know how the condition of signal or computer of students is. The signals are sometimes good and sometimes not. The computers students have are also varied, not all of them support fast access of the quiz. From the first quiz students had taken, students found that whenever they disconnect from the internet, then they get problem in logging in or continuing the quiz. One of students even asked Mr. Hartoyo to set up her account so she could logged in and continue her quiz. This shows that the system needs to be more flexible due to various condition of students.
The second problem is the quality of the internet connection related to time allocation. If the signal is poor, their quiz duration will be longer, although actually they can do it in a short time. So, the result of the test can not describe students effort well because of the internet access.
The last problem is students may not focus on doing the quiz.In doing the quiz, students were hurried because of the inconstant internet connection. It can be disabled anytime, or the loading time took time because the signal is poor.Even students may move to another place to get better internet connection.
The problems above were found when the first quiz of ICT in Language Learning was held. The problems indirectly shows that actually the IBT is not appropriate to be held yet if the aspect that support it not fully provided.The system can be applied well if the supporting devices are prepared well in a good quality too.
Students readiness of using the system is need to be considered. Many problems come from the connection aspect whereas it is a vital aspect of IBT. If not all of students are facilitated well enough, so we can not held IBT. The bad result that may appear may come from the system, not purely from students itself.If students, indeed, have to do online quiz, due to previous problems, the scoring system should be flexible also.
E. Summary and Recommendation
The application of IBT in ICT language learning class faced some problems, some of them are come from internet connection aspect.
From the problems found, the writer can take a conclusion that students of English Department were not ready yet to take on-line quiz because the internet connection did not support well.
Internet connection is not in constant condition. It can disappears anytime. Poor internet connection not only makes students confuse, but also can not describe their result well. It also may disturb students concentration when doing the quiz.
a. Internet access quality, especially in English Department should be raised if the teaching learning process will use internet, especially IBT.
b. The system of IBT should be more flexible. It must state a clear rule of how scoring system is so that students can anticipate it.
c. The consideration about the internet connection is needed. The time allocation should not be a scoring aspect because it may differ one to another, not only because of slow thinking, but maybe because of slow internet access.