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IDIA2014 Conference
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
3-4 November 2014

The provision of mobile centric services in Higher Educational Institutions: A case of lecturer readiness

Baldreck Chipangura
School of Computing
UNISA
South Africa

Judy van Biljon
School of Computing
UNISA

Adele Botha
School of computing
UNISA/CSIR

Full paper

Abstract

In South Africa, the potential of mobile phones as tools that facilitates inclusive information access and interaction at Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) has not been fully realized. A number of factors could be attributed to the slow growth and they include technological factors, economic factors and human factors. This study focuses on human factors as a source of slow growth in providing students with mobile centric services for information access and interaction. The human factors are the focus of this study because lecturers are critical in the provision of mobile centric services in HEI. Hence, the objective of this study is to investigate the factors that could affect the readiness of lecturers in providing mobile centric services that facilitate students’ information access and interaction at HEIs in developing countries. The research was undertaken within the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) context in South Africa. Qualitative data was captured by interviewing fourteen lecturers and the data was analysed using the Framework for Qualitative Data Analysis. The findings of the study revealed that lecturers’ readiness is affected by their technical skills in designing mobile phone content and services, workload, motivation and access to resources for designing mobile phone content and services. The contribution of this article is to identify the factors that affect the readiness of HEIs lecturers in providing mobile centric services.

Key words

Mobile phone, information access, communication, interaction, readiness