Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Embargo Date

5-28-2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation

Advisor(s)

Tiffany A. Koszalka

Keywords

disruptive learning, distance learning, higher education, marginalized communities, disadvantaged groups, Botswana, electronic mobile technologies, e-mobile learning, instructional design, safe learning

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

Several studies indicated the potential of electronic mobile technologies in reaching (safe learning) under-served communities and engaging (disruptive learning) disadvantaged peoples affording them learning experiences. However, the potential benefits of (electronic mobile learning) e-mobile learning have not been well understood from the contexts of the under-served, disadvantaged, and marginalized groups in higher education of developing economies. The purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory investigative context analysis of how current uses and impressions of electronic mobile technologies among distance learners in rural communities of Botswana can inform instructional design strategies for creating more powerful, safe and disruptive distance learning experiences in higher education. Case studies were conducted to investigate both the learners and their tutors from two school districts in two rural communities of Botswana as a developing economy. Previous studies indicated that these technologies may provide greater access to educational resources and opportunities for the disadvantaged, anytime anywhere. However, data were limited to primarily higher economic nations that provided broadband and wireless access for pilot studies.

Data from 54 participants, teachers from rural elementary schools and tutors from colleges of education in cities, were collected using interview and survey questionnaire techniques. The findings suggest 100% penetration of electronic mobile technologies from the sample drawn, but usages in learning and impressions were not significant enough to consider e-mobile learning as an alternative strategy for the rural communities at this time. Many barriers (e.g., lack of wireless access and computer technology in rural regions, lack of skills, and course designs using traditional methods that marginalize participation of rural learners) existed. Thus, the study recommends developing partnerships with local wireless providers and elementary schools, constructing centers for learning support at a sample of rural elementary schools, and piloting e-mobile learning projects at these centers in and for these rural communities. Electronic mobile technologies may be an equaling agent in the future, however the first step is to equal the access and design instructional materials that benefit the flexible needs of a rural community.

Access

Open Access

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Education Commons

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