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Special Issue October 2008

Title: Mobile Research Supervision Initiative (MRSI) at MakerereUniversity: Lessons to Learn
Authors: Paul B. Muyinda and Jude T. Lubega, Kathy Lynch
Published: IJCIR Special Issue October 2008, PP. 48-59
Language: English

The rapid technological development in mobile phones coupled with their rapid diffusion into all walks of life has instigated various sectors to exploit them for various purposes aimed at enhancing organizational efficiency and flexibility. The communication, business, financial, banking and education sectors have developed and continue to develop applications for mobile phones. Our research sought to evaluate an initiative introduced at Makerere University’s Department of Distance Education (Mobile Research Supervision Initiative – MRSI), for guiding (using mobile phones) distance learners who were completing their final year field research projects. The study adopted a mixed methods research approach, employing a self administered semi-structured questionnaire/survey, in-depth interviews and document review methods for data collection. Results from the evaluation have indicated that the mobile research supervision: i) created a virtual community of practice amongst research students and their supervisors, ii) motivated lonely distance learners in the field, iii) created a customer care feeling amongst students, and iv) bred intimacy amongst the alumni and their institution. The results of this study could be used to inform the development of mobile learning policy and pedagogy for developing countries.View full Article

Key Words and Phrases: Distance learning, m-learning, e-learning, mobile research supervision