Mobile Technology in Training Micro Businesses: Users' Requirements and Architectural Design

Mobile Technology in Training Micro Businesses: Users' Requirements and Architectural Design

William Gomera (University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Finland & College of Business Education (CBE), Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania) and George Oreku (University of Eastern Finland, Finland & North West University, South Africa & Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization (TIRDO), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTRAME.2016070102

Abstract

This paper establishes users' requirements and develops architectural design for mobile training platform between Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Micro Businesses (MBs). Users' requirements and architectural design for mobile training platform will set a base for the development of application mobile technology in training MBs. This finding responds to the existing challenges facing trainings Micro business vendors which are learning coverage and ubiquitouness, caused by physical contact as model of delivering. Subsequently this study create base for development of mobile training application for MFIs and MBs. The study was conducted through literature review, in-depth interview, focused groups, observation and tasks analysis. User requirement and architecture design was established and presented to match specifications, characteristics and working environment of both MBs and MFIs.
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1. Introduction

Micro Businesses (MBs) characterised by having small capital, informal business and low level of education. Due to MBs characteristics, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) offer loans and training to MBs (Rusdy, 2007) through seminars and workshops. However, training offered to MBs, is inadequate in terms of coverage and continuity due to model of deliverance (Gomera & Mikko, 2015) which is physical contact.

On the other hand, mobile training context has been characterised by learners’ mobility, possibility of having localized data and information, large amount of data be collected during a learning session, affordances provided by technology and social dynamics (Fulantelli, Taidi, & Arrigo, 2015; Fotiadis & Sigala, 2015; Yi-Sheng, Yongfu, & Cheng, 2010). Therefore, application of mobile technology can assist MFIs to offer, and MBs receive training any time at any place. Furthermore, mobile training is viable because of the availability of internet and ownership of mobile phone by MBs (Fotiadis & Sigala, 2015; Buabeng-Andoh & Yidana, 2014). Also has supported learning experiences both formal and informal context, whereby, trainees can access personalized training materials and develop learning activities such as exploring, investigating, discussing etc. (Fultantelli et al., 2015; Hardaker, Dockery, & Sabki, 2007; Reis, Escudeiro, & Escudeiro, 2012; Xhevrie, 2015).

Number of mobile training researches and systems has been applied in different level of education (S’anchez, Miguel’anez, & Garcia, 2013; Marzouki, Idrissi, & Bennani, 2013; Chang, Chen, & Hsu, 2011; Villier & Harpur, 2013; Scholtz & Kapeso, 2014), however, current research have not covered all classes as it leaves out the lower class of people. There is a clear gap that small to micro firms’ workers or owners are currently being socially excluded from technological style of learning through lack of personalized training styles support in work – based training practice

Micro Businesses need a platform that offer training basing on their education level, practical oriented (coaching), simplified and understandable structure. Furthermore, mobile training to MBs has to be designed with consideration of mobile devices size and characteristics of both MBs and MFIs and their specific needs.

However to the best of our knowledge there are limited studies in Tanzania that specifying specific requirements of MBs in connection with mobile technology. Therefore, this study focuses on determine users requirements and architectural design of the mobile training application to MBs. The users’ requirements and architectural design considered relevant characteristics and working environment/experience of MFIs and MBs.

  • A.

    Mobile Technology in Training

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