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Title: Design and Implementation of a Smartphone Clicker App for Teaching Purposes in Saudi Arabia
Contributor(s): Aljaloud, Abdulaziz Salamah (author); Kwan, Paul  (supervisor); Billingsley, William  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2018-03-07
Copyright Date: 2017-11-28
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Abstract: Personal handheld mobile technologies are part of a suite of developing technologies that are increasingly being used as tools for learning. Student response systems have emerged as one such mobile handheld technology. They typically include a computer, student-operated transmitters (clickers) and a teacher-operated receiver. The primary benefits of student response systems are that they allow students to interact with their lecturers in a more dynamic fashion, support educators in learning about student preparedness, measure student responses, enhance student engagement in the learning activity and support students in validating and reinforcing what they have learned during the lesson. The emergence of smartphone technology has redefined clicker app use in education settings because students can now use their handheld devices to participate in clicker activities.
This thesis aims to examine the effects of smartphone clicker app use on undergraduate students' perceptions of confidence, interactivity, engagement, collaboration, and learning performance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and to identify the factors that influence lecturers' decisions to use smartphone clicker apps for learning in university classrooms. The research has arisen from evidence that has shown that the integration of mobile technologies for learning in higher education classrooms in Saudi Arabia often takes place on an ad hoc basis. Thus, Saudi university students and lecturers may miss out on important benefits afforded by the new technology and its application in learning activities.
The author developed a smartphone clicker app called the UHclicker to support the research investigation. Thirty-three university lecturers were trained in the use of the clicker app, and they subsequently integrated the app into learning activities for students enrolled in Computer Science classes at the University of Ha'il, thus name UHclicker, in the KSA. A mixed-methods design was adopted for the research investigation. For data collection, the students and the lecturers completed a self-administered online survey and participated in focus group interviews (FGIs) following their participation in the smartphone clicker app learning activities over the course of one semester. The data collection instruments and practices were designed to gain an understanding of the experiences of Saudi lecturers and undergraduate students who were using the smartphone clicker app, and to evaluate the future improvement and integration of the app into university classrooms in the KSA.
Analysis of the quantitative (survey) and qualitative (FGI) data was conducted to test the hypotheses.
The findings revealed that the students and lecturers had positive perceptions of the use of mobile devices for learning in the classroom and linked their use to higher levels of overall participation in class and satisfaction with the learning performance. In terms of the student-focused component of the study, the students generally perceived that the clicker app had direct and indirect positive effects on their learning performance, including increased interactivity and active collaborative learning behaviours. Increased active collaborative learning was positively associated with engagement in the learning activity, whereas increased interactivity with peers and the lecturer was not associated with an increase in the students' overall level of engagement. In terms of the lecturer-focused component of the study, the main findings revealed that the lecturers' perceived usefulness of the smartphone clicker app was associated with a positive attitude towards its use and their intention to use. Notably, the lecturers linked their use of the clicker app as an instructional tool to the training they received on how to integrate the app into their lesson designs.
The main conclusions drawn from the study findings are that the use of the smartphone clicker app in learning activities can provide benefits to teachers and students, including enhanced interactivity and active collaborative learning by students. Thus, lecturers, students and university administrators should be proactive in identifying suitable mobile-technology-based approaches to achieve effective 21st-century education service delivery. Further, the findings showed that institution-based infrastructural support and training play a central role in the successful adoption and implementation of smartphone clicker apps as learning tools in higher education classrooms in the KSA.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
080309 Software Engineering
080602 Computer-Human Interaction
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
890201 Application Software Packages (excl. Computer Games)
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Description: Access to Thesis dataset provided at the following link:
Appears in Collections:School of Science and Technology
Thesis Doctoral

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