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Participants’ Perceptions of and Attitudes toward SMS

Chapter 5: Results

5.2 Participants’ Perceptions of and Attitudes toward SMS

in student learning. The application of SMS in education is supported by Lominé and Buckhingham’s )2009( suggestion that there is a possible advantage of educational SMS because there is no need for familiarisation or training in its use, and the high levels of familiarity suggest this is an ICT that could be easily implemented in higher education. The following section presents descriptive statistics of participants’ perceptions and attitudes toward SMS as an educational tool

Table 5.6

Summary of Reliability Analysis

Scale Number of

scale items

Cronbach’s Alpha Pilot (N = 30) Study, round

one (N = 171)

Study, round two (N =132) SMS perceived ease of use and

usefulness as a communication tool scale

8 .83 .89 .89

SMS perceived usefulness as an educational tool scale

6 .95 .95 .95

Attitudes toward SMS scale 5 .88 .91 .91

The following sub-sections present the descriptive analysis of students’ answers to the questionnaire instrument that were collected at the beginning of the semester in the first round of data collection. Students indicated their perceptions and attitudes toward SMS based on their expectations of the use of SMS as an educational tool rather than their actual experience since the data collection took place in the first week of the semester, and at that time the students had not received any educational mobile messages.

5.2.1 Perceived ease of SMS use and usefulness as a communication tool. The results regarding participants’ perceptions of SMS ease of use and usefulness suggest that the participants had positive perceptions of the SMS ease of use and usefulness as a communication tool. Participants’ perceptions of the ease of use and usefulness of SMS as a communication tool are discussed first (see Table 5.7).

Table 5.7

Descriptive Statistics of Participants’ Responses to SMS Perceived Ease of Use and Usefulness as a communication tool Scale. (N = 171)

SMS perceived ease of use and usefulness as a communication tool scale

M SD

1 I think SMS is an easy way to communicate 5.39 1.76

2 Retrieving old received or sent messages on my phones is easy. 4.83 1.77

3 I think interaction with SMS is clear and understandable. 5.30 1.64

4 *It took me a long time to learn how to send and receive SMS. 5.94 1.64

5 Overall, I think SMS is easy-to-use. 5.91 1.62

6 I think SMS is an effective communication tool. 5.41 1.69

7 My communication is improved with the use of SMS. 5.02 1.78

8 SMS is a useful way to communicate. 5.43 1.67

Overall 5.40 1.28

Note. 1 = ‘Strongly Disagree’, 2 = ‘Moderately Disagree’, 3 = ‘Slightly Disagree’, 4 =

‘Neutral’, 5 = ‘Slightly Agree’, 6 = ‘Moderately Agree’, 7 = ‘Strongly Agree’

* Negatively phrased statement.

The participants’ perceptions of the ease of use and usefulness of SMS as a

communication tool were between “slightly agree” and “moderately agree” )M = 5.40, SD

= 1.28). After reversing the scores for the negatively phrased statements, participants were found to have responded most positively to the negatively phrased item 4: “It toou me a long time to learn how to send and receive SMS.” )M=5.94, SD =1.64(. Students’

experiences of using SMS support this result, which pointed out that students perceive SMS is easy-to-use. Most participants reported using SMS to send and receive information and most of the students had at least five years of experience in using SMS. However, students did not totally agree that all the tasks of SMS are easy to perform: they responded least positively to item 2 “Retrieving old received or sent messages on my phones is easy.”

(M=4.38, SD = 1.77(. Students’ previous experience of using SMS made them see it as a useful communication tool.

5.2.2 SMS perceived usefulness as an educational tool. The results suggest that the participants had positive perceptions of the use of SMS as an educational tool. These results are presented in Table 5.8.

Table 5.8

Descriptive Statistics of Participants’ Responses to SMS Perceived Usefulness as an educational tool Scale. (N = 171)

SMS perceived usefulness as an educational tool scale M SD

1 My learning would be more effective if I use SMS as an educational tool 4.25 1.76

2

My course performance would be improved if I use SMS as an educational tool.

