South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
MAYISELA, Tabisa. The potential use of mobile technology: enhancing accessibility and communication in a blended learning course. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.1, pp. 1-18. ISSN 2076-3433.
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 solicitedfrom a purposive convenience sample of 36 students engaged in the blended learning course. The case study utilized a mixed-methods 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 suggestionsforfuture research were made.
Keywords : blended learning course; collaboration; communication; computer access; mobile technology; social networks.