Imapct factor(SJIF): 6.56
‘SMART’ Pedagogy to manage invasion of Smartphones in m-campus
Dr. Bharti Pandya
Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE
Dr. Kavita Shah
Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE
BYOD (bring your own device) concept has been adopted by many universities (Cisco, 2012). The popularity of Smartphones is very high amongst Emirati students (Santos, 2010). While it is evident that the smartphones cannot be separated from this millennial generation, the researchers thought of probing into tapping the usage of smartphones for designing a SMART pedagogy. Five significant elements have been covered to effectively use Smartphones as an educational tool – Sharing Content; Messaging; Assignments; Revisions; and Tests.Based on this, authors have designed SMART pedagogy. Although the word SMART is based on initials of the essentials but the paper concludes that it is really a smart and practical pedagogy indeed.
This paper is intended to assist teachers in creating SMART pedagogy to facilitate learning via smartphones. Authors have analyzed the various factors attributing to the application of Smartphones as a learning device. This research paper intends to explain the ratio of importance of these five components in view of students which in turn supports instructors to select the right mix and include that in their pedagogy. One of the assumptions made in this paper is that the instructors and students are well versed in the usage and application of Smartphones.
Keywords: Smartphone, m-learning, m-campus, SMART pedagogy
Nearly 90% of Emirati university students would go back to their homes to collect their forgotten cell phones; about 80% would answer their phones in middle of the shower; and around 70% acknowledged that their parents give them missed calls to grab their attention. This was revealed in the study conducted by MahboubHashem and Susan Smith on the level of cell phone addiction amongst Emirati youth (Hashem & Smith, 2011). Observably, the same phenomena exists is most of the colleges in UAE. In our college, we have observed that nearly all students have smartphones and some female Emirati students even carry more than one phone. The popularity of Smartphones is very high amongst Emirati students (Santos, 2010). While it is evident that the smartphones cannot be separated from this millennial generation, the researchers thought of probing into tapping the usage of smartphones for designing aSMART pedagogy.
In a research study conducted by ECAR, it was suggested that Smartphones are brought in colleges by many undergraduate students (Dahlstorm, 2012). BYOD (bring your own device) concept has been adopted by many universities (Cisco, 2012).Students find Smartphones as a very useful device as it enhances subject knowledge and fosters collaborative work (Vazquez-Cano, 2014). Developed and developing countries are trying to use smartphones in delivering education to middle and higher levels (United Nations Educational, 2013). Considering popularity and high usage of mobile phones among teenagers and students, IT industry had to reform their technology to design mobile friendly educational applications. And since 2001 in alliance with education industry many educational apps had been introduced to facilitate the learning process.
In this nifty era, academicians are facing the challenges of making more concise, functional, user-friendly and expedient lesson plan suitable for smartphones.
This paper is intended to assist teachers in creating SMART pedagogy to facilitate learning via smartphones. This paper suggests important features for the effective SMART pedagogy which can make learning effective and successful with the help of different learning applicationsavailable for smartphones.Smartphones have a plethora of apps and features that makes learning a wonderful experience but every coin has two sides. This paper also highlights the silent and evil features of smartphone learning that also can disrupt the learning
Many attributes were probed into for each essential of the SMART pedagogy. For ‘S’, i.e. Sharing Content attributes like accessibility to the content, processing time to access the content, possibility of accessing large and small data files, easiness in reading the content, pleasure in reading the content, accessibility to image files and pleasure of watching the videos were covered in the research. The most favorable response of 96% reflects students’ appreciation for reading the short text files followed by the favorable response of 90% towards processing time to access the content as well as for the possibility of accessing small data files. However, not all attributes for sharing the content received the remarkable favoritism as mentioned above. Non-favorable response of reading the content of high volume (12%) and pleasure of reading long text file (6%) was found for the content sharing. Critically examined, the possibility of accessing large data file (10%) is deemed to have low appreciation by students probably because it depends on individuals internet speed.Accessibility to image files (84%) and pleasure in learning through watching the video (88%) has shown remarkably favorable response it is the indication of using mobile as an asset for visual learning. Accessibility to the content is showing an average favorable response of 60%, this attribute depends on the habit of individuals that how often they prefer to use mobile, how comfortable they are in reading on mobile, internet speed and time convenience.
Digging into the important element of SMART, it has been found that Messaging has received the highest favorable response (78%) from the students. The attributes covered for messaging were user-friendly messaging service, instant messaging, applicability of Icons and emoticons, facilitation for group messaging, possibility of sending long messages, and facilitating announcements. Except possibility of sending long messages (12%), all other attributes had distinction result for the favorable response. There are feeble chances of doubting on the efficiency of messaging attributes. Infact, it empowers instructors and students with the powerful communication tool. This facilitates functions such as announcements, instant messages, reminders, and message boards. Icons and emoticons have dashedthe spices to the learning food which opens the communication link and creates a sense of closeness betweenand instructors which in turns boost up the confidence and motivates students to learn more. The downside of this messaging facility is the informal setting of classroom and privacy preferred by instructors which can influence the quality and sincerity towards learning.
