The connection between mobile phones addiction and intelligence among youths under 20 years in Kingston University

The connection between mobile phones’ addiction and intelligence among youths under 20 years in Kingston University

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In the partial fulfillment of

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction


Study rationale and it importance


Aims of the Study

Research Objectives

Structure of the Study

Proposed Methods and Research Instruments


Chapter 2: Literature Review


Advantages of online learning

2.2 Drawbacks of online learning and mobile phones

2.3 Internet as source of false information

2.4 Self-learning using technology (phones)

2.5 Scope and Meaning of Self-directed learning and mobile phones

2.6 Common Attributes of Self-directed Learners

2.7 Dimensions of self-directed learning and mobile phones

2.8 Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences of e-Learning

2.9 E-learning Experiences

Chapter 3: Research Methodology


Research Approach

Rationale for choosing qualitative research

Data Collection Methods

3.3.1 Primary data collection

3.3.2 Secondary data collections

Data Reduction

3.4.1 Data reduction for primary data

3.4.2 Data reduction for secondary data

Research imitations

Chapter 4: Results and Discussion

4.0. Introduction

4.1 Results of the Analysis of Questionnaire Data

4.2 Objectives fulfilments

4.3 Summary

Chapter 5: Conclusion & Recommendations

5.0 Introduction

5.1 Summary of Main Findings

5.2 Kingston University’ perceptions and recommendation

5.3 E-learning Experiences based on literature review

5.3 Research Limitations


Chapter 1



The dissertation is aimed at determining the connection between mobile phones’ addiction and intelligence among youths under 20 years in Kingston University in the United Kingdom. This dissertation uses academic literature to compare and contrast various scholars’ perceptions and analysis on students’ performances and mobile phone addiction. The study is also based on past research outcomes of mobile phones addiction in connection to students’ intelligence in various institutions. To get to know Kingston University students and their experiences using mobile phones, a short questionnaire was designed. The questionnaires were randomly sent to the first and second year students on the University since they were the targeted age group. The analysis is based on both secondary and primary data. The dissertation is arranged into five chapters. The introduction chapter provides an overview of the dissertation, study background, study aims and dissertation objectives.

1.1 Study rationale and it importance

Over the past, mobile phone use in institutions specifically referring to Kingston University by youths under 20 years has been on the rise. Drastic changes have been observed in behaviour amongst most youths under 20 years towards technology specifically referring to mobile phones. It is therefore important to determine what effects the regular use of mobile phone devices have on individuals as far as improving literacy rates or education intelligence is concerned. The dissertation aims at addressing this phenomenon.

Researchers and teachers worry about the students (youths under 20 years) with no or little experience on computers and mobile phone that they may suffer from phone addiction. According to Taylor (2000), students with poor experience in using computers do suffer from heightened test anxiety when they are asked to take a computer-based test. The part of reason for examining the extent of computer experience in some cases has proved difficult for majority of students less than 20 years in Kingston University as well as other institutions in United Kingdom and across the globe. On the same analysis by Taylor (2000), which entailed both mobile addicted and non-addicted students from United Kingdom, the result indicated that non-addicted students who did not have proper computer experience never performed well, but the research outcome was not uniform across all students. According to Chapelle (2003), the result further indicated that though majority of the United Kingdom students had computer knowledge and experience, some could not complete computer-based test. This raises a question of the reason why even computer addicts cannot perform better when presented computer-based test.

Based on the research, it is therefore important to determine the relation between technology (computers and mobile phone) and the level of student intelligence in Kingston University and other institutions. The students based on Taylor’s (2000) research, had different computer and mobile phone experiences. When the significance of the differences was investigated in relation to their experiences, there was no direct link between students’ intelligence and mobile phone experience. The result, as stated by Chapelle (2003), for some students indicated a negative correlation while for some students it was the reverse. This raised a concern of the influence of technology, referring to mobile phones and computers, have on the students’ intelligence and so the significance of this dissertation.

The validation theory as stated by Taylor (2000) suggests that effects of technology should include both positive consequences and negative as well. An example of positive effects of technology, referring to mobile phones, is that mobile phones play an important role in instructional contexts. Computers and mobile phones do enhance computer and English literacy and the two are significant in academic learning. There are many issues connected to mobile phone usage and learning, and the questions vary depending on the researcher’s perspective. Chapelle (2003) argue that positive approaches to the study need weighing various perspectives on the basic changes in technology and introduction of mobile phones is significant to determine technology’s effects on learning. The positive effects of using technology in learning are that learners are able to engage with different students and allow learning from different perspectives (Chapelle, 2003). The question has risen whether students use mobile phones for learning purposes or for other reasons. Finding the connection between mobile phone addiction and students’ intelligence will assist various institutions to either encourage or discourage mobile phones among students and thus the importance of the research.

