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South African Journal of Education

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The potential use of mobile technology: enhancing accessibility and communication in a blended learning course

T Mayisela

Abstract


Mobile technology is increasingly being used to support blended learning beyond computer centres. It has been considered as a potential solution to the problem of a shortage of computers for accessing online learning materials (courseware) in a blended learning course. The purpose of the study was to establish how the use of mobile technology could enhance accessibility and communication in a blended learning course. Data were solicited from a purposive convenience sample of 36 students engaged in the blended learning course. The case study utilized a mixedmethods approach. An unstructured interview was conducted with the course lecturer and these data informed the design of the students’ semi-structured questionnaire. It was found that students with access to mobile technology had an increased opportunity to access the courseware of the blended learning course. Mobile technology further enhanced student-to-student
and student-to-lecturer communication by means of social networks. The study concludes that mobile technology has the potential to increase accessibility and communication in a blended learning course. Recommendations, limitations of the present study, and suggestions for future research were made.

Keywords: blended learning course, collaboration, communication, computer access, mobile technology, social networks




http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v33n1a629
AJOL African Journals Online