oa The African Journal of Information and Communication - Evaluating mobile-centric readiness of higher education institutions : the case of institutional policies and information systems students : issues in educational informatics : renewing our human resources for the digital economy

Volume 2015, Issue 15
  • ISSN : 2077-7205
  • E-ISSN: 2077-7213



Many higher education students live and operate in mobile-centric environments. The question is whether the policies of higher education institutions (HEI) are aligned with students' readiness for mobile technology information access and interaction. To investigate this question from a policy perspective, nine policies from the open and distance learning (ODL) university in South Africa were analysed for providing institutional mobile-centric support. Policy document analysis was used to evaluate five information and communication technology (ICT) polices and four teaching and learning policies. The analysis focused on how the policies support the provision of mobile infrastructure, technical support and learning resources. To investigate from the students' perspective, quantitative data was captured on Information Systems students' readiness through a survey of a total of 129 respondents from the same university. The mobile-centric readiness of students was evaluated based on factors that could affect the readiness of students in accessing and interacting with mobile-centric services. The factors investigated were infrastructure ownership, knowledge of mobile phone features and mobile phone Internet activities. The findings revealed that Information Systems students are ready to use mobile phones as tools for information access and interaction, but some inadequacies were observed in the way the policies support the students' needs. This study proposes some recommendations on how the policies could better support students' mobile phone information access and interaction.

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