Mobile Learning: Challenges for Teachers of Indian Open Universities
“Mobile Learning” (m-Learning) has emerged as a trend in the field of Open and Distance Learning (ODL). It is removing the time and geographical barriers for learning by placing learning opportunities at the fingertips of learners. ODL institutes in India are also adopting mlearning in different forms; however, it is not fully implemented due to various reasons. This paper aims to explore possible challenges faced by teachers of Open Universities of India in implementation of m-learning. In this context the teachers of Indian Open Universities were surveyed to identify and rate the intensity of various challenges in the successful implementation of m-learning in the ODL system. The findings from respondents (n = 72) revealed that out of thirteen (13) challenges presented to them, the three most important challenges were: (a) lack of support for instructional design for m-learning; (b) lack of institutional policy for m-learning and (c) lack of infrastructure/technological support. These barriers were extrinsic in nature as they were institution dependent. The least important challenges were found to be: (a) intrusion on personal time due to 24 x 7 access; (b) reluctance to adopt technology and (c) difficulty of use. These barriers were intrinsic in nature as they were person-driven. Challenges of m-learning were found to be the same irrespective of gender. Institutions need to provide adequate institutional support in terms of policy, infrastructure and instructional design for the successful implementation of m-learning.
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