Utilization of Smartphones for Retrieving Research Information Resources in Libraries by Undergraduates

Utilization of Smartphones for Retrieving Research Information Resources in Libraries by Undergraduates

Jane Igie Aba (Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria) and Theresa Osasu Makinde (Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9034-7.ch017

Abstract

This chapter examined the utilization of smart phones for retrieving research information resources in libraries by undergraduates. The study covers awareness, utilization, benefits, effects, and constraints that affect smart phones for retrieving research information resources by undergraduates. These concepts generally implied that awareness facilitates interest for use. It was concluded that smartphones were used by undergraduate students to retrieve research information resources, and this had positive impact on research out of students will produce positive impact on academic performance of students. It was recommended among others that efforts should be made by the university to inculcate mobile teaching and learning curriculum in to the school syllabuses at the various levels, and library staff, lecturers, and university staff generally should be sensitized and trained in the use of mobile devices for teaching and learning.
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Introduction

Smartphone is one the most popular communication devices in the world. It is a mobile phone running on a complete operating system in a manner similar to a traditional computer, which offer advanced computing abilities and connectivity options. These features enable new kinds of mobile services that in turn shape the usage habits of library users (Alfawareh & Jusoh, 2014). University library users are among the highest contributors to the increasing number of smartphone sales. The factor that most influences the increase in smartphone usage is the functionality that helps users in their daily life especially business people and university library users (Jacob and Isaac 2008).

According to Wayne, Gregory & Joseph (2009) research is when information is gathered to answer a question that solves a problem. Creswell (2008) states that research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase the understanding of a topic or issue. It consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. Thus, research is not just gathering of information or rearranging of paragraphs from an encyclopedia or web pages but asking real questions and finding solutions to them. In tertiary education, it is not only postgraduate students or the lecturers that carry out research. Undergraduates also engage in academic research (Kanelechi, Nwangwa, Ebun, and Omotere, 2014). Hence, undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original, intellectual, or creative contribution to the discipline (Wenzel, 2000). This definition makes room for creativity in undergraduate research. Creativity is the ability to transcend mainstream ideas, bringing about originality. It has been identified as the first necessary skill in research writing. Creativity is an essential trait that undergraduate researchers should seek to develop and utilize within their research experience in the library using available information resources (Adrienne, et al, 2013).

Saron (2005) affirms that undergraduate research are form of assessment designed by lecturers to test student skills in locating and organizing materials, comprehending a topic and/or applying a concept to a specific context (Sharon, 2005). This definition recognizes the art of critical ethical judgment in undergraduate research. The above descriptions of undergraduate research writing agree that First Degree research projects are designed with the intent of creating new knowledge. Undergraduate research writing empowers students to create knowledge as well as communicate their findings. The students’ benefit from the research experience of the supervisors who builds confidence, offers encouragement, and provides guidance and assistance for the students’ future education and career development (CPT, 2000).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Smartphone Impact: In this study refers to massive change bought about in the lives of people using mobile phones through advancement in science and technology.

Undergraduates: In this study refers to students studying for their first degree (usually entitled Bachelor of Arts [BA] or Bachelor of Science [Bsc] in a university).

Smart Phones Usage: In this study refers to the amount of time spent on over conventional mobile phones.

ICT: In this study refers to information and communications technology (or technologies) that is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing.

Information Resources: It is referred to in this study as library resources, information bearing materials and information retrieval tools in human, print or electronic form (e.g., library staff, encyclopedia, dictionary, computers, indexes, abstracts, among others).

Smartphones: In this study refers to mobile phone running on a complete operating system in a manner similar to a traditional computer, which offer advanced computing abilities and connectivity options.

Research: It is referred to in this study as assignments, examination, seminars, and project reports.

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