• Research article
  • Open access
  • Published: 10 September 2020

Enhancing the roles of information and communication technologies in doctoral research processes

  • Sarah J. Stein   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0024-1675 1 &
  • Kwong Nui Sim 2  

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education volume  17 , Article number:  34 ( 2020 ) Cite this article

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While information and communication technologies (ICT) are prominent in educational practices at most levels of formal learning, there is relatively little known about the skills and understandings that underlie their effective and efficient use in research higher degree settings. This project aimed to identify doctoral supervisors’ and students’ perceptions of their roles in using ICT. Data were gathered through participative drawing and individual discussion sessions. Participants included 11 students and two supervisors from two New Zealand universities. Focus of the thematic analysis was on the views expressed by students about their ideas, practices and beliefs, in relation to their drawings. The major finding was that individuals hold assumptions and expectations about ICT and their use; they make judgements and take action based on those expectations and assumptions. Knowing about ICT and knowing about research processes separately form only part of the work of doctoral study. Just as supervision cannot be considered independently of the research project and the student involved, ICT skills and the use of ICT cannot be considered in the absence of the people and the project. What is more important in terms of facilitating the doctoral research process is students getting their “flow” right. This indicates a need to provide explicit support to enable students to embed ICT within their own research processes.


Information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring either joy or challenge to well-versed academic practices, and either create barriers to learning and development or be the answer to needs. While some grasp and pursue opportunities to make use of various ICT for study, research and teaching, others struggle. Despite documented and anecdotal positive urges to adopt ICT to increase and improve efficiency and effectiveness, staff and students struggle experience ICT as needless and difficult-to-use interruptions. There is often little need seen to change practices by introducing ICT into ways of working. Exploring these views and experiences was the focus of this project. Being empathetic to views such as those expressed by Castañeda and Selwyn ( 2018 ), we did not approach this investigation from a position that assumes that ICT are natural and needed solutions to problems related to improving and facilitating effective learning, teaching and research. Rather, we took a more neutral stance, wishing to explore the experiences of those involved, namely, students and staff, through discussion with them about their ICT practices and views, and with a specific focus on doctoral study and supervision.

Doctoral supervision and the role, place and nature of the doctorate are receiving increasing attention in higher education research literature. A wide range of topics have been covered from, for example, the importance and types of support for students throughout candidature (e.g., Zhou & Okahana, 2019 ); to the teaching and supervision aspects of doctoral supervision (e.g., Åkerlind & McAlpine, 2017 ; Cotterall, 2011 ; Lee, 2008 ).

With advancements in, accessibility to, and development of, ICT within education settings has come a plethora of research into online and blended learning. These studies often highlight the capacity of ICT for facilitating teaching, learning and administrative activity within educational institutions and systems (e.g., Marshall & Shepherd, 2016 ). They cover numerous areas of importance from theoretical, practical, and philosophical angles and include the perspectives and needs of learners, educators and institutions (e.g., Nichols, Anderson, Campbell, & Thompson, 2014 ).

There are also studies on student use of ICT, though not necessarily doctoral students, and these cover a wide range of topics including specific ICT skills (e.g., Stensaker, Maassen, Borgan, Oftebro, & Karseth, 2007 ). Where postgraduate research students are concerned, some studies on ICT skill development and support provide some insights about students (e.g., Dowling & Wilson, 2017 ), and institutional ICT systems (Aghaee et al., 2016 ).

Notable about the many of these studies cited above is the use of self-reporting tools as mechanisms for gathering data about student use and views about ICT. While self-reports are valuable ways to collect such data about self-efficacy, they do have limits. In online learning environments, the role of self-efficacy, for example, is still being contested. It has been argued that learners from a variety of disciplines and learning settings will tend to overestimate claims about their performance and/or knowledge and skills (e.g., Mahmood, 2016 ).

All these studies help to ‘map the territory’ of ICT, their use at individual and institutional levels and related practices. Much advice and guidance can be gleaned from the literature as well, although relatively little for the specific integration of ICT within the doctoral research and supervision environment. Based on the literature that is available though, all indications are that (doctoral) students adopt educational practices incorporating limited ICT use, even though the use of ICT has grown enormously in the last 10 to 20 years. With the current interest in ensuring success of students and completion of doctoral degrees being closely related to high quality supervision, there is a need to improve supervision practices and within that, advance understandings about how to support students in their use of ICT for their doctoral research.

This project

This project aimed to explore doctoral student and supervisor views and use of ICT within the doctoral process. The intention was to bring to light perceptions that could give clues as to how to make practical modifications to the content and scope of professional development support for supervisors and students, in order to help them to make best use of ICT. In addition, consideration was given to the way data would be collected to ensure that more than just the self-reported perspectives of the participants were included.

An interpretivist research approach (Erickson, 2012 ) framed this study to support a focus on understanding the world from the perspectives of those who live it. Thus, the approach was well-suited to exploring perceptions about the use of ICT in our context.

Thus, this study did not commence with any hypotheses related to the influence of ICT in doctoral research in mind. Instead, as the interpretive frame of the research implies, this study investigated ways in which participants expressed their experiences of engaging and integrating ICT in support of their doctoral research processes. The data tapped into the participants’ (PhD students and doctoral supervisors) perspectives, as they expressed them. The research approach thus defined and shaped all aspects of the data gathering, analyses and presentation. In this way, alignment was ensured among the ontological, epistemological and practical implementation of the research project.

The study took place in two New Zealand universities where participants were either employees or students. Both universities are research-intensive, with histories of producing high-level research across many disciplines. Both institutions have clear and well-formulated policies and practices governing doctoral study - PhD and professional doctorate - and these include supporting that study through supervision. A specialised unit in each institution manages the administration of the doctoral degree. Couching “supervision” as essentially a (specialised) teaching activity, each unit also provides or coordinates professional development for staff in the art of supervision, and for students in the skills and processes of undertaking doctoral degree study.


Participants included doctoral students and supervisors from the two universities. As a result of an invitation to all students and supervisors, in total, 11 students and two supervisors responded. The students were PhD students at varying levels of completion. There was a mix of part time and full-time students from a variety of discipline backgrounds including health sciences, sciences, commerce and humanities. The supervisors were experienced and were from humanities and sciences.