1.2 Context

Due technology advancement new communication devices are developed. The internet has also been evolving over time and there has been an increase in the amount and type of information on the internet. Most mobile phones have been manufactured he ability to access internet. The rapid growth of internet and phone uses has been growing at an alarming rate of the past including youths. The lack of monitoring what a student view or accesses on the internet has created loop holes for youths to engage in inappropriate contents. There has been raising concern of how the internet ahs influenced youths as their learning is concerned both in the United Kingdom and across the globe. The question has been whether mobile phones have improved learning and communication or the associated disadvantages have outweighed its advantages. This dissertation takes a keen look at the relation between phone addiction and students’ performances. A sample of students (200) is picked form Kingston University for the purpose of this research. The research is also important in determining main reasons why students in Kingston University and other institutions use mobile phones. This data is important in accessing to what extent mobile phones contribute to students’ learning.

Aims of the Study

Determining if mobile phone addiction has been of advantage to youths under 20 years in Kingston University in relation to their intelligence.

Determining the connection between mobile phone addiction and students’ class performance in Kingston University.

Determining how mobile phones contribute or boost learning in Kingston University.

1.4. Research Objectives

To determine the extent to which youths less than 20 years in Kingston University depend on mobile phones.

To determine the positive and negative impacts mobile phones have on technology and lives of youths under 20 years in Kingston University.

To determine the main purpose as to why youths less than 20 years in Kingston University mainly use the mobile phones. Whether they are for emergencies, internet access, calling friends/keeping in touch or Social networking will be determined.

To determine connection if any between mobile phone innovation and education levels of youths under 20 years in Kingston University.

1.5 Structure of the Study

The dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter introduces the research topic, aims and objectives. The second chapter, literature review, sets the context and the theoretical constructs underlying this dissertation’s research. The third Chapter, research methodology, explains the research methods used and the rationale behind the methods. The fourth chapter, analysis, contains the findings and a discussion and the implications of the research outcome. Chapter five is the conclusion and recommendations for use of mobile phones in institutions referring to the findings of Kingston University.

1.6 Proposed Methods and Research Instruments

The research will employ use of both primary and secondary materials in collecting the required data and information on the use of mobile phones in Kingston University. The primary method will entail questionnaires that will be sent randomly to first and second year students in Kingston University. The targeted students are of between 16 and 20 years old students. Secondary information is information that is not collected physically and information that come from other sources and therefore analysis will be based on other scholars’ research findings. These secondary materials will include texts books, journals, internet, newspaper articles and underlying theories on mobile phone addictions. The theories that are relevant to this investigation and that attempt to explain the relationship between mobile phone and intelligence will be consulted.

1.7 Summary

The research is centred at Kingston University first and second year students. The secondary materials however cut across all institutions based on the research. The outcome of the research will be helpful in determining whether institutions should discourage use of phones among youths under years.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

2.0 Introduction

The literature review examines the various research outcomes as pertaining to the use of mobile phones. The chapter starts with the importance of online learning then narrowing it down to the use of mobile phone sin the learning process. Drawbacks of online learning and mobile phones are discussed in the second section. The third sections discuses the disadvantages of internet as a source of information. The proceeding sections discuses the relevance and easy of using mobile phones as learning materials.

2.1 Advantages of online learning

Online learning is the education given to learners through assistance of internet. Online learning entails working on educational materials as provided by the instructors. The students use personal or shared computers to tackle the tasks which are then submitted online to the instructor. The information can be obtained online on some website, online books and journals. The online education is different in that a learner can get connected to instructor regardless of the distance and place provide both parties have internet access and computers. Most of the learner can access intern through phones. The student through one-to-one with teacher, receives first hand and personalized attention required and compared to on-ground learning where a classroom can contain many students. Formerly, only computers were being used of online tutoring. With technology advancements, new devices designed to me more portable has resulted and hence the emergence of mobile phones. Internet complexity and available of free information on given websites have intercepted the former attention paid by the learners and their concentrations.

The internet has been recommended since it contains latest materials necessary for learning. The internet learning is meant for students to obtain any information anytime as long as there is need for the information. This is contrary to the on-ground learning where information is stored in a single place and each book can be accessed by one student at one time (Sheila & Gary 9).

