This study examined the ethical use of mobile devices in an academic environment by undergraduate of selected Universities in Ogun state. Specifically, the study evaluate the prevalence of mobile device addiction among University students in Ogun State. The study also find out whether there is a relationship between students’ ethical use of mobile device and their academic performance. Lastly, the study examine if there is a difference in the gender of the University student and ethical use of mobile device. A total of 141 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that the prevalence of mobile device addiction among University students in Ogun State is high. Also,there is a significant relationship between students’ ethical use of mobile device and their academic performance. Lastly, there is no difference in the gender and ethical use of mobile device among University students.The study thereby recommend that since the use of internet enabled phones cannot be proscribed, the University management, parents/guardians should constantly inform and reorient University students about the negative and positive effects of their mobile phone uses and of the likely consequences of addicted and uncontrolled use of their mobile phones. Also as a form of safety and protective measure, authorities of higher institutions of education should interact with the network service providers to cut-off the internet connection on phones for students during academic and examination periods in order to prevent malpractices.
Background of the study
Mobile device are arguably another revolutionary invention of our time, besides computer and internet technologies. Mobile technology is growing by leaps and bounds. From 1990 to 2014, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions grew from 12.4 million to over 6.9 billion, penetrating about 97% of the global population with Asia as the fastest growing region and India being the biggest market of cellular phones (after China with 893.3 million users, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 2014) cited in Chun, (2012) . Mobile phones today go beyond just voice communication and provide a multitude of other features and services including short message service (SMS) or text messaging, multimedia messaging (MMS), photo display and recording, video playback and recording, calendaring, reminder (clock and alarm), web-browsing, checking e-mails, retrieving sports scores and news, using online dictionary etc. In other terms, mobile device has become an essential part of everyday modern life. However, to many, the mobile phone is not a tool for making just phone calls, but rather, a ‘lifeline’ to the social network and an instrument for smoothly operating and coordinating their everyday life (Ezemenaka, 2013). In education, mobile phones have led to the evolution of new paradigm known as mobile learning or m-learning (Chun, 2012). Ferry (2009) describes that modern mobile device can be used to help students to access web based contents, remix it, share it, collaborate with others and create media rich deliverable for the classroom teachers as well as global audience. Rather than seeing mobile phones as troublesome devices, educators should seek to exploit the potential of the technologies learners bring and find ways to put them into good use for the benefit of learning practice (Sharples, 2003). Mobile learning is also considered as a new form of learning distance learning which began to develop in the eighties of the twentieth century. It means learning by correspondence by the use of the latest media technology in education (Al – Fahad, 2009). Many studies (Attewell, 2005; Chen and Kinshuk, 2005; Murat et al., 2008) have already proved that mobile technologies have considerable potential to enhance teaching and learning across all education sectors. Their impact on students’ behaviour, enthusiasm, motivation and progress is well acknowledged (Rau et al., 2008), especially in some conventional schools abroad e.g. U.K. (Cook et al., 2007). Over two-thirds of the university students in their study used electronic media (including cell phones) while in class, studying, or doing homework (Guspatni,2018). Hence, the necessity to use mobile device in education seems to be inevitable especially in higher education. Now, we have entered in age which cannot be imagined without mobile phone. As young population is the future of the country, their views are of utter importance. As education is regarded as the backbone of any country and in modern times education (whether regular or distance education) is inarguably interrelated with technology, mobile phone has pertinent role to play in the education of the youth population. In this study, we aim to find out whether this device is useful for under-graduate students particularly for educational purpose, whether there are any differences in the attitude of undergraduate students towards using mobile device for educational purpose with respect to gender, academic discipline, medium of education, area of residence etc., as there is dearth of research particularly on the attitude of undergraduate students to m-learning. From the above discussion it is quite apparent that m-learning is in use and very popular among students abroad. But this study seeks to throw some light on the ethical use of mobile devices in an academic environment by undergraduate of selected universities in ogun state
Statement of the problem
It is quite obvious that increasing number of both undergraduate and graduate students in universities in Ogun State, make use of mobile device(Choliz 2012 ). The problem is that the use of mobile device among students has become habitual thus negatively impacting on conscious efforts required to achieve effective teaching and learning. Attempt has been made to investigate the problems caused by student’s use of mobile device in the universities in Ogun state some of which are, but not limited to addiction and out of place usage, distraction from class lectures,used to carry out examination malpractice among many others(Grinter,2001). Hence the reason for looking into ethical use of mobile devices in an academic environment by undergraduate of selected universities in ogun state.
Objective of the study
The general objective of the study is to examine the ethical use of mobile devices in an academic environment by undergraduate of selected universities in ogun state. The specific objectives are as follows:
- To evaluate the prevalence of mobile device addiction among University students in Ogun State.
- To find out whether there is a relationship between students’ ethical use of mobile device and their academic performance.
- To examine if there is a difference in the gender of the University student and ethical use of mobile device.
The following null hypotheses have been prepared for this study:
H01: mobile device addiction among University students in Ogun State is low.
H02: There is no significant relationship between students’ ethical use of mobile device and their academic performance
H03: There is no difference in the gender and ethical use of mobile device among University students.
Significance of the study
This study examine ethical use of mobile devices in an academic environment by undergraduate of selected universities in ogun state. Hence the study will be significant in the following ways
University management board: this study will be significant to the university as it will make laws which will regulate the usage of mobile device in the school environment so that students will not be addicted and lose focus on their studies.
Academia : this study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on mobile devices in an academic environment.
Scope of the study
This study will evaluate mobile device addiction among University students in Ogun State.this study will also find out whether there is a relationship between students’ ethical use of mobile device and their academic performance. This study will further examine if there was a relationship between the gender of the University student and ethical use of mobile device. Lastly, the study will investigate the differences in the ethical usage of mobile device among University students on the basis of their department. Hence this study will be delimited to Covenant University.
Limitation of the study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.
In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.
More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other companies and locations.
Definition of terms
Mobile device: a piece of portable electronic equipment that can connect to the internet, especially a smartphone or tablet computer
Academic environment: one that best prepares students for their. future professional life and contributes towards their personal development
Undergraduate: a university student who has not yet taken a first degree