King Saudi University Mobile Learning

Introduction

Introductory Paragraphs

Traditionally, education was offered in classes only. In the classes, students would interact with their instructors. As a result, the physical presence of students was paramount and mandatory. However, the rising knowledge in technology has led to mobile learning. However, mobile learning has not laid a strong foundation. Therefore, it is only a few people use the concept of mobile learning. Simultaneously, many people have misconstrued the definition of mobile learning. By definition, mobile learning refers to a setup in which the learner and instructors enjoy learning opportunities without taking a fixed location (Turkle, 2011). The concept uses mobile devices and gadgets enabling them to learn from various points. In other words, mobile learning uses portable devices to satisfy their learning. The devices include Smartphones, MP3 players, tablets, and mobile phones (Ahson, 2012). In this paper, we shall focus on King Saud University in relation to mobile learning. The university was created to produce non-religious professionals and meet the deficiency of staff and workers in the country (Breck, 2012).

Statement of problem

The previous paragraph states that students and instructors are the key determinants of the success of mobile learning at King Saud University. However, most lecturers and instructors are fairly elderly. As a result, they portray a substantial level of ignorance and resistance towards the use of mobile learning. This ignorance and resistance have posed a serious challenge to the implementation of this concept. This problem in the setup is a crucial component in the implementation of mobile learning in the university.

Purpose

Researchers have created a significant gap during their researches. In this light, their researches seek to determine the perception of students towards mobile learning. However, they have not conducted significant research on the perceptions that instructors have towards mobile learning. As a result, they have not determined the willingness of lecturers in King Saud University to teach and give assignments using mobile technology. However, the reluctance of lecturers to use the technology would be a significant deterioration in this concept of mobile learning. Therefore, this research aims at closing this gap and providing possible solutions for the research problem. In this light, it will suggest the possible solutions to technological ignorance and resistance.

Significance

This research aims at ensuring that the main stakeholders in mobile learning play their roles. Therefore, it seeks to scrutinize the perceptions of lecturers towards mobile learning. In this light, the research incorporates the collection of relevant data from the lecturers and analyzing the data. Consequently, it will provide a basis for making relevant recommendations and solutions to the problem.

Research Question

In this research, we seek to understand the perception that lecturers hold towards mobile learning. In this light, the research question could seek to understand whether the lecturers are willing to adopt mobile learning. Are the lecturers in King Saud University ready to adopt mobile learning as a method of teaching? This question facilitates the collection of data with the aim of showing the perceptions that the lecturers have towards the program.

Hypothesis

We could assume that the lecturers are not willing to adopt mobile learning in teaching. For this question, we cannot carry out research to determine its validity. In scientific terms, it is the null hypothesis. Therefore, we can assume that the lecturers are willing to adopt mobile learning. However, the pre-assumption is not final. Therefore, the research will help in determining the validity of the assumption that is made in this hypothesis. In this light, it will approve or disapprove the hypothesis. Scientifically, it is the alternative hypothesis. Particularly, it forms the foundation of this research.

Background

Literature Review

Technology is growing at an extremely high rate across the world. The pursuit of technology has become inevitable (Wempen, 2012). Learning institutions have employed technological systems to facilitate learning and inventions. As a result, the system has induced and forced people to adopt the digital culture. King Saud University is not an exception. It has started offering distance learning to students of various colleges within its setup. Therefore, lecturers have been induced to technology.

In this light, mobile devices are available to lecturers. Almost all lecturers are financially stable. As a result, they can afford to procure Personal Digital Assistants, tablets, and Smartphones that can be used in mobile learning (Ramady, 2013). Although the gadgets are available to them, the lecturers have not adopted them as teaching gadgets. The main reason for this behavior is lacking knowledge.

Many of the lecturers do not have the knowledge to use mobile devices for teaching. They can use the devices for many reasons, but they do not consider them as teaching gadgets. The most crucial step that would facilitate the success of mobile learning is the creation of awareness among lecturers. The awareness would seek to show the lecturers that the devices can be used as teaching gadgets in mobile learning.

It is true that most of the lecturers would be willing to use mobile gadgets for teaching and learning. However, they do not have the discrete knowledge that directs them on how to use them in teaching. This implies that the lecturers will use the mobile devices if they are trained in their use in relation to teaching. Therefore, ignorance is a crucial component of resistance towards using mobile devices as teaching gadgets.

