Mobile Learning among Students and Lecturers in the Developing World: Perceptions Using the UTAUT Model

Mobile Learning among Students and Lecturers in the Developing World: Perceptions Using the UTAUT Model

Lenandlar Singh (University of Guyana, Guyana), Troy Devon Thomas (University of Guyana, Guyana), Kemuel O. Gaffar (University of Guyana, Guyana) and Dwayne Renville (University of Guyana, Guyana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0256-2.ch017


The potential of mobile technologies to influence teaching and learning has enthused educational technology researchers. This chapter compares lecturers and students at the University of Guyana on the factors of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology model and attitude in relation to technology in education using principal components and regression analyses. It also focuses on access to devices and use of the device features. The results show that the mobile phone is the most popular mobile device among students and lecturers and that both groups have positive attitudes towards using mobile devices for teaching and learning. However, students are more disposed and better equipped to use mobile technologies in the near future and have stronger intentions towards integrating them into their learning. Whereas attitude is the most important determinant of adoption among students, the facilitating conditions is most critical to mobile learning adoption among lecturers.
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Technology is fundamentally changing the way we teach and learn and it is believed that it has the potential to provide solutions to many of the problems and challenges of education in the 21st century (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010). Educational technology in particular offers tremendous benefits to both teachers and students by creating new pedagogical models, curriculum delivery methods and learning systems. This has availed numerous possibilities for distance education, including new models of interaction through synchronous and asynchronous tools (Chang, 2010). One area of e-learning that is gaining increasing popularity is mobile learning (m-learning).

M-learning has extended the possibilities of e-learning and distance education systems by allowing educators and students to teach and learn anywhere, anytime and on the move. This new educational paradigm has emerged with the evolution of mobile devices and mobile Internet access (Chang, 2010; Negas & Ramos, 2011; Wang, Shen, Novak, & Pan, 2009) and the rapid increase in the number of mobile devices worldwide has driven institutions to explore the potential of mobile technologies to support teaching and learning (Wang et al., 2009). The number of active mobile phones in the world reached 2.7 billion in 2007 (Ahonen & Moore, 2007), surged exponentially to over 5 billion in 2010 (Wood, 2010) and analysts at Wireless Intelligence predicted that by mid-2012 there would have been approximately 6 billion active mobile connections worldwide (Wood, 2010). Furthermore, Kadle (2010) predicted that by 2012 smart phones would have outsold desktops, notebooks and net-books put together. The most recent statistics from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) indicates that mobile cellular subscription worldwide has reached 97% (International Telecommunications Union, 2015).

The changing economic and social lifestyles of people and in particular circumstances centred on the need for greater mobility and travel have resulted in the extensive use of mobile technologies (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010; El-Hussein & Cronje, 2010). In particular, the increasing mobility of online social networking extends and enlarges the reach of these networks and facilitate “flexible and spontaneous learning” inside and outside of formal classroom environments (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010). The ubiquity and pervasiveness of these technologies and their popularity especially among students make them suitable for use in educational contexts (Du, 2015; El-Hussein & Cronje, 2010; Jeng, Wu, Huang, Tan, & Yang, 2010; Negas & Ramos, 2011). Mobile devices include, but are not limited to, smart phones, mp3 players, tablet PCs and PDA’s. However, the use of these devices seems to be mainly for social contact (Kukulska-Hulme, 2010) and teachers have reported problems related to the use of mobile phones in the classroom (O’Bannon & Thomas, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-Learning: The use of electronic devices to facilitate learning.

Mobile Learning: Anytime, anywhere learning with the help of mobile technologies.

Mobile Pedagogy: Effective methods of teaching and learning using mobile technologies.

Mobile Technology: Tools and devices that can be easily moved about and used.

Technology Acceptance: The positive feeling about the utility of technology in our daily lives.

Learner Mobility: The ability to access and benefit from learning irrespective of time and place.

Educational Technology: Technologies that support the teaching and learning process.

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