Mobile Phone And Students’ Academic Performance

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Mobile Phone And Students’ Academic Performance


Chapter One


Introduction

Background to the Study

In this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well-being and opportunities for better living (Battle and Lewis, 2002). It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. The quality of students’ performance remains at top priority for educators. It is meant for making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively to quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside and outside school that affect students’ quality of academic performance. These factors may be termed as student factors, family factors, school factors and peer fctors (Crosnoe, Johnson and Elder, 2004).

Mobile phones have become an almost essential part of daily life since their rapid growth in popularity in Nigeria in 2001. A nationwide survey conducted in 2010 shows that mobile phones are the most necessary medium of communication for adolescents. It has virtually affected the society’s accessibility, security, safety and coordination of business and social activities and has hence become a part of culture of the whole world (Soyemi, Oloruntoba and Okafor, 2015).

According to Rabiu, Mohammed, Umaru and Ahmed (2016), mobile phones are the most necessary medium of communication for adolescents. It has virtually affected the society’s accessibility, security, safety and coordination of business and social activities and has hence become a part of a culture of the whole world. Most phones do what a computer does and its affordability, portability and convenience make it a common gadget owned by almost every adult and some children. Most students own cell phones and love to interact with it. It will therefore be thoughtful to harness this technology to enhance teaching and learning (Akpan, 2017).

However, the adoption of mobile phone by school age students in Nigeria is seen as the most popular form of electronic communication. The term mobile phone means different things to different people. To the youth, mobile phone is considered to be a social tool rather than a technological tool. The adult on the other hand sees mobile phone as a tool for enhancing business activities while students see it as a tool for social activities (Aoki andDownes 2003; Abi-Jagun, Richardand Whalley, 2007).

Bull and McCormick (2012); Tao and Yeh (2013) opined that as mobile phone technology continues its rapid development, the device appears capable of contributing to student learning and improved academic performance. For example, modern “smartphones” provide students with immediate, portable access to many of the same education-enhancing capabilities as an internet-connected computer, such as online information retrieval, file sharing, and interacting with professors and fellow students. Conversely, recent research suggests that many college students perceive the mobile phone primarily as a leisure device, and most commonly use mobile phones for social networking, surfing the internet, watching videos, and playing games (Lepp, Barkley and Karpinski, 2013).
The 21st century youth spend more time on the phone, the internet or in front of the television screen. The mobile phone usage pattern of youths has become worrisome because most of them use their phones excessively.

Livingstone and Bober (2005) opined that youths found mobile phone valuable and useful than any other means of communication. They further noted that mobile phones are sometimes a tool for social identity than a means to facilitate education. Sofowora (2011) shares similar opinion with Livingstone and Bober (2005) when he observed that the indiscriminate use of phones in public places such as the highway, hospitals, churches and even classrooms are other examples of poor mobile phone etiquette. It is not only in Nigeria that these kinds of problems occur, it is world over.


Statement of the Problem

Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and Adeya (2002), noted that educational institutions have witnessed an astronomical increase in the use of mobile phones by students in recent times. This scenario has been extended to primary and secondary institutions as well. However, in highlighting the constraints to effective learning, Park (2005) listed inattentiveness, disruption and distraction. Closely associated to these, is the use of mobile phones which causes noise and distraction during lecture hours.

In addition to this, there is high tendency and/or temptation of the students to interact with their phone in the class in the course of lectures, either to respond to received messages, or to browse the internet. These, no doubt, take heavy toll on the level of concentration devoted to the lectures. Even while outside the class room environment, most students who use internet enabled phones devote much time interacting with their phones by chatting on the Twitter, 2go, Facebook, instant messages (Black Berry Messenger, Yahoo Messenger). Consequently, the time that ought to have been devoted to study and other useful academic endeavours are thus frittered away (Ezemeneka, 2013).

However, a cursory look at existing literatures revealed that few studies were done on the impact of mobile phone usage on students’ performance in Nigeria. Furthermore, those studies (Enyi, Upelle, Agada, Ominyi, Taiyol, Eru, Ekpo and Adoga, 2017; Rabiu et al.., 2016; Soyemi et al., 2015; Faki and Emmanuel, 2013; Sofowora, 2011) did not investigate the effect of mobile phone usage frequency (calling and texting) on students’ academic performance. Based on these, a gap existed which need to be filled. Therefore, this study intends to examining the effect of mobile phone usage on secondary school students’ academic performance by employing mobile phone usage frequency.


Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of the study was to examine the impact of mobile phone usage on academic performance among senior secondary school’s students in Abeokuta metropolis, Ogun State, Nigeria. To achieve this, the following specific objectives were pursued to:

  1. Examine the effect of the total amount of time spent using mobile phone each day on secondary school students’ academic performance.
  2. Determine whether mobile phone usage during class and study time have effect on secondary school students’ academic performance.
  3. Examine the effect of mobile phone usage at night on secondary school students’ academic performance.

Research Questions

The following questions were answered in order to achieve the above objectives;

  1. What is the effect of the total amount of time spent using mobile phone each day on secondary school students’ academic performance?
  2. What is the effect of mobile phone usage during class and study time on secondary school students’ academic performance?
  3. What is the effect of mobile phone usage at night on secondary school students’ academic performance?

Research Hypotheses

  1. H01: There is no significant relationship between the total amount of time spent using mobile phone each day on secondary school students’ academic performance.
  2. H02: There is no significant relationship between mobile phone usage during class and study time on secondary school students’ academic performance.
  3. H03: There is no significant relationship between mobile phone usage at night on secondary school students’ academic performance.

Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this study will benefit various educational stakeholders. It would be useful to students in determining the many opportunities the mobile phone technology provides in their academic lives. Teachers would be guided on how integrating mobile phone technology will create a richer environment for teaching and learning. The mobile phone companies would be more informed and therefore invest in providing mobile phone technologies to schools with internet connectivity and smartphones at a reduced price.

Curriculum planners and policy makers would be aware of the numerous possibilities of using mobile phone technologies in learning, so as to assist in implementing and designing activities to support the various learning styles. The findings of this study would also complement other studies and provide appropriate information for content developers and mobile learning developers in designing mobile phone applications for learning. This research would contribute to the body of educational research in that it explores students’ academic performance with multiple indicators of learning, which is satisfaction, learning style, and performance. The research would provide more information on innovative uses of mobile phone technologies to enhance educational experiences of students.


Scope of the study

Although this study should have cover all the public secondary school in Abeokuta metropolis but because of financial and time constraint on the part of the researcher, the study was narrowed down to Asero High School in Abeokuta South Local Government Area between 2013 and 2017. The choice of this school was due to the fact that the researcher has unrestricted access to students in terms of data collection.


Operational Definition of Terms

Chat:

This refers to text-based, real-time communications between or among two or more students.

E-mail:

This refers to a text-based, delayed communications which are exchanged between and among students.

Internet:

This implies the connection of a computer to any other computer anywhere in the world via dedicated routers and servers.

Learning Style:

It refers to the way a student consistently responds to and uses stimuli in the context of learning with the support of technology.

Mobile Phone Technologies:

This refers to those technologies (hardware/software) that deliver instructional content and learning materials in way that fits into students‟ mobile phones for their digital lives.

Mobile Phone:

The usage of wireless Internet to exchange voice messages, email, and small web pages, anywhere and anytime.

MP3:

It refers to a digital music format for creating high-quality sound files in which students use to download audio files so that they can listen to audio lectures at any time or place.

Short Message Service (SMS):

It refers to a convenient and cost effective way of text messaging important information to students through their mobile phones.

Smartphones:

It refers to an electronic device that combines mobile phones with a PDA, camera, video, mass storage, MP3 player, Internet access, and networking features in one compact system.

Social Networking:

This refers to the use of internet to make information about yourself available to other people especially people you share an interest with to send messages to them.

Students’ Academic Performance:

This refers to how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks and studies.

Technology:

This implies the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes especially in computer sciences.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

Summary of Major Findings

The study examined the effect of mobile phone usage on secondary school students’ academic performance. To achieve this, students in Asero high school, Abeokuta, Ogun State were sampled to seek their opinion on whether mobile phone usage have significant effect on their academic performance. Findings from the socio-demographic characteristics of the students revealed that majority (53%) of them were female most (40%) of which were between the ages 16-20 years old from sampled from SSS 1, SSS 2 and SSS 3 classes.

Also, findings from the frequency distribution tables revealed that most of the sampled students (34%) used their mobile phone for not less than 3 hours in a day, followed by 21 per cent that used it for 2 hours in a day, followed by 18 per cent that used it for 4 hours in a day, followed by 9 per cent that used it for 5 hours in a day, followed by 7 per cent that used it for 1 hour in a day, followed by 6 per cent that used it for 6 hours in a day and followed by 5 per cent that used it for 7 hours in a day.