Data sources

Data were collected using a 3-tier participative drawing process (Wetton & McWhirter, 1998 ). This strategy involved a series of two or three interview/discussions, along with participant-made drawings, which formed the focus of the interview/discussions.

This strategy generated two sources of data - interview transcripts and participant drawings – and involved the following (3-tier) phases:

Initial semi-structured interview/discussion to ascertain information about participants’ backgrounds and other details they saw relevant to share. In addition, they were asked about their use of ICT generally as well as within the doctoral process. It was a chance for the researchers to gain some understanding of participants’ views and practices in relation to ICT and their doctoral/supervision journeys.

Participant drawing . The participants were asked to make a drawing in their own time and before the second interview/discussion. Guidelines for the drawing suggested that they think of a way to illustrate their research process first, then to add onto the drawing any ICT (such as devices, websites, programmes, applications) that they make use of in the process.

Follow-up interview/discussion . During this phase, each participant was asked to explain the drawing’s features and how it made sense in terms of the project he or she was undertaking. This included discussion about how their supervision was working, how they worked with supervisors, and how the ICT they had included in the drawing worked within the process. They were also asked about elements that were not in the drawing, for example, certain ICT or activities that might have appeared in a typical account of a doctoral research process but were not included.

All interview/discussions were audio recorded and transcriptions of the recordings were returned to the participants for checking. The drawings were scanned and stored electronically.

In line with the interpretive approach that framed and governed our study, the data were analysed shortly after being gathered. Analysis of the data contributed to the development of ideas about participants’ perceptions, and these were refined progressively across the instances that researchers met with participants. Perceptions were thus checked, rechecked and refined against each data set.

This iterative and inductive approach (Thomas, 2006 ) involved thematic analysis (Silverman, 2001 ) and the capture of major and common ideas (Mayring, 2000 ) expressed by participants about how ICT are perceived and used in doctoral research processes. This approach helped to operationalise a process of co-construction between researchers and participants. Through checking, rechecking, refining and confirming, the researchers were able to articulate their understanding of participant perceptions that matched participants’ expressed thoughts.

The outcome of the analysis process was four assertions concerning ways the students perceived and understood ICT within doctoral study. Because there were only two supervisor participants, the data from the supervisors served to support the assertions we were more confidently able to make about student perceptions.

Research approach, quality assurance conditions and context

Despite the (what might be argued, small) number of volunteer participants who showed interest in, and committed themselves to, this study (i.e., no drop-outs or selection being made from a pool), it is worth noting that the researchers worked with each participant over an extended period of time (prolonged engagement), focused on investigating and gathering identifiable, as well as documentable, aspects of the participants’ ICT understandings and practices (persistent observation), and employed analysis techniques that incorporated peer debriefing, member checking, and fair presentation of assertions (Guba & Lincoln, 1989 ).

The aim was to unlock and identify views of reality held by the participants. The empirical evidence was used to help develop commentary and critique of the phenomenon which was the focus of the study (i.e., ICT use), including what the phenomenon is and how it occurs/is enacted/revealed in a particular context (viz., in doctoral research). This was, therefore, a different kind of study from one that might commence with a hypothesis, which would be concerned more with objectivity, explanation and testable propositions. In short, the methods employed in the current study fitted the intention to solve a “puzzle” about a phenomenon in relation to a particular context.

As this study involved human participants, ethical approval was gained through the institutional processes. This approval (University of Otago Human Ethics Committee reference number D17/414 and Victoria University of Wellington, Ethics Committee reference number 0000023415) enabled data collection methods described in the previous section to be carried out for any doctoral students and supervisors who volunteered to participate in this study. Ethical consent, use and care of the data as well as the ethical treatment of students and staff as participants were integral to the research design, planning and implementation of the whole study.

Findings and discussion

The four assertions are now presented. Each assertion is described and quotations from the interview/discussions along with examples of drawings from the student participants are used to illustrate aspects of each assertion.

Assertion 1: ICT are impartial tools; it does not matter how ICT are used, because the endpoint, that is, thesis completion, is the justification. ICT and people are separate and separated entities.

Students talked about how they worked on their thesis document and on the process of the study they were undertaking. Comments focused on various ICT being used and often on skills needed in order to use them. Some students expressed the view that ICT were tools, separate from the project and the person involved, to be used to achieve an endpoint. For example,

So long as it's formatted – it shouldn't matter - that's their [editors’] responsibility, not mine.
There’s probably a bit more about Zoom [web conferencing application] I could learn but again for me unless it’s a problem, I’m not going to go looking for it… not just for the sake of it at the moment.

Motivation to achieve an outcome was a focus of comments that support this assertion. For many participants, the aim to complete the study and write a thesis was, naturally, a large driver for how they were managing their study. Time was precious, and they would do what they had to do to reach their goal. To be motivated to learn about a new ICT, there needed to be a purpose that sharply focussed on achieving that end.

If the technologies are suddenly not available] I’m happy to sit down with a typewriter and learn it… If I’m not driven, I won’t bother.

This focus is illustrated in Fig.  1 . The drawing shows clearly identified components that make up major elements within the stages of producing the research for the thesis. ICT are listed in relation to those components.

figure 1

ICT and people are separate and separated entities

Supervisors too, tended to focus on thesis production rather than on the process of producing a thesis that includes the use of ICT (i.e., as opposed to their very clear and explicit focus on the research process). An example illustrating this is:

Generally, people think the standard of the people getting or earning a PhD is that this person should be an independent researcher. [But no] After all, we only examine a particular thesis [and] there are lots of inputs from supports and supervision from supervisors.

In summary, this assertion focusses strongly on the experience of doctoral study being about getting the project done within a research journey that gives minimal regard to the affordances of ICT. ICT are framed as necessary but also fraught, especially due to the effort and time that draw attention away from the primary goal.

Assertion 2: ICT are tools or mechanisms that prompt active thought on practices with respect to planning and managing thesis writing and project execution. ICT and individuals work alongside each other.

Views that expressed notions of there being a close interactive relationship between students and ICT came through in several of the discussions with the participants. The focus on achieving goals and endpoints was strong, but the expression of how to achieve those goals, capitalising upon the affordances that ICT present, was different from the way views were expressed in relation to Assertion 1.

