Exploring the Potential of Mobile Learning in Distance Higher Education: A Case Study of the University of Jammu, Jammu, and Kashmir

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Sharma, Dharshana
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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Distance Education has emerged as a viable alternative to serve the higher educational needs of the socially and economically disadvantaged people of the remote, rural areas of Jammu region. The Directorate of Distance Education, University of Jammu still uses printed study material as a mode of instructional delivery. It is felt that the Directorate also needs to adopt mobile technologies to provide more effective academic and information support to distance learners in order to keep them motivated and also to develop self-learning skills. However, the use of mobile technologies must be conceived in view of the needs of the learners; geographical, socio-economic, cultural and technological contexts and financial, administrative and academic resources of the institution. The chief objective of the research on which this paper is based was to measure the opinion of the distance learners of the DDE, University of Jammu about the effectiveness and merits of mobile learning. It also explores the challenges in implementation of mobile learning in the region. The survey research design of descriptive research has been used. The data was collected from 400 distance learners enrolled with undergraduate and postgraduate programmes using self-constructed questionnaire containing five-point Likert scale items with responses ranging from strongly agree, agree, indifferent, disagree and strongly disagree. Percentages were used to analyse the data. The survey depicted that 100 percent of the sampled distance learners owned common mobile or smart phones. The findings lead to conclude that mobile learning has a great potential for the DDE for reaching out to the rural, remotely located distance learners of the Jammu region for dissemination of information and also to improve teaching learning environment through social interaction. // Paper ID 104
Mobile Technology in Education, Open and Distance Learning (ODL), Distance Education