Agricultural Education Students' Acceptance and Self-Efficacy of Mobile Technology in Classrooms

By Irby, Travis L.; Strong, Robert | NACTA Journal, March 2013 | Go to article overview

Agricultural Education Students' Acceptance and Self-Efficacy of Mobile Technology in Classrooms


Irby, Travis L., Strong, Robert, NACTA Journal


Abstract

Mobile learning is a growing segment of e-learning as more students are regularly engaged in mobile technology use. The amalgamation of learning and mobile technologies, known as mobile learning, is a relatively recent phenomenon and a thorough framework of knowledge has yet to be developed. Researchers lack data on the factors affecting college and university students' acceptance of mobile learning. The need to gather this data is paramount to our understanding of how the use of mobile technology is changing learning for students in higher education. Agricultural educators and students would benefit from a greater understanding of the mobile learning and its part in agricultural education. The population of the study was undergraduate education students at Texas A&M University (N =687). The study used quantitative research surveys to evaluate students' acceptance of mobile learning and self-efficacy. Descriptive statistics were used to provide levels of students' mobile learning acceptance and self-efficacy. Students scored highest in the areas of self-efficacy and effort expectancy. Further studies should address the relationship between mobile learning acceptance and self-efficacy. The relationships determined by future research will help increase our knowledge of students' perceived capacity to learn via mobile technology.

Introduction

Literature Review

Mobile learning is an emerging educational phenomenon coming from the integration of e-learning and mobile technologies. Hashemi et al. (2011) defined mobile learning as the use of mobile technologies to expand the reach of teaching and learning to occur at any time or place. The advent of mobile learning will continue to test the idea of a traditional classroom and create inquiry regarding its educational potential (Kukulska-Hulme et al., 2009). Mobile learning has transitioned from a subordinate method of e-learning into its own educational field with a need for devoted research (Pollara and Broussard, 2011).

The increasing use of mobile learning systems is creating a paradigm shift for e-learning. Mobile or m-learning provides significant learning prospects for students who regularly use mobile devices like smartphones (Gedik et al, 2012). Our current educational system will be greatly affected by the advent of this technology. Rajasingham (2011) found mobile learning could constitute an innovative and attractive paradigm for higher education and researchers should address its use. The increasing use of mobile devices for learning is a key development in distance education and future educational strategies (Chong et al., 2011). The prevalence of mobile technologies among students is transforming our educational system. The continued growth of mobile learning as an educational tool is dependent on its flexibility and pervasiveness (Iqbal and Qureshi, 2012). Mobile technology can be beneficial for higher education due to its ubiquitous nature and ability to shape information processes (Schepman et al., 2012).

Mobile learning can extend learning opportunities to students due to its flexibility and mobility. Liaw et al. (2010) suggested better frameworks for understanding mobile learning need to be created to provide educators and researchers with a better idea of its educational uses. The growth of this learning technology is being fueled by the unrelenting pace of technology as well as the need for educational institutions to harness it effectively. Educators are exploring the application of mobile technologies in our instructional settings due to the increasing omnipresence and accessibility of the technology (Walls et al, 2010). Mobile device use among students is pervasive and creating unlimited potential for mobile learning in our schools (Khaddage et al., 2009).

Mobile learning technology provides a unique opportunity for learning activities at the post-secondary level. Cheon et al. (2012) identified higher education as an appropriate venue for the integration of mobile learning because of the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices on college campuses. …

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