Mobile learning, also known as mLearning, is defined as the need and ability to learn through virtual media, such as personal electronic gadgets, social interactions, and content. Mobile learning is a new way to access learning content using mobiles.
Participants can learn wherever and whenever they want. There is more motivation, real-time feedback, and long-distance learning is easy.1
The best use of mobile learning is that lot of sources are present online. Hence the learners can get the needed content easily from different sites.2
The characteristics of m-learning in classes are mobility, access, immediacy, access, ubiquity, convenience and contextuality. According to many authors, e-learning and m-learning research is at the early stage and foci have shifted from comparing the effectiveness of the learning methods to developing models of teaching and learning.3
The limitations are on hardware, software, and connection, the frequency of usage of mobile devices and the length for usage each time are different, the cost of mobile network and quality of connection, Internet access Mobile learners also have their own characteristics.4 The teaching may be affected by the following factors Intellectual factor, Learning factors, Physical factors, Mental factors, Emotional and social factors,
Teacher's Personality and Environmental factor:5
In this context identifying the opinion of students is importanton m-learning hence this study was carried out and there were not many studies of this form.
Materials and Methods
A mixed method research was conducted using Concurrent mixed method research design at College of Nursing, PIMS, Puducherry. 13 Post graduate first year students of College of Nursing, PIMS, Puducherry who were available on the day of data collection were selected as samples.
Google forms were used for collecting data. Data collected were: demographic data, pretest and posttest (10 MCQ on chosen content), opinion on mobile learning with questions to explain their experience with m-learning. The total time taken was one hour 30mins. The pretest was given for 10mins followed by downloading the content on mobile of students; time to learn was one hour. The teacher acted as a facilitator as students learnt the content. After that post test was administered for 10mins. The students were then asked for their opinion of learning through mobile.
Results and Discussion
The data collected had the following demographic data: there was one boy and 12 girls of the batch which had online classes during the first 3 months of the course. Age varied between 23 to 55 yrs, all students belonged to first year post graduate programme.
The mean pretest score was 4.4 and post test score 8.1 with a paired t-test value of 0.0009 which is highly significant. The study findings are similar to a study conducted by Enayati et al. (2014)6 on the use of mobile phones in providing educational content to students. The study results had indicated that transferring course materials via mobile phones and text messages are effective in learning; but they did not find any advantage over lectures.
In a systematic review, Kaliisa and Picard (2017)6 had reviewed the studies published between 2010 and 2016 on mobile learning in higher education systems of Africa and found that mobile learning at higher education institutions in Africa enhances student and teacher collaboration, instant communication, increased student participation and interaction, facilitating authentic learning and reflective practice, and empowering learning communities and altering the lecturers' approaches which is similar to the opinion expressed by students in the present study
Even though m-learning has got its value in today’s world of change in educational methods the study also found that students felt that in Indian context teacher is needed to teach and complex phenomena need to be explained by teacher.
The themes that could be deduced from the opinion is shown in figure.
The study found that students were interested in experimenting new technology in higher studies. The study used a very small sample size so generalizability may not be possible for the effectiveness of the teaching method.
The study concludes that m-learning can be used as teaching learning tool and students have positive opinion on its use even though the role of teacher is inevitable. Avoiding of the potential risks in using mobile technology in teaching and learning should be considered while planning and implementing Mobile technology in the future for higher education.