On a simple level, this student describes the checking he did when weighing up the merits of a piece of software to meet his needs.

I normally do a trial version… have a play with it. And if I think they are useful then I might try it on a project. And if then I feel it’s definitely worth investing… then I’ll go buy it.

Others simply liked to explore, to see whether there was potential in any ICT they encountered, as in,

Sometimes I just like playing with stuff to see what they can do and then if they tick my boxes then I keep them and if they don't, I move on. So it's more kind of ‘search and discover’ than kind of looking for something, you know.

Describing a deeper level of activity, a degree of critique and active reflection were indicated by another student when he said,

…we tried an electronic version of putting together a programme for a New Zealand conference and I was surprised how long it took us. Whereas in the past I’ve worked with [colleagues] and we’ve just moved pieces of paper around on the floor for abstracts and we were done really quickly.

These sentiments are well-captured in Fig.  2 . Here, the focus is on experimenting with ICT rather than the research process. The process of working things out to suit the individual is foregrounded.

figure 2

ICT and individuals work alongside each other

Whereas Assertion 1-type expressions presented effort in a generally negative light, Assertion 2-type expressions couched effort as an assumed part of learning something new. There was a sense expressed in comments that there will be a way to manage the “problem” to be solved, which then generated the necessary motivation to engage effort. For example,

You just know what you know when you start off; when you're unsure about what you need to do. There's a bit of a barrier in front of you. It feels a bit intimidating and overwhelming, and then you get into it and it just works. And you just kind of put all the pieces together and get something out at the end.

There was a sense that supervisors’ perspectives of ICT might support this assertion too. For instance,

[ICT are] integral to everything now – there's no such thing as doing it without [them] anymore – these are the tools with which we do all the things we do.

In summary, this assertion captures the views of students who engage actively in making decisions about which, how and why they incorporate ICT into doctoral research practices.

Assertion 3: Knowing about ICT is only part of the thinking; what is more important is getting the “flow” right. ICT and the individual are in a complementary partnership.

Perhaps prompted by the nature of the drawing task, which was to illustrate how ICT fitted within the whole process of doctoral study, several students described the challenges to bringing everything together into one process made up of many parts, sections and subsections. One participant focussed on her “workflow” in order to manage the multiple documents, tasks and schedule involved in her doctoral research journey.

What systems do I use, what's my workflow? So, I actually spent some weeks looking at … ideas from other PhD students about their workflows and how they manage it.

Similar to Assertion 2-type comments, ‘getting one’s flow right’ involved exploration and an amount of reflective decision-making. For example,

So I did a play around with that [ICT] and found it was quite useful … So I’m trying to be quite disciplined about when I’ve got a document, entering it at the time, reading an article, throw in heaps of tags rather than not …And I simply keep a note, cross referencing to the actual articles. I like to have the articles and for some key ones I like to make a note. So, if it’s a seminal paper that I know I’ll be referring back to.

Thus, students talked about how hard they worked to set up routines and processes to enable them to manage time and their research projects. As in the above excerpts, they referred to categorising documents, searching for resources, undertaking analysis, managing data, and producing the thesis itself.

In working out one’s system or flow, this student highlighted the need to know about the affordances of ICT and how others had made use of them.

…you do need to know a bit about each of the individual … capabilities of the different systems to know what's even possible… but alongside that you're kind of reading other people's ideas of how they did it, and you think that bit might work for me oh, but that bit won't… so then you can kind of mix and match a bit.

The drawing in Fig.  3 highlights the “flow”. Absent of all words, this illustration draws attention to the movement of ideas, thoughts, processes and actions, from a number of different points but all ultimately converging or contributing to the one path.

figure 3

ICT and the individual are in a complementary partnership

There was a hint that at least one of the supervisors saw the need for a workflow in this same vein: “So long as [the students are] happy with what they’re using – they should use ‘a’ system,”

In summary, this assertion highlights that what is important with respect to ICT and the doctoral process is how it all comes together within one’s flow. That flow incorporates active effort on the part of the individual in finding ICT and practices that suit the individual’s approaches as well as their project demands.

Assertion 4: ICT are not neutral; there is a two-way interaction between technologies as artefacts and the use of them to achieve ends. ICT and the person are intricately linked through multiple active, practical, goal-oriented connections.

This assertion draws attention to the nature of technology as a phenomenon; that technology is not an impartial tool that has no influence on the way humans act and react. This assertion presents ICT as an artefact of technological design activity; as a source of improving efforts to achieve an endpoint; but also as an influencer and even determiner of the thinking and practices of the person interacting with the ICT (e.g., Baird, 2002 ).

On what could be argued a superficial level, this student noted some active connection between the person and the software application, beyond simple use, when he commented:

I think it goes both ways, the product has to be intuitive and you’ve got to have a little bit of inclination to try out different things.

Others went beyond the superficial to describe more in-depth relationships between themselves and the ICT they were using. When discussing her use of software to help her manage her project and her time, this student talked about how the ICT she was using supported and enhanced her thinking.

Using the application] really changed the way I started to think about [my research]. I started to be less worried about the big overwhelming long term stuff that was out there and just think, okay, this week, what am I going to do this week, how am I going to be really efficient and targeted, and I think that really helped me.

Following is another example of how ICT helped solve a problem while simultaneously having an influence on behaviour; in this instance with organising notes, ideas and documents.

“… and it's the same with my note-taking because [the programme] that I use has a similar sort of functionality that it can search text that you've written but also search notes and PDF docs and those kind of things, so it means that when you've had a random thought and put it somewhere you can find it again. Which is huge for me, so I guess that … the power of the search engine is probably the thing that drove me to become paperless, so it helps me to organize myself much better. … filing paper is a skill that I have not mastered whereas filing digital stuff is not as important because you can always just find it again.

Figure  4 illustrates this intricately intertwined interactivity among person, purpose, project, ICT and outcomes.

figure 4

ICT and the person are intricately linked through multiple active, practical, goal-oriented connections

While we did not find strong evidence for supervisors’ thoughts about this integrated and embedded notion of ICT, one supervisor did note “I could probably build them into my system, but I just never have”.

