An exploratory study of mobile learning for tertiary education: A discussion with students

Abstract

The drive to understand and to improve the adoption of self-service, technology-based teaching and dynamic learning environments has created interest in recent years. Owing to the availability, flexibility and convenience of wireless devices, learning/training programs appear to be providing benefits to instructors and students alike.

Over the years, wireless technologies have improved communication capabilities, videoconferencing, data management and live discussion forums. The reduction in the cost of hardware and Internet services and the increased capabilities of wireless devices in conjunction with the capabilities of the World Wide Web are popular among students and academics.

While universities, Technical and Further Education colleges and other training providers realise the potential role played by wireless technologies in dynamic learning environments, users of those technologies have indicated conflicting outcomes, claiming a failure of wireless technologies in learning environments.

What appear to be consistent factors in the success or failure of such technologies is the context in which these applications are used, the specific applications for learning and teaching, infrastructure and change management. The literature indicates that sophisticated applications and features are constantly being developed for the wireless learning environment. Australian institutions are using wireless technologies for specific objectives in educational environments, but the adoption of those technologies is a complex and technical process.

This exploratory research reports outcomes of a preliminary discussion with students about the influence of wireless technologies on learning purposes. The prime focus of the discussion was to extract themes that can identify factors that have an impact on the adoption of wireless technologies in learning environments in order to develop an initial conceptual model.

Authors

Abdul Hafeez-Baig
Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Raj Gururajan
Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Vijaya Gururajan
Faculty of Business, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

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Keywords

educational environments; wireless technologies; mobile learning; mobile technologies

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