The third element of SMART pedagogy is Assignment. Learning via Smartphone will be incomplete if assignments cannot be conducted and submitted using the phones. The attributes covered for this element were the possibility of submitting text files & image files, conduction of simultaneous research while working on the assignment, easiness in submissions, and finally generating a report for plagiarism. The assignment is found to be comparatively sensitive segment as most of the students were unaware of generatingreport for plagiarism, there were highest unsure responses for this attribute (86%). Simultaneous research possibility has also
shown unfavorable response of 84%, most probably due to the disturbing environment that comes along with smartphones like receiving calls, pinging emails and messages. It is also not easy to secure or take important notes on Microsoft word or work on excel files. Collecting data and analysing data are probably not very friendly task on mobile. The most noteworthy results are the favorable responses of the possibility of text submission (68%), possibility to submit images (62%) and easiness in assignment submission (70%). It can be concluded that mobile makes submission of assignment easy but unsure about the credibility of submission as plagiarism results are perplexing.
Revision, the fourth element of SMART pedagogy has brought new light to the research. Facilitating games has shown unexpectedly very high favorable response of 92%. It is evident that students ofmillennial generation find pleasure inan intense and fun-loving experience of playing games on mobile in their day to day life. Educators must try to tap this factor into their pedagogy. This may bring fun factor in education and may enhance the learning experience. It has been found that Smartphones facilitates revision through various quiz applications. These quizzes have shown individual satisfaction result of 66%. However, this score is comparatively lower than games. Perhaps students seek and love to have fun and competition in education as well. Overall understanding of revision content has derived a very low score of just 34% favors, again proving that smartphones are not the wholesome package for revision but can be used as a supplementary learning tool.
The most disappointing results among all elementswere reflected for using Smartphones forTesting. The attributes that were studied for this element were inclusive of easiness of solving selective response questions and cognitive response questions, convenience in conducting and attempting exams on Smartphones, accessibility to instant results, and prevention of cheating. Whereas overall result is not satisfactory, easiness in solving selective response questions got liking of 62% and reduction in exam stress levels got liking of 42%, both attributes are honorable for testing students via smartphone. Attempting the selective response questions’ attribute result strengthen the conclusion of bite learning. And exam stress level attributes learning stamps it as a fun learning. However, smartphones does not provide suitable applications to the testing organization to control cheating. In short, it can be concluded that smartphones cannot be used for testing as it does not measure up for sincerity and credibility factors. In future, safeguards’ app may bring these results at an acceptable level.
As depicted in Chart 1, there are several distinctive attributes for different elements of SMART pedagogy. The favorable response for these attributes was above 75%. Comparing these five elements of SMART pedagogy, it is found that smartphones are most suitable for Messaging facility as it received the highest average score of favorable response (78%), followed by Sharing content (63%), and it will be safe to conclude that Smartphones are not yet ready for testing students (23%) and grading them just through phones.
In general, students believe that smartphone learning motivates them in learning. Messaging and sharing contents through smartphone empowers them with speed, user-friendly learning environment whereas for the successful test smart phonesare not yet the ethical and sincere solutions. Researchers do believe that smartphones should be explored in depth for blended learning setup. Though it cannot be a sole medium for learning, however, it could be the superlative supplement to the conventional or modern learning tool. Students do believe that submitting and completing assignmentsusing smartphone is extremely effective and that assessments could be designed exclusively for smartphone application. This research gives new flicker to the revision lessons as the smartphones have been found to be convenient tool in conducting quizzes and games for revision purpose.
As with all research the exploratory research contained in this paper has a number of limitations. Firstly, the sample of students and faculty was very small, the students were exclusively female, and the research was conducted within a cultural setting that is quite unique. Secondly, results are based on qualitative data which are abstract and subjective. In addition, the expert panel opinion for the attributes was not recorded because of cultural reasons. Since observation notes were taken by the researcher, it is obvious that a certain degree of subjectivity exists. In fact, it would have been sort of objective if it had been decided by the panel of observers rather than researchers. Furthermore, the range of learning management system and apps that students used were limited and related only to a small number of learning outcomes.
5.3 Future research
Limitations of this study have opened the door for some future researches related to smartphone learning. Future research should address some of the flaws identified above. Additionally, future research may focus more on the areas of the curriculum most suited to being taught and practiced using smartphones. This research has also reflected the technological limitations that impair learning using smartphones. A future study may be conducted to overcome these challenges and limitations. The effectiveness of smartphones in a flipped classroom or online lesson delivery may also be of interest to researchers. Also, acquisition of skills to use a smartphone as a learning platform and creationof smartphone apps appropriate to reachthe curriculum learning outcome could be the new-fangled lines of research.
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