Title: Assessing Tablets' Adoption by ODL Learners: A Mauritian Case Study

Year of Publication: Jun - 2015
Page Numbers: 35-47
Authors: Perienen Appavoo, Premanand Koonjal
Conference Name: The Third International Conference on Digital Information Processing, E-Business and Cloud Computing (DIPECC2015)
- Mauritius


Mobile learning technologies have great potential to transform the learning paradigm. The Open University of Mauritius offers a free tablet to all learners reading for a degree course. This paper investigates the extent to which these tablets are contributing to the learning experience of the learners. Hundred and fifty learners studying in different courses at the University agreed to complete a questionnaire. Focus group discussions were held with four groups of 4-5 learners in view of triangulating the data and unveiling other details that could not be captured in the questionnaires. Data analysis reveals that learners, mostly working adults, are frequent users of technology with many of them using the computer for more than an hour daily; learning being one of the common activities. Learners demonstrate a positive perception of the pedagogical worth of ICT. The major obstacles to tablets use is also highlighted and include the following: frequent breakdowns, small screen size, slow processing power and short battery life. Despite these obstacles, learners value the flexibility tablets offer to learn anywhere, anytime and at their own pace. This combination of technology provision and perception of use as revealed in this paper shows that learners are well poised to embrace tablet use in their learning.