Technological Preferences, Levels of Utilization and Attitude of Students Towards Mobile Learning Technologies in Chartered Universities, Kenya

David Gitumu Mugo, Kageni Njagi, Bernard Chemwei


The affordances of mobile technologies are being felt in many sectors of world’s economy including university education. By solving the limitations of fixed instructional technologies, mobile technologies have received ready acceptance in the education place. The purpose of the study was to investigate the student technological preferences, their levels of utilization as well as attitudes toward mobile technologies. The target population was 30,752 third year undergraduate students in Kenyan Universities. The participants (n = 375) were selected by systematic random sampling. They provided data using self-fill questionnaires. Results indicated that the smartphone was the most popular mobile device; Tecno was the most preferred handset brand; and Android was the most popular operating system. Safaricom was the dominant service provider amongst the student population. Regarding the levels of utilization of mobile technologies by students, it was concluded that though students use their mobile devices sufficiently, the use of the devices for accessing teaching and learning content was considerably low. On the attitude of students towards mobile technologies, it was observed that a sizeable number of students preferred to use the technologies over other existing instructional technologies. The findings of this study will be useful to instructional technologists, education policy makers, mobile handset manufacturers, mobile service providers and university managers as they partner to roll out digital learning infrastructure for Kenyan tertiary education. 


Mobile, Technologies, Universities, Utilization

Full Text:



Alharbi, S., & Drew, S. (2014). Using the Technology Acceptance Model in Understanding Academics’ Behavioral Intention to Use Learning Management Systems. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 5, (1). Retrieved from on 1st September 2016

Armatas, C., Holt, D., & Rice (2005). Balancing the possibilities for mobile technologies in higher education. Telstra Research Laboratories. Clayton: Teaching and Learning Support Unit, Learning Services, Deakin University, 27-35.

Baharom, S. S. (2013). Designing Mobile Learning Activities in Malaysian Higher Education Context: Asocial Constructivist Approach (Unpublished PhD thesis). Salford Business School, University of Salford, Salford, UK.

Behera, S. K. (2013). M-learning: a new learning paradigm. International Journal on New Trends in Education and their Implications, 4(2), 23-34. Retrieved on 16 June 2014 from

Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods, 4Th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press

Chen, B., & Denoyelles, A. (2013). Exploring students’ mobile learning practices in higher education. Retrieved from on 17th July 2016

Cohen, L. et al. (2011). Research methods in Education, 7th Edition. London: Routledge Publishers

Commission for University Education (2014). Universities Standards and Guidelines. Retrieved from on 27th July 2016

Communication Authority of Kenya (2015). Quarterly Sector Statistics Report. Third Quarter of the Financial Year 2014/15 (Jan-March 2015). Communication Authority. Retrieved from /.../%20Sector%20 Statistics % 20Q3% 202014-2015, on 15th July 2016

Daesang, K., Rueckert, D., Kim, D. J., & Seo, D. (2013). Student perception and experiences with mobile learning. Journal of Language Learning and Technology, 17(13) 52-73

Divya, K., & Kumar, V.K. (2016). Comparative Analysis of Smart Phone Operating Systems Android, Apple IOS and Windows. International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science (IJSEAS), 2(2), 432-439 Retrieved from on 15th July 2016.

El-Hussein, M. O. M., & Cronje, J. C. (2010). Defining Mobile Learning in the Higher Education Landscape. In Educational Technology & Society, 13 (3), 12–21.

Gao, M., Zhao, H., & McJunkin (2015). Email Use among International Students in a U.S. University. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 3 (12), 122-129

Green, D. (2015). An antidote to futility: Why academics should take social media seriously. Social Impact Blog. London, The London School of Economics and Political science. Retrieved from /2015/10/26/why-academics-and-students-should-take-blogging-social-media-seriously/ on 12th April 2016

Guthrie, G. (2010). Basic research methods: An entry to social science research. London: Sage Publications

Hosman, L., & Fife, E. (2012). The Use of Mobile Phones for Development in Africa: Top-Down-Meets-Bottom-Up Partnering. Journal of community informatics, 8(3), 1-20

Chau, M., et al (2017). IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker Taxonomy, 2017. Framingham: IDC

Kandiri, J. M. (2014). Effective Implementation of Technology Innovations in Higher Education Institutions: A Survey of Selected Projects in African Universities. An unpublished PHD thesis submitted to the School of Business Kenyatta University.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. W. (1970). Determining Sample Size for Research Activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement

King, J. A. et al (1987). How to assess program implementation. Beverly Hills, California: Sage.

Kombo, D. K., Tromp, D. L. A. (2006). Proposal and thesis writing: An introduction. Nairobi: Pauline Publications Africa.

