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Educating Sub-Saharan Africa: Assessing Mobile Application Use in a Higher Learning Engineering Programme

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Samuel Eneje
Publication date15/02/2022
Number of pages338
Awarding Institution
Award date1/07/2022
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In the institution where I teach, insufficient laboratory equipment for engineering education pushed students to learn via mobile phones or devices. Using mobile technologies to learn and practice is not the issue, but the more important question lies in finding out where and how they use mobile tools for learning. Through the lens of Kearney et al.’s (2012) pedagogical model, using authenticity, personalisation, and collaboration as constructs, this case study adopts a mixed-method approach to investigate the mobile learning activities of students and find out their experiences of what works and what does not work.
Four questions are borne out of the over-arching research question, ‘How do students studying at a University in Nigeria perceive mobile learning in electrical and electronic engineering education?’ The first three questions are answered from qualitative, interview data analysed using thematic analysis. The fourth question investigates their collaborations on two mobile social networks using social network and message analysis. The study found how students’ mobile learning relates to the real-world practice of engineering and explained ways of adapting and overcoming the mobile tools’ limitations, and the nature of the collaborations that the students adopted, naturally, when they learn in mobile social networks. It found that mobile engineering learning can be possibly located in an offline mobile zone. It also demonstrates that investigating the effectiveness of mobile learning in the mobile social environment is possible by examining users’ interactions. The study shows how mobile learning personalisation that leads to impactful engineering learning can be achieved.
The study shows how to manage most interface and technical challenges associated with mobile engineering learning and provides a new guide for educators on where and how mobile learning can be harnessed. And it revealed how engineering education can be successfully implemented through mobile tools.