CEC Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Technology in Education (DCTE)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Tsong Shin Sheu

Committee Member

Gertrude W Abramson

Abstract

Technological innovation in mobile devices has upgraded the potential uses of the devices for living and learning. Mobile learning provides opportunities for mobile users to learn at any time in any location. A certification that confirms computing and Internet technology skills and knowledge provides more opportunities to students in higher education for their future careers. Students can attend a training course to better prepare for a certification exam. However, most students spend their time preparing for and reviewing their regular courses and have less time for the training course. The problems of time limitation and space restriction cause students' insufficient learning toward the preparation for the certification exams. Mobile learning may augment the face-to-face training course to solve these problems.

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate students' perceptions and the effectiveness of instruction using mobile devices to prepare for a standard certification exam in a blended certification-training course. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups: the experimental group received the treatment and the control group was treated as usual in a face-to-face class. Using a mixed-method research design, a pretest and a posttest collected data from all the participants and a survey and interviews gathered information from the students of the experimental group. The results showed a significant difference between the experimental and control groups in the posttest scores. In the pretest, the experimental and control groups did not differ significantly, which means that they were at the same level before the intervention. Then in the posttest, the experimental and control groups were significantly different, meaning that the treatment was instrumental in the difference. Further, the results revealed that learning via mobile devices provided the students more learning opportunities and improved interaction with other students; though using short message service for learning had positive effectiveness, multimedia messaging service may supplement it to demonstrate manipulation. Suggestions of experts familiar with the field and review of literature can assist development of using short message service messages for preparation of various certification examinations. Using mobile learning in an institute with integrated planning may decrease cost by sharing of resources.

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