Possibilities and constraints of mobile learning: a case study of a school leaders' in- service programme in an East African Univeristy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Brown Onguko

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Mweru Mwingi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


There has been unprecedented proli2feration of ICT globally with the mobile phone being the single most widespread ICT toda (ITU,2009b). Available data indicate that mobile telephony connections have outpaced fixed line connections in East Africa. Mobile phones have permeated across East Africa and continue to bridge the digital divide due to their affordability compared to other forms of ICT. Thus, the need for mobile phones consideration for use in education.

Through the experiences of stakeholders in a school leaders' in-service course that was offered in an East African University, this study sought the possibilities and constraints of m- learning. During the in-service course, mobile phones were meant to augment teaching and learning; specifically, though SMS in supporting the action research practicum component of the course. A case study design was used in which mixed methods of data collection and analysis were utilized: survey,document analysis and one on one semi structured interviews. Data gathered through the survey was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The data generated from the interviews and documents was aalyzed for emerging themes. Data from the three sources were then collated.

From the findings, it emerged that m-learning: Improves collaborration amongst course participans and betwee them and the course facilitators; provides support to learners during professional development course; provides a cost effective means of supporting research for practicing teachers and; stimukate interst in use of ICTs among teachers. Further revelations indicate that, for effective utilization of mobile technology, there is a need to tackle issues of; cost of mobile service, failure of SMS transmission and common style of writing contextual SMS, among others. Emanating from the findings, the study suggests several recommendations which could be applicable to m-Learning at the university and other East Africa tertiary institutions in general.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library