Mobile technology is pervasive in the lives of many young people. As reported by Samaha and Hawi (2016), over 80 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 possess smartphones, and the prevalence is higher among college and university students. In the future, the numbers are expected to rise due to increasing affordability of mobile devices. Also, more people access the internet through mobile gadgets as compared to the conventional computers, and mobile technology has transformed how students live, learn, gather and pass information, and manage time (Rossing et al., 2012). Mobile gadgets are portable and have extraordinary capacities that include connectivity, browsing, integrated cameras, GPS, and digital media players that are important in transforming academic experiences through mobile learning. Gikas and Grant (2013) define mobile learning as the utilization of mobile technology solely, or in conjunction with additional computer technology to empower the learning process. Moreover, most researchers view mobile learning as an essential element of E-learning, which refers to the use of digital tools in the learning process. Nevertheless, E-learning has been used to refer to diverse disseminations of learning aspects that involve the use of the internet, and mobile learning presents a critical evolution of E-learning.
In different universities, mobile learning has gained immense significance, and this research focuses on exploring whether the effect of mobile learning on the development of the students learning behaviors and performance at the Jordanian University. This topic is of great importance because in the recent years, learner expectations have changed in and many students juggle a multifaceted life of academic work, employment, and family. Thus, many hope to take part in educational activities at a time, speed, and environment that is more suitable. Moreover, as reported by Hwang and Chang (2011), students wish to learn more interactive environments and their preferred styles have changed due to extensive growth in technological innovations. Besides, is extensively important to reduce the technology gaps to ensure that students are adequately prepared for different roles as they join the workforce in the future. The conventional classroom is out-of-date because it was established prior to the introduction of smart information technology (Elfeky and Masadeh, 2016). Nevertheless, it is worth noting that technology usage has to comply with the prevailing educational concepts, which is the case with the modern technology tools used in learning. Mobile technology enables students to access to a range of educational resources, connect with experts, and develop content beyond the classroom context, which has a positive impact on the development of student learning behaviors and performance at Jordanian University.
How Mobile Learning Works
Smartphones are different from the conventional computers because they are personalized gadgets. The majority of students at Jordanian University have spent a significant amount of time attempting to explore and navigate through their phones to understand their capabilities and limitations. In learning, mobile phones can be used for various roles. For example, mobile gadgets are used to record lectures in the case of a flipped classroom. As reported by Savery (2015), many educators prefer the adoption of a flipped classroom in their teaching model, where they record lectures that student can listen outside the classroom. Also, it is possible to record and watch videos of different lectures using mobile gadgets.
Mobile devices can be used deliver digital educational materials to students. For instance, a platform referred to as School Town enables educators and learners to interact through discussions and share a range of learning materials and ideas. Mobile phones are used to record and take pictures during experiments to utilize the information later in writing projects. Smartphones can be employed as student response systems in school where it becomes possible for educators to track and assess immediate answers from different students. For instance, Granito and Chernobilsky (2012) report that Web 2.0 has transformed learning in various ways as it has facilitated the creation of platforms where both educators and learners can collaborate and share ideas. It enables individuals to create and share content, as well as learn from one another. For example, Voice thread is a story sharing tool that allows students to develop and share videos and images.
In addition, Quiz socket is an essential mobile learning tool whose primary focus is to enable educators to collect feedback from learners. Through the tool, students send their responses to different questions presented by the instructors via smartphones.
How Mobile Learning Impacts the Development of Student Learning Behavior
There are many educational challenges experienced at Jordanian University. As stated previously, times have changed, and many students have to gamble between school work, employment, and a range of social activities. Therefore, the institution expects such students to develop effective study habits by creating structures that suit them. A survey carried out by Hwang and Chang (2011) revealed that mobile technology could enhance performance and learning behavior. Nevertheless, for some researchers, mobile technology has no significant impact on performance and learning behavior.