Lai,K., Stein, S., Field, P. and Pratt, K.(2016) Our World in Your Place 30 years of distance learning and teaching at the University of Otago. Distance Learning Office, University of Otago

Lazzari, M., Caso, L., & De Fiori, A. (2016) Facebook and WhatsApp at school, present situation and prospects in Italy. Proceedings of the 13 th International Conference on Web Based Communities and Social Media 2016, Funchal, Portugal, July 1-2, 2016, pp. 233-236, ISBN 978-989-8533-54-8

Li, J., & Deifell, E. (2013). Foreign Language Learners' Use and Perception of Online Dictionaries: A Survey Study. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 9(4), 515-532

Loyd, B., & Gressard, C. (1984). "The effects of sex, age, and computer experience on computer attitudes." AEDS Journal 18(2): 67-77.

Mangione, T. W. (1995). Mail surveys: Improving the quality. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Mark P., Maria, M., Gordon, J. (2013). The mobile economy. A.T. Kerney London; United Kingdom Retrieved from /10 192/760890 / TheMobile_Economy_2013.pdf; on 3rd October 2014

Mberia, P. M., Ofafa G. A., Muathe, M. A., & Muli, J. (2013). An empirical investigation on the relationship between technological infrastructure and government regulations on Effective operations of m-payment systems in Kenya. International Journal of Arts and Commerce ISSN 1929-7106. Retrieved from on 12-1-15

McLeod, J. K. (2007). Teachers’ and students’ self-reported attitudes toward technology: A literature review. Retrieved from pdfs/ attitudes _lit_review.pdf on 8th January 2015

Mehdipour, Y., & Zerehkafi, H. (2013). Mobile learning; benefits and challenges. International Journal of Computational Engineering Research, Vol 03, Issue 6.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Too Cool for School? No Way! Using the TPACK Framework: You Can Have Your Hot Tools and Teach with Them, Too. Learning & Leading with Technology,36 (7), 14‐18. Retrieved from http://www on 15th April 2016

Mugenda, O. M., & Mugenda, G. A. (1999). Research Methods: Qualitative and qualitative approaches. Nairobi: ACT Press

Mugo, D. G. (2007). Integrating emerging ICT technologies in science instruction. The successes and challenges facing NEPAD e-School project, a case study of Mumbi Girls’ secondary school, Murang’a, Kenya. Unpublished Master of Education thesis, Nairobi: Kenyatta University

Neuman, L. W. (2008). Social Research Methods and quantitative approaches, (4th edition). Boston: Pearson Education Company

Nganga, S. I. et al. (2009). Fundamentals of management research Method. Nairobi: Macmillan Kenya Publishers

Nonyongo, E., Mabusela, K., & Monene, V. (2004). Effectiveness of SMS Communication between University And Students Institute for Continuing Education, University of South Africa. Retrieved from Mabusela.pdf on 15th July 2016

Orina, W. M. (2000). Availability, acquisition and utilization of Instructional Resources for Teaching Geography in selected Kisii District Schools. Unpublished Master of Education thesis, Nairobi: Kenyatta University

Rafael, B., Michael, R., & Jennifer, G. S. (2005). The Smart Phone: A Ubiquitous Input Device. https://hci. 2005d.pdf

Parasuraman, A. (2008). Technology Readiness and Its Implications for Technology-Based Customer service, University of Miami, Purdue Symposium: 10th October 2008. Retrieved from /tcss /pdfs/parasuraman.pdf on 13 November 2014

Renner, T. (2013). Mobile OS - Features, Concepts and Challenges for Enterprise Environments Thomas Renner SNET Project Technische Universitat. Retrieved from /courses /SS11/snet-project/mobile-os-features_renner.pdf on 15th April 2016

Sahin, Y. G., Balta, S., & Tuncay, E. (2010). The use of internet resources by university students during their course projects elicitation: a case study The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology April 2010, volume 9 Issue 2. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 234

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (2012). Samsung MobilePrint App. Retrieved from 2nd June 2016

Sharples, M. (2007). A short history of mobile learning and issues to consider. Learning Science Research Institute, University of Nottingham. Retrieved on 11th August 2015 from http://www.slideshare net/ sharp lem /history-of-mobile-learning-mlearn-2007-doctoral-consortium-Oct-2007

Solomon, A. D. (2013). A critical understanding of Learning Management System, Retrieved on 8th August 2015 from

Suki, N. M., & Suki, N. M. (2009). Are lecturers ready to for usage of Mobile Technology for Teaching? International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, Volume 3, No 6, page 1-10

Tapio, V. (2005). The future of eLearning. A Short History of eLearning and a Look into the Future of Computer Mediated Learning. Swedish School of Social Science University of Helsinki.

UNESCO, (2011). From text books to telephone, Retrieved from on 18-5-12

______ (2011). Mobile Learning Week Report on New learning cultures, opportunities and challenges of the digital world., Retrieved 7-9-14

Venkatesh, V. & Davis (2000) A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: four longitudinal field studies," Management science, vol. 46, pp. 186-204

West, D. M., & Lu, J. (2009). Comparing technology innovation in the private and public sectors. Government studies at Brookings. Atlanta.

Zab, S. (2015). The growth of Smart Phones in Kenya. Retrieved from https://www Phone-market-in-kenya/ on 15th July 2016

Zina, O. (2007). The Essential guide to doing research. New Delhi: Vistaar Publications.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.