Original Research

A South African university’s readiness assessment for bringing your own device for teaching and learning

Nkqubela Ruxwana, Mncedisi Msibi
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 20, No 1 | a926 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v20i1.926 | © 2018 Nkqubela Ruxwana, Mncedisi Msibi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 November 2017 | Published: 26 June 2018

About the author(s)

Nkqubela Ruxwana, Department of Information Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Mncedisi Msibi, Department of Information Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The use of mobile devices for education is rapidly growing, and it is a global phenomenon. The trend of bringing personal mobile devices for learning using the institution’s network to access data and other academic material is referred to as bring your own device (BYOD). Most universities in developed countries have implemented this phenomenon to enhance education. However, the rate of BYOD adoption in developing countries is lagging even though the majority of students and staff already own one or more mobile devices and are using them for personal and educational purposes.

 

Objectives: The study determines the readiness of a South African university to adopt BYOD for teaching and learning. Moreover, the article presents the enabling factors and barriers of BYOD adoption within the university.

 

Method: The study followed an interpretivist philosophical stance. A qualitative single-case study was used. Data were collected through questionnaires and thematic analysis was applied.

 

Results: The BYOD readiness levels are low and are hampered both by organisational and technological factors. Key barriers include lack of comprehensive policies to govern the use of these devices, lack of infrastructure, limited top management support for innovations and security complexities, while the key enabling factors included accessibility to mobile technologies, ease of use, relative advantage and convenience.

 

Conclusion: Bring your own device offers a suitable platform for mobile-learning (m-learning) in universities. Consideration of the readiness factors, such as adoption strategy, implementation plans, security and device management, skills development, and measures of discipline, is essential.


Keywords

bring your own devices (BYOD); m-learning; BYOD readiness; enterprise mobility; BYOD in South African universities

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