2.2 Drawbacks of online learning and mobile phones

Online learning has its disadvantages on practical subjects where a student is supposed to handle various chemicals. Through online learning, a student might not be able to internalize a given concept and so the benefit of student-teacher interaction. This is common with practical subjects where students are expected to be in laboratories to work with different groups or with their instructors and observe the outcome. This is only possible in direct contact education system and never works on online education. However, all the education systems will give the latest educational knowledge required in the present technology as they all strive to give synthesized information needed.

The direct teacher-student interaction gives the teacher a chance to help the students, majoring on his or her weaknesses and also assists in discipline instilling into the student. It also allows a teacher to better know the student contrary to the internet learning. The direct contact also enables students interact with other students and thus learning how to cope up with other students. The interaction helps in self improvement, by learning from other and through others and so improvement in student socialization skills. The interaction assist student in learning to cope with given difficulties that pop up in various cases. It helps in developing social systems.

The direct teacher-student contact gives room and time for reaction time that involves games and assists a learner develop physical health. The reaction assists learners to shape up personal mental ability and public relations (Sheila & Gary 9). On the contrary, online learning only gives an increased addiction to a particular task. The learners through internet tend to major in their favourite subjects and tasks and help leaves not room for monitoring or self improvements. Internet in majority of cases has encouraged unwanted communications through emails or chat and viewing of adult contents or other irrelevant materials.

2.3 Internet as source of false information

Internet has acted as a source of contradicting and false information where an author states factors that cannot be substantiated. Some of the websites have been editable or contents provided by inexperienced authors and thus false information. The lack of monitoring of information in the internet has acted as a loop hope for passing false information and biased data.

On the advantage side, through online education, instructors have been able to come up with practical knowledge from various scholars across the world. This has enabled learners get up to date information of a given task and the comparing and contrasting of the information has enhanced learning. In some cases, students get information that they would have not gotten form the class text or library.

The courses that are most suitable online are the ones like business related courses which just provide for reading and internalizing of subject just by following what has been written, the other is English related course which also allow for the same processes of instructions and reading. Information technology courses also are suitable through internet since they do not require many hands on activities that cannot be done through internet (Mujtaba & Preziosi 22). Another course is software engineering which requires computer work and formation of software that are required, therefore the computers used will provide for a working table for practices. Among many others are degrees in law and other health care related courses.

Courses that need physical interaction are the ones which contain chemical substances that need to be done in the laboratory thus online will not befit these courses. Anatomy related courses are also difficult to provide online since one will require watching and experimenting with physical objects like human beings which the internet cannot provide for. Agricultural courses are also very difficult to do online since it also deals with practicing in firms and also dealing with chemicals like fertilizers.

English classes would be different since there will not be direction given to students by teachers. For instance, the comprehension practices learners will not be given work to read and answer questions because in the internet. There are always done works on the online comprehensions thus students can upload such work and present as their own thus the comprehensions will have no effect in the education systems and therefore no need for comprehension exercises.

It is always known that a marked work gives students an encouragement in a learning process this will not be so in online because instructors cannot access the students books or documents but if they can, it will take a long time for them to receive the feedback like in normal classes where teachers can give a sample question and mark in class. Some spelling tests that are generally done in class to keep up the students competence will not be given in online education program thus learners will need their specific skills in knowing how to develop their spellings, but some of the students would not bother since the computers can run spelling mistakes for them if they are given some term paper to write thus creating individuals with incompetent spellings (Dunnewind 2005). Online education will create writers in English but not speakers of English because online requires most of the time written work and that is the form of communication throughout the course this then will suppress the other part of human development that is being competent in verbal self expression. Online English education will also discourage and affect composition writing since students can download such materials and present them as their own (Mujtaba & Preziosi 22).

Online education in the coming years will receive many students who would like to pursue online degree programs because they are not boring and can be done at anytime of the day and at any place in the world. This creates an attitude that it is cheaper and faster than the education given by direct contact. The other belief is that this education is easy due to the fact that materials are found freely through the internet while others can be bought and stored for future use this gives no need of buying books which are most expensive. Thus online education will be prominent in the near future.