In addition, (65%) of them checked their mobile phones more than 4 times, followed by 16 per cent that checked it once, followed by 11 per cent that checked it twice, followed by 5 per cent that checked it 3 times and followed by 3 per cent that checked it 4 times.

Furthermore, majority (66%) of them checked their mobile phones more than 4 times, followed by 25 per cent that checked it 4 times, followed by 4 per cent that checked it twice, followed by 3 per cent that checked it 3 times and followed by 2 per cent that checked it once.

Most (38.9%) of them agreed that they were awaken by their mobile phone almost every day, 11.6 per cent agreed that they were awaken by their mobile phone a few times per week, 30 per cent agreed that they were awaken by their mobile phone a few times per month, 12.2 per cent agreed that they were awaken by their mobile phone occasionally while 7.4 per cent agreed that they were never awaken by their mobile phone. Most (33.5%) of them agreed that in the last 30 days, they have stayed up late to use your mobile phone after a target bedtime almost every day, 18.7 per cent agreed that it happened few times per week, 11.3 per cent agreed that it happened a few times per month, 30.9 per cent agreed that it happened occasionally while 5.6 per cent agreed that it never happened.

Lastly, findings from multiple regression analyses revealed that mobile phone usage each day has negative and significant effect on secondary school students’ academic performance (β = -0.881; p< 0.01), mobile phone usage during class and study time has negative and significant effect on secondary school students’ academic performance (β = -0.413; p< 0.01) and mobile phone usage at night has negative and significant effect on secondary school students’ academic performance (β = -0.505; p< 0.01).


Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that mobile phone usage has a negative and significant effect on secondary school students’ academic performance.

Many research studies (Enyi et al. 2017; Rabiu et al. 2016; Faki and Emmanuel, 2013) conducted in Nigeria reported that rampant use of mobile phone by students does not have significant effect on their academic performance. In this context, the study focused on finding the effect of mobile phone usage on students’ academic performance in Asero high school, Abeokuta, Ogun State. From the result of the analysis, it was therefore concluded that the use of mobile phone among secondary school students in Asero high school had negative and significant effect on their academic performance.


Recommendations

In order to reduce the negative effects of mobile phone usage on secondary school students’ academic performance in Asero high school, Abeokuta, Ogun State, it was recommended that parents and teachers should monitor and curb excessive mobile phone usage by students each and every day. The school authority should ensure that an instruction is put in place to restrict students from bringing mobile phones to school in order not to distract them from concentrating in the classroom. Parents should ensure that they prevent their children from using mobile phone at night when they are expected to be in bed since it can disturb their sleep and affect their ability to concentrate on their study the next day.


Limitations of the Study and Suggestions for Further Studies

The sample used in this study was drawn from only one secondary school in Abeokuta metropolis which overall was not a reasonable representation of all secondary school students in Ogun State therefore, further studies should consider sampling more than one secondary school in order to have a broader view of the effect of mobile phone usage on students’ academic performance. Also, the study considered only public secondary school due to financial constraint. Other studies should consider both public and private secondary schools to come up with robust results.


Mobile Phone And Students’ Academic Performance


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Mobile Phone And Students’ Academic Performance


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Frequently Asked Questions


Are mobile phones helpful or harmful to students’ academic performance?

Mobile phones can be a helpful academic tool, or a hurtful academic disruption depending upon the attitude and use pattern of the student owner. In the recent past, it has been observed that there has been a serious decline in academic performance of students in the senior secondary school external examinations.

Should students be allowed to bring cell phones to school?

Along with their books and school supplies, many students make their trip to school with their mobile phone. The presence of cell phone provides a host of options and challenges for today’s students. Mobile phones can be a helpful academic tool, or a hurtful academic disruption depending upon the attitude and use pattern of the student owner.

Does banning mobile phones in schools improve test scores?

Our results suggest that after schools banned mobile phones, test scores of students aged 16 increased by 6.4% of a standard deviation. This is equivalent to adding five days to the school year or an additional hour a week.

How many secondary school students have access to mobile phones?

Ninety Seven 97 (%) of the secondary school students have access to mobile phones either through their parents, friends or personal. 2. The performance of the secondary schools students is not significantly affected by their access to mobile phones.  

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