Opportunities and Challenges of Mobile Learning That University Students Encounter in the UAE

Ghadah Al Murshidi


This study presents preliminary results based on a survey administrated to a sample of 400 students enrolled in undergraduate courses offered at a Higher Education Institution in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The paper examines opportunities and challenges university students face when instructors introduce “structured” mobile learning in higher education. In part, this article presents qualitative findings of the larger study involving a subset of the sample, to gain in-depth data. Closed-ended and open-ended questions probed students’ experiences and perceptions about the use of mobile devices in academic work. Findings reported in this paper focus on students' perceptions on opportunities and challenges. The analysis revealed that a majority of students used iPads, cell phones, and laptop computers to study anytime and anywhere. Respondents reported that these technological devices enabled students to meet deadlines faster than students without mobile devices. In addition, students indicated that they faced difficulties accessing Internet networks in most places. This phenomenon has afflicted students’ productivity and efficiency levels, since most academic work required Web searches and Internet connectivity. Nevertheless, students benefited a great deal in using such mobile technological devices and admitted that the benefits outweighed the challenges they encountered.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/irhe.v2n4p18


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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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