2.4 Self-learning using technology (phones)

As asserted by Candy 1991, presently, the form of self-directed learning achieved through technology has been a subject of interest to psychologists, and other scholars. The same assertion is confirmed by Brockett and Hiemstra (1991) and Caffarella (1991) who state that normally, self-directed learning is supposed to commences with an individual. Self-learning is ought to be an active process within an individual. For the learning process, the student should not be aroused that she or he will not only starts the learning activity but will persist in all learning process. The persistence makes one a long term learner. A motivation within a person that makes that person receptive to stimulation is important to self-directed learning. Mobile devices like notepad and iPod have encouraged self-directed learning and acted as rich source of information for students and teachers.

As asserted by Cross (1992), the initial condition for self learning is the one we are all conscious and that is motivation. There has been a great need to encourage self-learning and hence the great need of mobile learning devices. Through the mobile phones, students have been able to socialize with other learners and even teachers and this has been of great importance. With time, the students have shifted from learning through the mobile devices to using them as a socializing platform. There has been a great need to belong to a group of network. The students have been parts of group either for encouragement of motivational purposes. As mentioned by Brockett and Himestra, social networks have been source of motivation and this has slowly driven learners to shift from using mobile devices for learning to majoring in socializing purposes. Therefore, the sole purpose of self-directed learning has been to satisfy the students’ curiosity.

2.5 Scope and Meaning of Self-directed learning and mobile phones

The scope of using mobile phones by students is unlimited. The purpose and reason of a mobile phone can be best described by the users. The scope of self-directed learning is also unlimited and can be best defined by the users. Brockett & Hiemstra (1991) and Merriam & Caffarella (1991) have both confirmed that adult learners have shown how learning by oneself have met various challenges in connection to keeping abreast of new information and progressive knowledge change. The same applies to youths.

According to Hiemstra (1994) there are various definitions of self learners. As mentioned by Hiemstra (1994), there are various advantages of self learning. First, the learner can become empowered to give sufficient time to carry on the desired learning without forcing oneself. Self- directed learning is a character that is present in every learner but varying due to different interest and scopes. Self learning through mobile devices does not mean all learning is as a result or learner’s efforts.

2.6 Common Attributes of Self-directed Learners

Among the advantages of self-learning is that students are facilitated by their own motives and drives. As mentioned by Brockett and Himestra (2004), needs, interest and goals are basic to self-directed learning process. The desire to learn a concept gives satisfaction when the leaner is doing the act. A self-motivated learning activity gets a generous amount of the learner’s energy. The interest developed in the desire to learn motivates learners for efficiency in self-directed learning. As mentioned by Brockett and Himestra (2004), the individual knowledge and understanding of students’ motive in learning are the foundations of self-directed learning. Self learning has different categories of motivation and they assume responsibility for themselves as students and that self-directedness takes place continuously.

The other characteristic of self-directed learning is readiness. Readiness can be defined as the extent of craving to learn. Readiness emphasizes the significance of motivation and the necessity for students to be prepared for the learning activity. This is enhanced by the law of mind-set which is conducive to self-directed learning. A mind-set towards learning takes insures attention to it. Readiness is an initial attitude ion engaging in a learning activity. It is through motivation that the necessity of learning is realized. The desire or urge created s=during motivation should be retained for the best development and efficient growth of the student specifically to become a lifelong self-learner.

In the research carried out by Ellinger (2004), a device was formed to measure readiness scale of learners towards self-learning. This entailed measuring the skills and attitudes of the students. In the research, readiness entailed the following factors: (1) learner’s reason or student’s interest to learn, (2) self concept and self-confidence, (3) levels of aspiration for learning, and (4) knowledge and appraisal of how well he is doing in relation to his goals.

Robotham (1995) mentioned other significant characteristics of a self-directed student: (1) attentiveness of their learning desires and interests, (2) self-confidence of their learning abilities based on earlier learning experiences, (3) capabilities to set suitable objectives in learning, (4) ability to select strategies for learning, (5) capacities to be self-motivated and self-disciplined, (6) the flexibilities in establishing learning aims, (7) understanding of the learning process as well as (8) knowledge of learning skills including strengths and weaknesses in learning.

2.7 Dimensions of self-directed learning and mobile phones

Cross (1992) stated that self-directed learning is managed by the learners themselves. When, what and how to learn is leaner dependent. The student has the opportunity to choose the area or field of his or her interest, when and where to learn, and how to learn the concepts. Cross (1992) further states that self-directed learning takes place in an organized manner as directed by the leaner. The learner can himself identify the obstacles and problems, accept the need to learn, formulate learning aims and objectives, and find reliable resources for proper learning.

