Mobile App to Support Teaching in Distance Mode at Fiji National University: Design and Evaluation

Mobile App to Support Teaching in Distance Mode at Fiji National University: Design and Evaluation

Bimal aklesh Kumar (Fiji National University, Fiji) and Sailesh Chand (Fiji National University, Fiji)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch037

Abstract

In order to assist in delivering of courses in distance mode at Fiji National University a mobile learning app was designed and evaluated. The main objective of this app was to provide learning support to learners who are studying in distance mode. The app was designed for android based smart phones and usability study was conducted to evaluate the app. The evaluation was conducted using twenty students who examined the system for ease of use, usefulness and user satisfaction. The results highlighted minor usability problems hence recommendations were derived to improve the app.
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Background

Distance Learning is a broad term which includes studying at your convenience allowing learners to make choices about where, when, and how learning occurs (Koole, McQuilkin, & Ally, 2010). Students studying through distance education are geographically isolated from their teachers and are often separated from their peers as a source of support (Matthíasdóttir, 2006). Instructors use various methods to facilitate courses in distance mode such as printed study guides and learning management systems. Many researchers working in the field of distance education have been exploring on tools and techniques that could improve the delivery of courses in distance mode. Many technologies have been applied in the past to bridge the gap between distance education and classroom learning. As early as the mid-1970s, universities began to use email and asynchronous text-based conferencing to complement their courses, the early 1980s saw the first online courses and today, the literature is growing rich with studies of mobile learning (Harasim, 2000). Small, hand-held devices are now being used in language learning, medical training, music composition, and general education (Kukulska-Hulme, Sharples, Arnedillo-Sánchez, Milrad, & Vavoula, 2009; Traxler, 2009). These easy-to-carry tools allow more freedom to interact with others and to access a variety of multimedia.

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