Influence of mobile phone technologies on science students’ academic performance in selected Ghanaian public Universities
Many university students struggle a great deal in the Sciences because of complex concepts, laws, theories and models. In Ghana, the situation is not any much different. This study was designed to examine the use of mobile phones which is a widespread technology and determine how this technology influences science students‟ academic performance. This study sought to find out the extent to which the use of mobile phones influences science university students‟ academic performance in public universities of Ghana. The study involved examining the type of mobile phone technologies available for university students pursing programs in science, assessing students‟ level of academic satisfaction with the use of mobile phone in learning science, establishing the role the various types of learning styles play in influencing the use of mobile phone technology for learning, investigating the influence of utilization of mobile phone technology on academic performance in science by university students and determine the factors that influence mobile phone usage by university students in science learning. The study proposes a model that would support the use of mobile phone technologies to support learning science and examines the type of mobile phone technologies available for lecturers to support teaching of science in their universities. Papert‟s (1980) ICT theory supported by Ally‟s (2004) mobile learning model formed the theoretical framework of this study. The research design employed was a descriptive survey, which used both quantitative and qualitative data. The target population included students, lecturers and ICT coordinators in three public universities in Ghana. Three universities out of 6 major universities were purposively selected because they are the largest public universities in Ghana which have exceptional wireless network infrastructure as compared to other universities. Six hundred forty-three students, lecturers and ICT coordinators formed the sample. Purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used in selecting the sample size. The data was collected using questionnaires from both students and lecturers, while interview schedule was used for ICT coordinators. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data. Further analysis was done using the t-test, Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient and one way ANOVA. These were used to determine the relationship between the independent variables and the demographics of both lecturers and students. Four hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Qualitative analysis from open ended items from the questionnaires and interviews were considered and inferences drawn from the opinions of the respondents. Validity and reliability were ensured through piloting. The findings revealed that the mobile phone had great potential as a learning tool and it could positively influence learning science in universities. After analyses the results were presented in the form of tables and bar charts. Discussion and conclusions were drawn. The study came up with recommendations for students, lecturers, curriculum planners, content developers for policy and further research.