Cross (1992) stated that even though self-directed learning is aimed at individual learner, it does not mean that the leaner learns in isolation. The self learning also entails contact with other learners and even with tutors. According to Rogers (2004), learners ought to be self-directed learners and there is a present explosion of new knowledge and information that persons have ti face.

2.8 Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences of e-Learning

Gad (200) emphasize that the world is witnessing an unprecedented explosion of information that is enabling human knowledge to grow at an alarming rate. The growth has been fuelled by the emergency of mobile devices. According to Al-Outaiby (2008), education plays a important role in sustainable development and its strategic significance has heralded a well-known surge in current societies to deal with varied future developments and challenges.

E-learning is a development of digitized systems of learning that support the convectional methodology associated with teaching. The method is slowly advancing and the benefits and importance of the method are recognized worldwide (Dede, Brown-L’Bahy, D. Ketelhurt, and P. Whitehorse, 2004). Challenges for traditional methods of learning such as face to face classroom engagement include a lack of physical facilities such as lecture rooms and storage facilities for the aides teaching materials relevant to the subject matter (Mosavinia, 2008).

As a result, e-learning provides a realistic alternative for many who are confronted with these challenges of traditional models or for those that prefer the convenience of e-learning (NSTA, 2009). The setting of the program, congestion in the facility and need for expansion and the funds involved are permanently solved (Kashyap, 1994). As stated above, e-learning solutions offer alternatives for those with full time jobs or family obligations and those who require specialized education or are in challenged geographical areas (Gopal, 2000: 16).

E-learning has the potential to expand the knowledge of students and change the attitudes of our society. The developments in the e-learning will accommodate the expected information explosion (Greenstein, 2007), save staff and students’ time; facilitate publishing, and the integration of new information. As today’s generation is more comfortable with using computers, it is easier for them to utilize the features of e-learning to support learning, understanding and the sharing of knowledge (Dede 2005).

Nevertheless, with the variation of resource these days, it is hard to keep track using the old system (Panke, Gaiser, and Werner, 2007). E-learning which includes digital libraries, organizes the collection of the various media and other types of resources and directly or indirectly provides access to the material through network set ups (Fox, 1999).

United Kingdom has over the years considered adopting e-learning methods to cater for students interested in pursuing academic studies. Recent studies have shown how the integration of e-learning into the education system in the country is important. Having resolved to make education available to its citizens, the conventional or traditional models of higher education have demonstrated weaknesses in the quest to achieve the country’s goals (Dajani, 2009).

Summing up the benefits of e-learning, Wangpipatwong and Papasratorn’s (2007) study showed that the use of the technology in United Kingdom universities will help in deploying training, increase the speed and coverage of learning for the broader population, improve integration of the electronic media in learning and improve higher learning course completion rates. (Wangpipatwong, & Papasratorn, 2007). Educational researchers have emphasized the urgent need for United Kingdom to benefit from advanced e-learning programs to upgrade its educational systems, in light of the result concluded by previous educational literature in the field highlighting its vital importance for education ( Al-Alshehri, 2005; Al-Dhafeeri and Alarqas, 2006; Ruhe and Zumbo, 2009).

2.9 E-learning Experiences

Conole et al. (2006) state that e-learning experiences include providing a comprehensive description of learners’ perceptions about e-learning, the various practical procedures and strategies they use in e-learning, as well as a determination of their effectiveness according to their viewpoints. Moreover, e-learning experiences include how learners link e-learning with the overall learning process, in addition to their efforts to mix their e-learning experiences and traditional learning activities.

As e-learning has been accepted, it has been reported that there has been an increased usage of podcasting by up to 195%, rapid development tools have gone up by 43%, and the use of virtual classrooms has increased by 23% from 2007 to date (Little, 2009). Reluctance of people to use the technology due to cost restrictions and poor IT infrastructure has been cited as the barriers to the adoption of the technology. These improvements show that e-learning has significant benefits for learners, hence the increasing the usage (Van der Perre et al. 2001).

Sait (2003) highlighted the importance of e-learning in catering for the rise in the higher education enrolments in United Kingdom (Sait 2003). In another study, the faults of the conventional system which include (1) Bulk of assignments (2) rigid programs (3) challenges facing young girls in their quest for academic achievement and other inequalities created by the traditional system face elimination on implementation of the technology, the study also compiled the attitudes that the stakeholders have of the technology (Al-Arfaj 2001: 2).

In a study conducted by Alhaji (2002), it is expected that the vast majorit

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