However, some lecturers have various reservations about the use of mobile gadgets in classes. They consider the use of mobile gadgets as a destructor of education. They feel that most of the students would be carried away by social networking and entertainment. Therefore, they prefer using the traditional methods rather than mobile devices. Some of them believe that the use of mobile gadgets and devices results in laxity among students. Therefore, they encourage students to take notes in class and do their assignments manually. In this light, some lecturers assert that students should hand in hard copies of their assignments for marking.

In addition, some lecturers find it crucial for students to attend classes physically. They argue that physical attendance ensures that the students interact with their teachers entirely.

Definitions of terms

  • Mobile Learning- This is the use of Mobile devices for the purpose of learning.
  • King Saud University- This is a university that is found in Saud Arabia. It offers courses in Science and humanities

Methodology

Population

In this research, the target population comprised of lecturers in the constituent colleges of King Saud University. King Saud University had about four thousand faculties in its system. The faculties had their heads and various lecturers. The university had three thousand teaching staff. This made up the target population of this research. In this light, the research considered the faculty heads and the common lecturers. As a result, the heads gave an administrative perspective towards the perception and readiness of the staff to adopt mobile learning. The common lecturers gave a personal perception towards the use of mobile gadgets for learning. Consequently, it was complete and all-inclusive research.

Sampling

The whole population could not be involved. Therefore, a sample must be collected from the population. In sampling, the sample size must be significant ensuring the reliability of the results(Billeter, 2012). In this research, two hundred lecturers were involved. The lecturers came from various faculties. As a result, the faculties were sampled. This sampling will consider two hundred faculties out of the four thousand faculties.

The sampling followed the random purposive method of sampling. In random purposive sampling, the sample is independent of the outcome. However, the sample was selected for the purpose of determining the perspective of lecturers towards mobile learning. Therefore, the element of purpose was considered. In this light, it considered the lecturers who teach in faculties offering distant learning. This implies that the lecturers will give relevant and reliable information. The aspect of randomization ensured that the sample was not biased. In other words, the sample must not favor a certainly desired income. In this university, the sample was randomized across faculties. The randomization achieved a maximum variation which reflected the true picture of opinions. Furthermore, it randomized the role of lecturers, their background and technological knowledge. This ensured further credibility and validity of the results in this research.

Instrumentation

During the research, the researcher used flexible questionnaires. Flexible questionnaires are subject to alteration. Therefore, the researchers have the freedom to add or remove some questions during the research. This ensured that the researchers could add any arising issues that they came across (Wilson, 2013). On the other hand, they could remove the questions that they found irrelevant to research in the course of the data collection. The questionnaires acted as an instrument for collecting and recording the data.

The research incorporated the use of video and voice recorders. These instruments recorded the exact information from the respondents. As a result, all the information that was required would be available for analysis (Lieb & Loss, 2011). They ensured that the research included any information that the questionnaires omitted. The video recorders ensured that any information that required visual perception was captured and used in the analysis. The questionnaires and the recorders are all-inclusive. They made the research complete and credible. Consequently, the information was used in making relevant recommendations (Nadeem, 2013).

Procedures and Time Frames

The most crucial procedure was the use of in-depth interviews. The respondents were asked to describe and give their opinions pertaining to their perceptions towards the use of mobile devices in teaching. They were needed to suggest whether they are interested in teaching using mobile devices. The interviewers needed to understand whether the lecturers believed in the ability of mobile learning to simplify the learning process. They give their view relating to the use of mobile phone away from classrooms. In addition, the respondents expressed their opinions relating to the utilization of time when using mobile learning. Lastly, the respondents described the reservations they hold against the use of mobile learning. Moreover, they described the advantages and benefits related to mobile learning. The following questions were included in the questionnaire.

Interview Questions

  1. In which department do you work?
  2. Are you an administrator in the department or a regular lecturer?
  3. For how long have you worked in this department?
  4. Does the department endorse mobile learning?
  5. Are you interested in using mobile learning?
  6. Do you believe that mobile learning would simplify the learning process?
  7. What are your views concerning the use of mobile learning in the classroom and away from the classroom?
  8. What are your views pertaining to the utilization of time in mobile learning?
  9. What reservations do you hold for mobile learning?
  10. What benefits come from mobile learning?
  11. Do you have any additional views towards the use of mobile learning?

