Evaluation of Mobile Learning Project at the UAE University: College of Engineering Case Study

Evaluation of Mobile Learning Project at the UAE University: College of Engineering Case Study

Mousa. I. Hussein (UAE University, UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7316-8.ch005
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Abstract

The relentless expansion of information technology in educational institutions is widely acknowledged. There is substantial evidence that technology enhances student learning and educational outcomes. Many colleges and universities have adapted technology in their education system. The college of Engineering at the United Arab Emirates University launched its IT-based active learning (Laptop) project at the first semester of the academic year 2002-2003. After several years of implementation, the college is reviewing its course development technology strategy and is asking a very important question, “Did our investment in technology result in enhanced learning outcomes and promote the new, learner-centered pedagogy, or did it have little impact on learning?” The work presented in this chapter highlights the main outcomes and conclusions of a survey study, which was developed to answer the raised question. Many lessons have been learned about the benefits and difficulties in being a laptop college. These lessons are documented in this chapter.
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Developing Ubiquitous Computing Infrastructutre At Uaeu

Like many universities all over the globe, the UAE University approach to meeting student computer needs has been one of placing computers and state-of-the-art technology in specialized classrooms, laboratories, the library, and in dormitories. Some students owned computers, which in some cases were not compatible with those in the campus facilities. Despite the continuous upgrade and expansion in IT services and facilities, there were still problems associated with the utilization of the current advanced computing/IT infrastructure such as:

  • Students are tied to a limited physical space;

  • Time/space limitation and utilization of computing labs due to its occupancy by lectures almost all day long throughout the week, this common type of utilization has limited the use of computers and technology;

  • There were usually few empty seats in all classrooms each hour of the day. Computers were in classrooms but they were unavailable for student use during class hours; and

  • Faculty also competed for access to the limited computer laboratory time.

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