In summary, Assertion 4 highlights the integral role that ICT can be perceived to play in doctoral research processes. This is more than the working-alongside connection illustrated by Assertion 2 and the complementary partnership characterised by Assertion 3.

Assertions 1 and 2 highlight that individuals hold assumptions about, and have expectations of, ICT use; and those expectations and assumptions influence and determine their judgements about ICT and their use of ICT. The assertions point to connections between perceptions and practices. Assertion 1 describes a perception that ICT are separate from the person and the task-at-hand, while Assertion 2 presents a perception in which the person and the ICT are working alongside each other in harmony or at least in a loose partnership. Both assertions focus on endpoints, but the endpoints vary according to the perception of where ICT fit into the journey towards their achievement. For Assertion 1-type expressions, there is one major endpoint. For Assertion 2-type expressions, there are multiple, shorter-term endpoints that build towards achieving the major goal of completing the thesis.

Building on Assertions 1 and 2 are Assertions 3 and 4, which highlight what may be argued as more complex levels of perceiving and working with ICT. Both assertions give some focus to inter-connections, where people and ICT partner or collaborate. Assertion 3 depICT a perception that is about complementarity; where ICT affordances are seen as worthwhile when they support and enhance the work of the individual in ways that make sense to that individual. Assertion 4 builds on Assertion 3 by bringing to light the relationship in which the person alters and changes thinking or practices because of the influence that ICT affordances can have. No evidence was found to support a possible additional claim that as well as ICT causing individuals to alter and modify thinking and behaviours due to their existence, ICT, in turn, are perceived to be able to alter their ways of responding to the people who use them. This is not out of the realms of possibility of course, with ICT increasingly being designed and built to be able to respond to users’ needs.

It is also worth mentioning that the ‘types’ of ICT and the extent of their use by the participants was not the focus of this study. However, the findings suggested that the participants’ ICT use, regardless of their PhD phase and broad discipline background, might have reflected their inability to realise the advantages of learning how to use current ICT-related devices, tools, and applications to enhance the process of undertaking their doctoral research. The evidence that emerged in this study indicated that participants’ perspectives of ICT determined their adoption practices in general (i.e., as illustrated through the four assertions). The boarder higher education context including the specific institution and supervisors, might have neglected the explicit support of PhD students’ ICT capability development in this process.

In addition, while there is no similar study being found thus far, the insights gained from this study are actually similar to the findings in the research studies into the role of ICT in undergraduate education (Butson & Sim, 2013 ; Sim & Butson, 2013 , 2014 ). Results in those studies, demonstrated students’ low levels of ICT use, may be an indication that digital devices and digital tools do not play a significant role in daily study practices. Researchers such as Esposito, Sangrà & Maina ( 2013 ) also show that the PhD students’ learning to become researchers in the digital age is much more complex than is often suggested (e.g., the skills of Prenksy ( 2001 ) “digital natives”). Becoming a researcher involves developing a complex set of knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards. The Researcher Development Framework (Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), 2010 ) illustrates one useful attempt at mapping out that complexity. It could be that both students’ and supervisors’ adoption of ICT for academic purposes has been overshadowed or taken for granted as a consequence of their advanced academic level.


The four assertions can be used to provide some guidance to those supporting and participating in doctoral research processes. Students and supervisors do possess a vast array of skills, knowledge and abilities. They have a variety of experiences as well as varying reasons and levels of motivation. Their skills and capacity to make use of ICT to support their roles in the research process vary as well. The assertions that have emerged from this study will inform the planning for support activities to enhance supervisors’ and students’ professional development, whatever their background and needs.

Depending on the perceptions held about ICT and the relationship between ICT and the person in the context of the task and its goals (i.e., the doctoral study) within the doctoral research process as depicted in the four assertions, ICT tend to be seen as a challenge, a change or an opportunity. In the context of ICT use, doctoral students and supervisors may:

assume that if they do not already know how to use something it is not worth learning or exploring as that learning brings with it risk to quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the doctoral research process; and/or.

assume that students will work out the place that ICT play within the research process for themselves.

The findings of this study suggest the need to.

challenge existing ICT knowledge and skill, and to support acceptance of the need to change practices;

teach technological thinking, to enable choice and decision making about ICT;

embed ICT into practices in meaningful ways to suit individual and project needs;

highlight (explicit) responsibilities about thinking and planning skills with respect to making the best use of ICT, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness;

realise that the research process is as much about how it happens as what happens;

recast assumptions about the doctoral research process to embed ICT within it;

reflect on the meaning of effectiveness and efficiency in the context of doctoral research; and the effects of ICT in supporting and facilitating them;

understand that there is a link among ICT thinking and practice: using ICT can enhance or raise ideas that were never thought of before.

This study explored perceptions of doctoral supervisors and students of the role and place of ICT in supervision and study. It generated four assertions characterising those perceptions the relationships among people, ICT and the task-at-hand, that is, the supervised research process. As Castañeda and Selwyn ( 2018 ) argue, it is important that we have an active commitment to ‘think otherwise’ about how ICT might be better implemented across higher education settings” (p. 8). We should not assume that ICT are not important enough to let them fade into the background as they become normalised, without questioning the interrelationships that are happening between the person and the ICT. In the doctoral research setting, as one example of a higher education context, ICT do have a role to play. They cannot and should not be ignored. But seeing ICT in relationship to the person and to the setting is essential.

This project has provided insights into the doctoral students and supervisors’ perceptions of the roles played by ICT during doctoral research process. There are complex human factors, including assumptions, attitudes and conceptions about academic practices, influencing and determining perspectives as well as how ICT are incorporated into doctoral research process, behaviours and practices. Just as Kandiko and Kinchin ( 2012 ) argue that supervision cannot be looked at in the absence of the research work in which it occurs, we argue that doctoral students’ understanding and use of ICT cannot be considered independently of their research work; and that work includes relationships with their project, their supervisors, within the context of the institution, and with the ICT they do and could engage with.

