Title: Use of smartphones amongst undergraduates in Nigeria: aid or distraction to their studies?

Authors: Peter Eshioke Egielewa

Addresses: Department of Mass Communication, Edo University Iyamho, Iyamho, Edo State, Nigeria

Abstract: Smartphone usage has revolutionised interpersonal communication in the world with the launch of the first smartphone device called 'The Simon', established by IBM in 1994. With the introduction of smartphone mobile applications (apps) such as dictionaries, calculators, Word Document, etc., undergraduates see their smartphones as an important companion in their studies. However, there are negative impacts of smartphones on undergraduates. Based on the Media Richness theory, this research investigates the role of smartphones in undergraduate studies using quantitative research design method, and with questionnaires administered to 380 students of two Nigerian higher institutions. The research concludes that smartphone can significantly be an aid but can also be a distraction to undergraduate studies if no institutional checks are put in place. This paper recommends that undergraduates should be encouraged to use helpful academic apps during their studies but higher institutions should put checks in place to prevent abuse of smartphone usage.

Keywords: smartphones; apps; undergraduates; studies; institutions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2021.114056

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2021 Vol.13 No.2, pp.149 - 166

Received: 07 Oct 2019
Accepted: 25 Nov 2019

Published online: 08 Apr 2021 *

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