Mobile devices for learning in universities: challenges and effects of usage.
Businge, Phelix Mbabazi
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Mobile devices are no longer playing the role of voice or short message communication but also in learning. These devices allow students to interact with educational content and learning can occur regardless of their location. It is therefore important to establish the factors hindering the use of Mobile devices for learning in Universities: A Case of Muni University. The study answered research questions such as; (a) what are the negative effects of using Mobile devices during lectures for other activities not related to the Lecture? (b) what are the reactions of lecturers towards the use of Mobile devices during lecture time? which factors are hindering the use of Mobile devices for learning? Quantitative design was employed using questionnaires containing a Five (5) Point Likert scale items ranging from strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree and open-ended items were utilized in this study to obtain quantitative information to answer the research questions: A total population of 331 was considered and sample size of 181 was obtained using Krejcie and Morgan table. Stratified sampling was used to collect data from each stratum and data was analyzed using SPSS Version 20. The reliability of the data collected was tested using the Cronbach's reliability test coefficient were the overall value of all the options was on average 0.67 which was beyond recommended Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient values 0.6 for an instrument to be declared reliable. In terms of ascertaining the negative effects of using Mobile devices during lectures for other activities to the related Lecture, students agreed that it distract students' attention, disturb other students, disturbs the instructors and the course of the lesson and reflects disrespect for the instructor. The findings also agreed that the following were ranked among top five (5) factors hindering the use of Mobile devices for learning: Lack of mobile devices, Slow Speed of the mobile devices, Power problems, Network Connections Issues and Battery problem but disagreed that the course is not suited for mobile devices, lack of interest and complicated to use. This study recommended that mobile devices should be encouraged, allow students to use Mobile devices according to lesson’s topics since students disagreed that lack of interest is not hindering the use of mobile devices, discourage students from using Mobile devices in class for other activities not related to the topic and formulate the usability policy of mobile devices.
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