Directly associated with the outcomes of this study, future studies and further exploration could focus on:

ICT use by larger and more diverse groups of doctoral students from a range of fields within discipline areas at institutions outside New Zealand;

building on the findings in order to determine how intensity of ICT use might change for students across the course of their candidature, and in relation to the nature of their research projects;

the role of supervisors, academic departments, and institutions in supporting and enhancing students’ practices and beliefs about ICT in research processes;

the ways in which supervisors engage ICT in their daily academic practices, with a view to exploring how, or if, their ICT use is an influence on PhD students’ beliefs and behaviours in using ICT.

Studying ICT in these directions could offer fresh perspectives and opportunities to think differently and reveal an active way of understanding the role of ICT in doctoral education.

Availability of data and materials

These are not available for open access as their access is bound by the ethical agreement approved by the two institutions and made with the participants in the study.

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We thank the students and supervisors who shared their reflections and willingly engaged with us in this project.

We acknowledge the support of Ako Aotearoa, The National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, New Zealand through its Regional Hub Project Fund (RHPF), and the support of our institutions, University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington.

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  • Archiving of Internet Content
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Endogenous and Exogenous Perspective

ICT innovation can be treated conceptually as either exogenous or endogenous to a social system. The exogenous perspective treats ICTs as if they are objects isolated from the social, political, and economic environment in which they are produced and consumed. If it is technology that is the determining factor in social organization, then what is left for the researcher is an observer role. The exogenous perspective emphasizes the efficiency and rationality of an autonomous technological system where there is little room for human agency.

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In contrast, from an endogenous perspective, research focuses on the way ICTs become woven into the fabric of life – in terms of morality, the economy, culture, or the political world and on the specific, material conditions under which technology is produced and consumed. Technology is regarded as part of the social fabric where actors sanction certain forms of change and not others. Power is understood to be located in the interwoven alignment of state (administrative and military), private capital, and civil society interests. In this view, the emphasis is on the way technology mediates human relationships and on the constraints that distort benefits that might otherwise accrue to those who are not at the center of economic and political power (Curran et al. 2012; Mansell 2012; Silverstone 2007).

Among the many strands of research in this context are studies of the political implications of the information society for democracy and participation in public debate and in electoral processes and whether a right to communicate should be enshrined in international law (Jørgensen 2013). Within sociology, research on the domestication of technologies (Hartmann 2013) has helped to reveal that ICT artifacts are not prefigured by technology designers for their users, and that older and newer media and ICTs are appropriated in unpredictable ways depending on the cultural specificities of their use. Economic analysis tends to focus on the diffusion of ICTs and the implications for productivity in the economy since these technologies are classed as general-purpose technologies and associated with major transformations when they become widely dispersed across all ICT-using sectors of the economy (Freeman 2007).

Research Topics

The disruptive characteristics of innovations in ICTs have given rise to many debates about their positive or negative implications for the global order, with research emphasizing links between local and distant places and the sometimes unifying, and at other times fragmenting, consequences. There is no stable definition but the term virtual community generally applies to online interactions that give rise to new forms of relationships and new organizational forms. Research focuses on the network relations among activists, bloggers, scientists and many other communities of users of social media. The digital platforms that support these communicative activities are increasingly being used by researchers to map the architecture of networks and social relations with a focus on the directionality of communication, synchronicity, content modularity, interactivity, personalization, and meaning construction. Research on issues of information control, privacy, and security raised by user-generated content, the co-creation of content, and interactive Web 2.0 applications is beginning to tackle the implications of ‘big data’ analytics which uses web-harvesting, ratings systems, and identity profiling to support corporate and state information collection and processing activities (Mayer- Schönberger & Cukier 2013). Digital means of interacting online support the networking activities of individuals and of networked organizations which enable virtual teamworking and outsourcing, raising questions about the ownership of creative capabilities, privacy, and trust, whether the public can have confidence in the digital services provided by governments, and whether new forms of interaction are consistent with democratic practice.

When the diffusion of ICTs is uneven, or where the distribution of the gains as a result of investing in them is uneven, this is referred to as a digital divide. For some it is an article of faith that ICTs hold the solutions to economic, political, and cultural problems, while others argue that digital divides mean that it is unlikely that these technologies will alleviate deeply rooted social and economic problems. This concept has been criticized for its oversimplification of the factors that give rise to inequality and research focusing on digital literacies (including information literacy or media literacy) and cultural differences have yielded insight into the many forms and consequences of digital exclusion (Livingstone and Helsper 2010). Differences in views about the relationship between technology and communication and the persistence of digital divides are reflected in research on whether a global media and communication policy environment is feasible and the roles of the nation state and multistakeholder groups in governing digital media.

Different framings of the relationship between globalization and communication are echoed in research on the governance regimes that enable the production and consumption of ICTs and media content, locally and globally. The governance of Internet has become a hotly contested area of research drawing on legal expertise and examining the values embedded in the architecture of the Internet and other digital applications. Brown and Marsden (2013) provide comprehensive examinations of the proliferation of policies, regulations, and legislation in response to the global spread of digital networks and their applications, especially the Internet. In addition, there is research on specific online behaviors and whether there should be sanctions for ‘bad’ behavior in the case of hacktivism or crime and terrorism.

Finally, the relationship between technology and communication raises many issues with respect to ethical conduct within the humanities and the social sciences. Guidelines with respect to Internet-related research have been developed nationally and by organizations such as the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). Different methods raise concerns about the risks involved to researchers and to those they study.


  • Brown, I. & Marsden, C. (2013). Regulating code: good governance and better regulation in the information age. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Castells, M. (2009). Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Curran, J., Fenton, N., & Freedman, D. (2012). Misunderstanding the internet. London: Routledge.
  • Freeman, C. (2007). The ICT paradigm. In R. Mansell, C. Avgerou, D. Quah, & R. Silverstone (eds.), The Oxford handbook of information and communication technologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 34–54.
  • Hartmann, M. (2013). From domestication to mediated mobilism. Mobile Media and Communication, 1(1), 42–49.
  • Jørgensen, R. F. (2013). Framing the net: The Internet and human rights. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Livingstone, S. & Helsper, E. (2010). Balancing opportunities and risks in teenagers’ use of the Internet: The role of online skills and Internet self-efficacy. New Media & Society, 12(2), 309–329.
  • Mansell, R. (2012). Imagining the Internet: Communication, innovation and governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Mayer-Schönberger, V. & Cukier, K. (2013). Big data: a revolution that will transform how we live, work and think. London: John Murray.
  • Silverstone, R. (2007). Media and morality: On the rise of the mediapolis. Cambridge: Polity.