Each question took a maximum of one minute. The description of the advantages and shortcomings of the program will take a maximum of three. As a result, the interview took a maximum of nine minutes for each respondent. The entire research lasted for one day and six hours. This ensured that the research did not take a lot of time that would affect studies in the institutions. In this light, most of the interviews were done during break times.

Analysis plan

Data collection and analysis were done simultaneously. This ensured that the questionnaires could be changed so that they suit new themes or remove the irrelevant ones (Altheide & Schneider, 2013). The analysis of the two data sets was done separately. The separate analysis facilitated comparison between the two data sets (Stone, Smith & Murphy, 2012). The similarities between the two groups of respondents were reconciled, and the differences were analyzed to make conclusions.

Validity and Reliability

The research ensured that the results were valid and reliable. In this light, various components of the research were considered. Firstly, the sampling was done in a random manner within the target population. This ensured that the research did not have a pre-determined outcome (Faghfouri, 2013). As a result, the outcomes were reliable, credible and valid. Secondly, the research considered two data sets including faculty heads and the lectures. In this light, the two groups played differing roles in the institution. As a result, they had diverse opinions in regard to mobile learning. The heads gave an administrative perspective concerning the perception of lecturers towards mobile learning (Keller & Keller, 2012). In addition, the interview used flexible questionnaires. The flexible questionnaires facilitated consistency across the research and ensured the validity of the outcomes. As a result, the results were reliable and credible.

Results and Analysis

The research showed that most of the lecturers had the accessibility to mobile devices that could be used in mobile learning. Most of them found it easy to obtain mobile phones and other portable devices. In fact, 90 percent of them had smartphones that could be used for the program. This showed that the lecturers have the resources that can facilitate mobile learning. However, it is only 20 percent of the lecturers used mobile devices to facilitate mobile learning for their students. The rest of them said that they had little knowledge of using mobile devices to facilitate learning. They argued that they restricted their use to other mobile services but not learning. The lecturers expressed curiosity to understand the operation of mobile devices in teaching. This curiosity portrayed the readiness of lecturers to learn and use mobile devices for teaching. This implied that the university is ready to adopt mobile learning. Surprisingly, some lecturers learn mobile learning from their students. For example, a lecturer from the faculty of medicine narrated a story concerning his experience with the student. He said that he bought a phone that he could not operate. However, one of his students provided an explanation to him on how to use the phone. The lecturer developed an interest in understanding how students enjoyed learning through Smartphones. He came to understand that the phones would download and upload large volumes of data into the World Wide Web. After further investigations, he understood that most of the students owned smartphones. Therefore, he started delivering information using the phones. He could communicate and update the students through mobile phones. This was a perfect example of the readiness of lecturers towards adopting the program of mobile learning.

Most lecturers, who understood the use of mobile devices for teaching, suggested that it saved time for students and simplified communication with the students. Based on the opinion of the lecturers, the attention of the students was distracted by the use of mobile devices in class. In addition, they said that the use of mobile devices away from school was highly effective. Therefore, they expressed their willingness to adopt mobile learning.

Discussion

Lecturers have deficient knowledge of the use of mobile devices for mobile learning. They seek to understand the use of the devices for teaching and facilitating learning practices. They appreciate the advantages and benefits that accompany the use of mobile devices in learning.

Therefore, the lecturers are ready to use and learn the use of mobile phones and related devices in mobile learning. In this light, the university is ready to adopt and incorporate the program into its system. This can be attributed to the willingness of lecturers to use mobile learning. As a result, the collaboration between the students and teachers will enable the entire university to use the program.

Solutions

The main objective of this research is to ensure stakeholders involved in mobile learning play their role. In this light, the research shows that the lecturers are willing to endorse mobile learning but they do not have the knowledge on how to use mobile devices for learning. Therefore, the lecturers should be trained and encouraged to use mobile learning (Huang, 2013). This calls for the university to offer training programs for their teaching staff. This will help in eliminating ignorance on the side of the lecturers ensuring collaboration from both students and lecturers. Moreover, the training programs can include the students who do not have much knowledge concerning mobile learning. In addition, it will facilitate the readiness of the university to adopt mobile learning (Li, 2013)

Conclusion and Summary

The above research paper has given a description of the research that aims at determining the readiness of King Saud University to adopt mobile learning. It has managed to close the gap that existed in research. This has been accomplished by interviewing the lecturers and providing the above solutions for the problems incurred. It has explained the process of data collection, recording, analysis, and conclusions. It has closed the gap existing in the current research.

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