4.32 1.58

3 I think using the SMS as an educational tool would increase my productivity in my coursework.

4.32 1.65

4 I could accomplish tasks more quickly, if I use SMS as an educational tool.

4.41 1.71

5 I would do better in my course if I use SMS as an educational tool. 4.43 1.64 6 Overall, I think using SMS as an educational tool would be useful. 4.63 1.85

Overall 4.39 1.52

Note. 1 = ‘Strongly Disagree’, 2 = ‘Moderately Disagree’, 3 = ‘Slightly Disagree’, 4 =

‘Neutral’, 5 = ‘Slightly Agree’, 6 = ‘Moderately Agree’, 7 = ‘Strongly Agree’

The participants’ perceptions of the usefulness of SMS as an educational tool were between “neutral” and “slightly agree” )M = 4.39, SD = 1.52). Participants responded most positively to item 6, “Overall, I thinu using SMS as an educational tool would be

useful.”(M=4.63, SD=1.85) and least positively to item 1, “My learning would be more effective if I used SMS as an educational tool” (M=4.25, SD=1.76). The participants had positive expectations regarding the use of SMS as an educational tool, and expressed such perceptions before receiving any educational content via SMS. Data collection took place in the first week of the semester. At that time the students had not received any educational SMS.

5.2.3 Attitudes toward SMS as an educational tool. The results suggest that the students had positive attitudes toward the use of SMS as an educational tool. Participants’

attitudes toward the use of SMS to support learning and teaching are presented in Table 5.9.

Table 5.9

Descriptive Statistics of Participants’ Responses to the Attitudes toward the Use of SMS to Support Learning and Teaching Scale (N = 171)

Attitudes scale M SD

1 I believe it would be a good idea to use SMS as an educational tool. 4.72 1.73

2

I think using the SMS technology as an educational tool would provide me with a lot of enjoyment.

4.48 1.72

3 *Using the SMS as an educational tool is not a good idea. 4.55 1.83

4 If it was made available, I would use SMS to receive educational content 4.78 1.71

5 Overall, I would like to use SMS as an educational tool. 4.75 1.86

Overall 4.66 1.51

Note. 1 = ‘Strongly Disagree’, 2 = ‘Moderately Disagree’, 3 = ‘Slightly Disagree’, 4 =

‘Neutral’, 5 = ‘Slightly Agree’, 6 = ‘Moderately Agree’, 7 = ‘Strongly Agree’

* Negatively phrased statement.

Participants’ attitudes toward the use of SMS to support learning and teaching were between “neutral” and “slightly positive” )M = 4.66, SD = 1.51). Participants responded most positively to item 4, “If it was made available, I would use SMS to receive

educational content” (M=4.78, SD=1.71) and least positively to item 2, “I thinu using the SMS technology as an educational tool would provide me with a lot of enjoyment”

(M=4.48, SD=1.72). The findings suggest that students had slightly positive responses to the use of SMS as an educational tool but they had close to neutral perceptions about their enjoyment of using SMS as an educational tool. The participants formed their attitudes toward the use of SMS as an educational tool based on their expectations, since the students expressed such perceptions before receiving any educational content via SMS. Students’

positive attitudes suggested that they would accept the use of SMS as an educational tool.

Students’ responses to the first questionnaire showed that they perceived SMS as an easy-to-use and useful communication tool. Such findings aligned with students’ reported

experiences of using SMS. The previous sections have shown that most students had used SMS to exchange information. The reported age of the participants and the reported age of starting to use SMS indicated that most participants had at least five years of experience in using SMS. Students were familiar with the use of SMS. The findings suggest that

students’ familiarity with SMS made them perceive it as an easy-to-use and useful communication tool. Users are expected to perceive a technology as easier to use if they have direct experience in using it (Hackbarth, Grover & Mun, 2003). The students had positive feeling regarding the idea of using SMS as an educational tool and they had positive but low perceptions and attitudes toward the use of SMS as an educational tool.

The findings suggested that the students would accept the use of SMS as an educational tool. The institutions of higher education should take advantage of such acceptance by using SMS to support teaching and learning. The next section discusses the relationship between some of the students’ characteristics and their perceptions and attitudes toward SMS.