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Utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) among undergraduate health science students: a cross-sectional study

  • Samuel Hailegebreal 1 ,
  • Tigists Tolessa Sedi 1 ,
  • Selamawit Belete 1 ,
  • Kirubel Mengistu 1 ,
  • Anteneh Getachew 1 ,
  • Daniel Bedada 1 ,
  • Mebrie Molla 1 ,
  • Tamiru Shibiru 2 &
  • Shegaw Anagaw Mengiste 3  

BMC Medical Education volume  22 , Article number:  215 ( 2022 ) Cite this article

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We already know that incorporating information and Communication technology (ICT) into every aspect of human activity result in significant change and makes tasks easier to complete. It can help in areas of healthcare systems and medical education. Therefore, this study aimed to assess utilization ICT and its associated factors among Arba Minch University College Medicine and Health Science students.

A cross sectional study design was conducted in June through August 2021 among under graduate students in college of medicine and health science at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on the students’ socio-demographic factors as well as the utilization ICT. The data entry form was prepared with Epi-data 3.1 versions software and STATA version 14 software was used to analyze the data.

A total of 355 participants enrolled in the study, with a response rate of 98.34%. The percentage of students who used ICT was 55.77% [95% CI, 0.50, 0.60]. Regarding of field of study, health informatics students (84%) used the most ICT, while midwifery students (52%) used the least. Urban resident [AOR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.08, 3.16], ICT knowledge [AOR = 3.8, 95% CI = 2.25, 6.40], having formal training of ICT [AOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.06,3.48], having IT in current course study [AOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.23, 3.84], and had good IT skill [AOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.34, 4.23] revealed a significant and positive correlation with the use of ICT.

In the current study previous residence, ICT knowledge, having formal training, having IT in current courses, and IT skill were significantly associated with student ICT utilization. Therefore, the university should continue to invest in professional development in order to improve teaching and student performance, as well as provide the college with student-centered ICT computer labs to encourage students to use technology.

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In today’s society, information and communication technologies (ICT) play an important part in almost every area [ 1 , 2 ]. ICTs have the potential to promote patient-centered healthcare at a reduced cost, increase quality care and information sharing, educate health professionals and patients, stimulate a different sort of interaction with patients and health providers, and minimize travel time [ 3 , 4 ]. The healthcare system is growing increasingly dependent upon technology, so, health science students are expected to improve their skills of ICT [ 5 , 6 ]. Also, ICT enables the use of novel educational materials and the renewal of learning methods, allowing students to collaborate more actively and simultaneously acquire technological expertise [ 7 ]. In spite of the fact that there’s no single, widespread definition of ICT, the term is for the most part acknowledged to cruel all devices, organizing components, applications and frameworks that combined permit individuals and organizations associated within the computerized world [ 8 ].

While we understand that the use of educational technologies in higher education teaching and learning activities is still in its infancy in Ethiopia, ICT instructional use is critical to both faculty and student success and development [ 9 ]. In education, the use of ICT to improve or support learning and teaching has grown increasingly significant [ 10 , 11 ]. For several decades, many authors have argued that ICT as educational devices facilitate the adaptation of teaching to each student [ 9 , 12 ]. Although it is widely assumed that ICT can empower teachers and students, encourage change, and nurture the development of ‘twenty-first century skills, data to back up these claims is still scarce ( [ 9 ], Https://www.infodev.org/innovationandEntrepreneurship ). ICT in health care, and both educational opportunities and assistance for students and health care professionals have expanded [ 13 , 14 ]. The COVID-19 epidemic has had a significant impact on all aspects of schooling, particularly in light of existing social distancing norms. Medical educators are employing a variety of information and communication technology (ICT) methods to maintain medical education in the face of the pandemic. The majority of medical educators use university websites and online collaboration technologies to disseminate study materials [ 15 , 16 ].

Computer technology and digital world have revolutionized the way people live, work, development and distribution of knowledge and power around the world ( Https://learningportal.iiep.unesco.org/en.learning portal,2021 ). Because the integration of informatics into health science education is becoming necessary in many universities across the world, it is critical to assess health science students’ factors to use computers and ICT technologies [ 17 , 18 , 19 ]. Expanded usage of eHealth is projected in Ethiopia in the future years, appreciations to new efforts, but these systems must be used properly to accomplish objectives; this is entirely dependent on health science student since they will be professional in few years later [ 20 ]. Therefore, the objective this study was to assess utilization of information and Communication technology and its associated factors among undergraduate health science student.

Study design, setting, and period

A cross sectional study design was conducted in June through August 2021 among under graduate students in college of medicine and health science at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia. Arba Minch University College of Medicine and Health Sciences, was founded in 2008. It is located in Ethiopia, SNNP regional State, Gamo Gofa zone, Arba Minch town is located around 434.3 kms from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. It has been focusing on its fundamental mission of operating programs that earnestly complement and augment the nation’s healthcare needs since its foundation. Under college of medicine and health science there are 10 departments running undergraduate study programs.

Study population

This study included all regular undergraduate students from Arba Minch University College of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available during the data collection period and were in their second year or above were included in this study.

Sample size determination and sampling procedure

The sample size was calculated using single population proportion formula with the following assumptions: 95% confidence level (CI), Z (1-α/2) =1.96), based on previous studies proportion of ICT utilization ( p  = 30.9%) [ 21 ], and 5% margin of error by considering a 10% non-response rate. Finally, 361 full-time undergraduate students were enrolled in this study. In Arba Minch University, college of medicine and health science, there are 10 departments (i.e. medicine, public health officer, medical laboratory sciences, midwifery, health informatics, anesthesia, radiology, pharmacy, environmental health and nursing). Later on, the proportional allocation was used for each department and academic year. Finally, using a student attendance list, a simple random sampling technique was used to withdraw study participants.