According to the behaviorist theory of learning, for learning to take place, a learner must adequately respond to environmental stimuli. In the beginning, learners are a condition referred to as tabula rasa, and their behavior is driven by either positive of negative reinforcements. Through mobile learning, students are presented with educational contents, which can be described as the stimuli and later the responses can be observed. According to Elfeky and Masadeh (2016), cognitive approach theory supports the ideology that learners should be empowered to restructure their cognitive formation in a manner that gives room for them to process and store new information. Thus, students should be given educational materials and provided with new knowledge. The functions of mobile phones facilitate processing, reorganizing, storing, and recalling of information at any time and any location. Therefore, they are indispensable learning tools in the modern classroom.
Al-Adwan and Smedley (2012) report that students have endured the lack of interactivity for long and there has been the need to develop novel educational approaches to address the needs of the modern generation of students who spend a significant proportion of their time on mobile phones. Studies have indicated that mobile learning can lead to increased interactivity amid educators and learners and a greater focus on educational problems. According to Martin and Ertzberger (2013), mobile learning facilitates student engagement, which describes the degree of attentiveness, inquisitiveness, and enthusiasm during learning. A different study by Yang and Wu (2012) revealed that mobile technology has a positive influence on the ability of students to think critically when incorporated in the learning process by empowering a student-centric approach. In a different study, Granito and Chernobilsky (2012) found that mobile learning promotes a student-centric learning approach.
According to Granito and Chernobilsky (2012), the use of mobile learning empowers a student-centered method of learning. One of the greatest challenges facing educators at Jordanian University and other higher education institutions include ways of getting to all learners in an efficient manner. With an estimate of over 40 students in some classes, educators face the challenge of addressing the educational needs of every individual to support academic progress. In many cases, professors make a range of student-centered choices to offer solutions to student issues; nevertheless, not all problems have easy remedies. Students bring a similar mentality to the classroom as that which is found in the society they dwell, and therefore demand for a system that suits their expectations. In most cases, students have the willingness to learn and go through various difficulties to acquire education. Student-centered setting enables educators to handle different kinds of tasks in a variety of ways, and learning is exclusively focused on the learners. Such an environment supports student independence and makes students understand the importance of being in control of their learning.
The student-centric approach is constructivist in nature and eliminates the traditional learning behavior where educators did much work for the students. Educators would present quizzes, reach out to students, provides answers and examples, structure content, and conduct previews and reviews. In such an instance, teachers end up having more work that the students. It is impossible for learners to gain exceptional educational skills if the educators have to perform extensive tasks for them. Savery (2015) reports that through a learner-centric approach, students gain the ability to think innovatively, solve problems, assess facts, and other critical skills in particular disciplines. It is almost impossible for a student to acquire these skills inherently. The skills develop if students engage in explicit learning activities.
When used in the classroom, mobile technology enables students to visualize problems from a range of perspectives and become active participants in their learning (Hwang & Chang, 2011). The role of educators changes to being facilitators who support the students through their learning process, as compared to the traditional setting where educators were like learning dictators. Development of student-centered classrooms at Jordanian University may seem easy; nevertheless, it is a rigorous process that requires significant consideration and skills. One of the most effective ways of developing such a classroom is through the adoption of mobile learning technology. It facilitates the development of educational experiences that are of importance regardless of whether the students are learning beyond the classroom environment. Through online quizzes, surveys, and assignments, educators can put more focus on guiding learners instead of doing exhaustive tasks for them.
Besides, the use of mobile learning shifts the power balance to the learners. For example, through integrative online tasks, students get the opportunity to control their individual learning pace. Therefore, the responsibility for learning is left with the learner. All educators need tools that engage learners in evocative learning, and mobile technology empowers students to be active learners. Students are invited to think independently and their ideas to the educators, who assess the students approach to addressing different issues
How Mobile Learning Enhances Performance
In the recent years, many researchers have expressed interest in evaluating the benefits of mobile learning. As compared to the conventional classroom design where information is acquired from textbooks; mobile learning has proved to an effective way of learning for advanced learners and has been reports to arouse interest and motivation (Granito & Chernobilsky, 2012). Studies have revealed that students who have access to mobile devices record higher performance as compared to students who lack such access.
Mobile learning empowers educators and learners to choose their most c...
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