Data collection

Structured self-administered questionnaires were adapted after reviewing relevant literature [ 21 , 22 , 23 ]. Pretest for the questionnaire was made on about 5% of the total studied population at Wolaita Sodo University which is outside of the study area and used to collect data from the study participants. The questionnaire comprised of socio demographic and basic IT skills and knowledge of computer hardware, software, computer input devices, computer output devices, basic computer words and definitions, and a general concept of how a computer works were assessed by a questionnaire. A total of 16 questions on ICT knowledge were asked, with each statement having a yes or no question to assess the level of ICT knowledge. In this study, participants were also asked about ICT Utilization questions to determine their level of ICT usage. In this study, respondents who scored mean value and above for utilization related questions were rated as good utilization rate; those who scored below mean value for a set utilization related questions were rated poor utilization rate.

Study variables

The dependent variable for this study was utilization of ICT.

Independent variables sex, age, year of study, previous residence, field of study, parental educational status, family monthly income, previous IT training status, personal computer ownership, current information technology course taken, IT knowledge, availability of computer lab session, IT skill.

Statistical analysis

Epi-data 3.1 versions used for data entry and STATA version 14software was used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics was computed to describe socio demographic characteristics. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis was done to identify factors associated with ICT utilization. To control the possible effect of confounders, variables from the bivariate logistic regression with a p -value less than 0.25 were fitted into the multivariable logistic regression. Model fitness was checked by the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness of-fit test. Finally, the results were interpreted using an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).

Ethical issues and approval

Ethical clearance obtained from Arba Minch University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institutional Research Ethics Review Board (IRB). Written and signed voluntary informed consent obtained from all study participants. All methods were performed in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations.

Socio-demographic characteristics of study population

A total of 355 participants enrolled in this study, with a response rate of 98.34%. Majority 239 (67.3%) of respondents were from urban residents. More than half of the respondents (54.08%) were men. The majority of the participants (75.8%) were between ages group of 21–24. Majority of the participant were from medicine (35.2%) department followed by nursing (10.4%) and public health (10.4%). Regarding to family educational status 61.4% fathers and 50.7% mothers had secondary and above educational levels (Table  1 ).

Access to computer and internet

In this study finding (23%) student had formal IT training access. From the total of study participant 63.9% stated that they have access to a computer, of this 50.7% had laptop, 9.6% palmtop, and 3.7% PAD respectively. From the total of study participant 87.6% had internet access, of this 31.3% the participant was access from computer laboratory and 10.7% from internet cafe. It was observed from the study that only 36.3% of the participant had laboratory session during their ICT course (Table  2 ).

Student ICT utilization

In this study percentage of students who used ICT was 55.77% [95% CI, 0.50, 0.60]. In terms of field of study, health informatics students used the most, while midwifery students used the least (Fig.  1 ).

figure 1

utilization of ICT based on field of study

Factors associated with ICT utilization

In the multivariable logistic regression model five variables; previous residence, ICT knowledge, having training, current IT courses taking, and IT skill were significantly associated with ICT utilization.

The odds of utilizing ICT among student who come from urban resident were 1.85 times [AOR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.08, 3.16] higher than that of those come from rural resident. Students who had ICT knowledge were 3.8 times [AOR = 3.8, 95% CI = 2.25, 6.40] more likely to utilize ICT compared to their counterpart. Students who had formal training of IT were 1.9 times [AOR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.06, 3.48] more likely to utilize ICT compared to those who had not formal IT training. Students who taking IT course in their present study were 2.2 times more likely to use ICT than students who did not take an IT course in their current study [AOR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.23, 3.84]. Students who had good IT skill were 2.4 times more likely utilize ICT than those with poor IT skill [AOR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.34, 4.23] (Table  3 ).

The objective of this study was to examine utilization of information communication technology and its associated factors among Arba Minch University College of medicine and health science students. This study revealed that ICT utilization among student was 55.77% [95% CI, 0.50, 0.60], and 44.23% [95% CI: 0.39, 0.49] students didn’t utilize the ICT. This finding was greater than study from Gondar [ 22 ]. The temporal gap between globalization and technical improvement in recent years could be the reason. This finding was lower than study done in Jordan [ 24 ], Egypt [ 25 ] and Ghana [ 26 ]. This could be owing to limited access to IT resources in college, or because students were dissatisfied with computer laboratory sessions in terms of the number of computers accessible, the amount of time allowed for exercise and assistance from the laboratory assistant.

Besides, the inadequacy of computer laboratories and computers in the college, where there are only two computer labs, each with about 40 computers, as well as the majority of computers in the university were not working for all of the students, could explain the poor use of ICT.

In multivariable logistic regression analysis; previous residence, ICT knowledge, having formal training, taking IT in current courses, and IT skill were all found to be significantly associated with ICT utilization. When compared to students from rural areas, students from urban areas were more likely to utilize ICT. This finding was similar with previous study [ 27 ]. This might be due to that those students who come from rural resident don’t have access to electronic materials, because luck of infrastructure like electricity and computers. Students who had good ICT knowledge were more likely to utilize ICT as compared to poor ICT knowledge. This finding supported study done in Ghana [ 26 ]. The possible explanation could be it is therefore essential that students acquire ICT knowledge in order to ensure that ICT tools are used and adopted in order to facilitate efficient learning and teaching.

Regarding to students who had IT skills were more likely to utilize ICT than who had not skill. The finding was supported by similar study [ 11 , 12 ]. This could be attributed to the fact that knowing how to use a range of computer programs, software, and other applications is an important IT ability. Word processing, spreadsheets, databases, PowerPoint presentations, and search engines are just a few examples of ICT applications that having IT skills may aid with. In this finding students who have taken IT course were more likely utilize ICT than their counterpart. This finding was supported by study from previous study [ 7 ]. This might be due to that taking IT related course may help to increase the use of computer and electronics materials. Also, formal information technology training was found to be significantly associated with ICT utilization [ 22 , 28 ].

Furthermore, his finding revealed that student utilization of ICT was inadequate. Emphasis should be placed on helpful training in ICT as well as ICT-enabled teaching and learning. ICT should be skilled as a subject, and combined as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning in other theme areas. Arba Minch University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences might accordingly take advantage of respondents’ interest to learn more about ICT applications and create electronics health related courses for each of the schools.

Limitations of the study

This study did not address the attitude of student towards ICT, which can influence their computer knowledge and utilization. Moreover, the information collected was self-perceived, which might have reported bias. The cross-sectional nature of study design may affect causality being inferred between independent and dependent variables.

In the current study previous residence, ICT knowledge, having formal training, taking IT in current courses and IT skill were significant predictors of ICT utilization. The findings suggest that positive actions should be done to raise the level of ICT utilization among undergraduate students, such as the formal inclusion of ICT training in undergraduate student education. This will improve health science students’ ability to obtain, analyze, and use information in order to solve clinical and other problems promptly and efficiently throughout their studies and, more crucially, after graduation.

Availability of data and materials

The data in which the authors used to produce this manuscript are available upon reasonable request from the correspondence author.


Adjusted Odds Ratio

Confidence Interval

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First of all, we would like to address our sincere appreciation to Arba Minch University for giving us this chance to participate in the research activity. Our special thanks and appreciation also goes to all study subjects who voluntarily participated in this study.

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Samuel Hailegebreal, Tigists Tolessa Sedi, Selamawit Belete, Kirubel Mengistu, Anteneh Getachew, Daniel Bedada & Mebrie Molla

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Proposal preparation, acquisition of data, analysis, and interpretation of data was done by SH, TT, SB, KM, AG, MM, TS and SM instruct the study design data cleaning and analysis. SH drafted the manuscript and all authors have a substantial contribution in revising and finalizing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Hailegebreal, S., Sedi, T.T., Belete, S. et al. Utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) among undergraduate health science students: a cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ 22 , 215 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-022-03296-9

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Journal of Information and Communication Technology

JICT is a double-blind peer reviewed, international academic journal published quarterly by Universiti Utara Malaysia, UUM Press. This journal covers all aspects of information and communication technology, its theories and applications. The aim of this journal is to provide coverage of the most significant research and development in the area of information and communication technology.

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Journal of Information and Communication Technology (JICT) is abstracted and indexed in Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) in November 2017 and Scopus since 2011. It is a double-blind peer reviewed, international academic journal published quarterly (January, April, July and October) by Universiti Utara Malaysia.This journal covers all aspects of information and communication technology, its theories and applications. The aim of this journal is to provide coverage of the most significant research and development in the area of information and communication technology. To be accepted, a paper must be judged to be truly out standing in its field and to be of interest to a wide audience. We are particularly interested in work at the boundaries, both the boundaries of subdisciplines of information and communication technology and the boundaries between information and communication technology and other fields. This is an open access journal. The articles on this site are available in full-text and free of charge to our web visitors.

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The scope of the journal is broad and it includes but not limited to the following topics:

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Printed circuit boards, Communication hardware, interfaces and storage, Integrated circuits, Very large scale integration design, Power and energy, Electronic design automation, Hardware validation, Hardware test, Robustness, Emerging technologies.

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Architectures, Embedded and cyber-physical systems, Real-time systems, Dependable and fault-tolerant systems and networks.

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Network architectures, Network protocols, Network components, Network algorithms, Network performance evaluation, Network properties, Network services, Network types.

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Symbolic and algebraic manipulation, Parallel computing methodologies, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning, Modeling and simulation, Computer graphics, Distributed computing methodologies, Concurrent computing methodologies.

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Electronic commerce, Enterprise computing, Physical sciences and engineering, Life and medical sciences, Law, social and behavioral sciences, Arts and humanities, Computers in other domains, Operations research, Education, Document management and text processing.

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(School of Computing, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)

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Professor Dr. Rosni Abdullah

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(School of Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)

Professor Dr. Simon X. Yang

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(School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Canada)

Professor Dr. Omer F. Rana

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(School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, United Kingdom)

Professor Dr. Zulikha Jamaludin

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Professor Dr. Timothy K. Shih

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(Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central University, Taiwan)

Professor Dr. Eiji Kamioka

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(Department of Information and Communications Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan)

Professor Dr. Koichi Gyoda

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Professor Dr. Saad Talib Hasson Al-Jebori

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(College of Information Technology, University of Babylon, Iraq)

Professor Dr. Madjid Fathi

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(Department of Computer Science, University of Siegen, Germany)

Professor Dr. Razamin Ramli  

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(School of Quantitative Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)

Professor Dr. Elhadj Benkhelifa

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(School of Computing and Digital Technology, University of Stratfordshire, United Kingdom)

Professor Dr. Gheith Abandah

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(Faculty of Engineering, The University of Jordon, Jordon)

Professor Dr. Thiab R. Taha

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(Computer Science Department, The University of Georgia, USA)

Editorial Board 

Professor Dr. Haslinda Ibrahim

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Professor Dr. Wesam Sameer Bhaya

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Professor Ts. Dr. Muhammad Suzuri Hitam

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(School of Informatics and Applied Mathematics, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia)

Professor Dr. Hiroaki Morino

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Associate Professor Dr. Siti Sakira Kamaruddin

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Associate Professor Dr. Yuhanis Yusof

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Associate Professor Dr. Ryota Horie

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(Department of Information and Communications Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan)

Associate Professor Dr. Osama Kayed Taher Qtaish

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(Faculty of Information Technology, Al-Isra University Amman, Jordan)

Associate Professor Dr. Maznah Mat Kasim

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Associate Professor Dr. Nazihah Ahmad

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Associate Professor Dr. Atsuo Yoshitaka

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(School of Information Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

Associate Professor Dr. Husniza Husni

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(School of Computing, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)

Associate Professor Dr. Muhamad Shahbani Abu Bakar

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Associate Professor Dr. Mazni Omar

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Associate Professor Dr. Nur Haryani Zakaria

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Associate Professor Dr. Norliza Katuk

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Dr. Ammar Al Bazi

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(School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Automotive Engineering, Coventry University, England)

Dr. Ir. Agung Sediyono

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(Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Trisakti, Indonesia)

Dr. Abdul Rehman Gilal

[email protected]

(Department of Computer Science, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration University, Pakistan)

Dr. Rafid Sagban

[email protected]

(Department of Computer Science, University of Babylon, Iraq)

Dr. Hiba Basim Alwan Hussain Al-Dulaimi

(Department of Computer Centre, National Board of Pensions Iraq-Baghdad)

Dr. Rizauddin Saian

[email protected]

(Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia)

Dr. Mohamad Farhan Mohamad Mohsin

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