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ABSTRACT: The research investigated the perceived influence of smartphones on the Academic Performance of University Students with a focus on Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. Smartphones have made surfing the internet among students easier and cheaper compared to the date when the only assess to the internet was by going to a cyber café and later to the use of a personal computer with a modem etc. A survey research method was adopted coupled with a questionnaire to elicit responses from respondents. The data collected were analyzed in frequency and percentage method with the aid of tables. It was established that Smartphones aids research and communication among respondents while so many students also abuse it. It was recommended that Students should be orientated on the need and best way to use a phone in an academic environment and what constitutes abuse or negative use of phone within academic borders by formulating laws to will prohibit excesses.



1.1   Background to the study

Information simply is that which informs, that from which data can be derived. It is any propagation of cause and effect within a system. Information is conveyed either as the content of a message or through the direct or indirect observation of something {in this context ‘Smartphone’}

Smartphones are an attractive tool for communication and interpersonal relations and have become increasingly used in an educational context. Some people tend to seem depressed, lost and isolated without their mobile phones. This makes their daily activities bizarre (Takao, Takahashi and Kitamura, 2009).

In the past, mobile phones were mostly about making phone calls. They had a number pad, a digital phone book and a pick-up/hang-up button and not much more. Now Smartphones offer so much more – they’re really fully-fledged computers that you can fit in your pocket. They can run programs and games, access the internet, send an email and much more. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming the ever-present penetration and transformation of everyday social practices and space. According to Ally (2009), the use of wireless, mobile, portable and handheld devices is gradually increasing and diversified across different sectors of education, both in developed and developing countries.

Every year there’s a new innovative way, technology or device produced and introduced in the industry, which improves the way we interact, communicate and also for leisure purposes. A Smartphone is essentially a mobile device that offers advanced PC-like capabilities, taking the device beyond that of one that can solely take phone calls and send SMS messages (Matt Brian, 2010). In this coming era, the physical and digital worlds that have always been separate and distinct will collide, converge, and collaborate. Technology will breathe life into lifeless objects. Sensors will turn inanimate things into intelligent devices. And in our lifetime, over the course of but a handful of years, we will witness the static things that fill our environment spring to life all around us.

Mobile learning creates new ways of accessing and sharing knowledge. For example, designing lecture notes to be viewed by the students on their mobile phones for their preparedness for school work wherever. They are, is another one/way of mobile learning. Looking at the wider context of mobile learning, mobile devices are responsible for the new forms of art, employment, language, commerce as well as learning. They are part of every transformation of discourses and knowledge (Ally, 2009).

In a nutshell, a Smartphone is a device that lets you make telephone calls, but also adds features that you might find on a personal digital assistant or a computer. A Smartphone also offers the ability to send and receive e-mail and edit Office documents, for example. Smartphones are equipped with the capabilities to display photos, play videos, navigation, built-in camera, audio/video playback and recording, send/receive an e-mail, built-in apps for social web sites and surf the Web, gaming features, wireless Internet, GPS (Global Positioning System) and much more. Due to some reasons, Smartphone‘s now become a common choice for consumers along with their use in business as it was initially intended for business users only. Smartphones provide a one-stop solution for information management, mobile calls, email sending, and Internet access. Smartphones are compact in size and often only slightly bigger than standard mobile telephones.

The Smartphone era is divided into three main phases. The first phase was purely meant for enterprises. During this phase, all the smartphones were targeting the corporations and the features and functions were as per corporate requirements. This era began with the advent of the very first Smartphone _The “Simon” from IBM in 1993. Blackberry is considered as the revolutionary device of this era, it introduced many features including Email, Internet, Fax, Web browsing, Camera.

The second phase of the Smartphone era started with the advent of the iPhone, the major breakthrough Smartphone market in 2007. This was the time when first time ever industry introduced the Smartphone to the general consumers market. The emphasis during this period was to introduce features that the general consumer requires and at the same time keep the cost at a lower side to attract more and more customers. Features like email, social website integration, audio/video, internet access, chatting along with general features of the phone were part of this entire phone.

The third phase of smartphones was mainly closing the gap between enterprise centric and general consumer-centric Smartphone and improvement the display quality, display technology and on top of that also aiming to stabile the mobile operating system, introduce more powerful batteries and enhance the user interface and many more features within these smart devices.

Becoming familiar with a Smartphone can take a little bit of practice. But when you do become familiar with it, you’ll find that a Smartphone can do more than you ever thought possible on a mobile phone. Most Smartphones make the most of wireless mobile networks (Edge, 3G and soon to be 4G, all ways to connect your phone to the Internet) and offer email, internet services and advanced call features as well as (in most cases) a full QWERTY keyboard, whether it be a physical keyboard attached to the device or embedded into the operating system. Most modern devices will also feature a touchscreen, giving the user a lot more control over the features of the phone.

But, to really understand what a Smartphone is (and is not), we should start with a history lesson. In the beginning, there were cell phones and there were personal digital assistants (or PDAs). Cell phones were used for making calls–and not much else–while PDAs, like the Palm Pilot, were used as personal, portable organizers. A PDA could store your contact info and a to-do list, and could sync with your computer.  PDAs gained wireless connectivity and were able to send and receive e-mail. Cell phones meanwhile, gained messaging capabilities, too. PDAs then added cellular phone features, while cell phones added more PDA-like (and even computer-like) features. The result was the Smartphone.

Today‘s Smartphone‘s has been around since last six years when Apple introduced the Smartphone in mass consumer market, but in reality the Smartphone has been in market since 1993. The difference between today‘s Smartphone and early Smartphone‘s is that early Smartphone‘s were predominantly meant for corporate users and used as enterprise devices and also those phone were too expensive for the general consumers; Most research has focused on Western universities’ use of mobile phones to support student learning on campus. Little attention is paid to African rural universities booming with students carrying new advanced mobile phones on their daily schedule. The present study assesses student opinion on mobile phones as useful tools for enhanced learning at Olabisi Onabanjo University. This research findings could help management decision on implementing mobile learning services on campus using the students’ mobile phones, supported by software applications (apps).

According to Melissa J. Bell (2014), in educational institutions success is measured by academic performance or how well a student meets standards set out by local government and the institution itself. As career competition grows ever fiercer in the working world, the importance of students doing well in school has caught the attention of parents, legislators and government education departments alike. 

Academic performance is referred as the outcome of education – the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (this is linked to effort, achievement and motivation) and tends to achieve highly in academic settings. Although education is not the only road to success in the working world, much effort is made to identify, evaluate, track and encourage the progress of students in schools. Parents care about their child’s academic performance because they believe good academic results will provide more career choices and job security.

Tracking of academic performance is very essential to both concerned parents and institutions because it fulfils various purposes. Areas of success and failure in every student’s academic career need to be constantly monitored in order to foster improvement and to ensure such student makes full use of the learning process. Results at the end of the term/semester/session provide a framework to show ratings and how these students fare in school.

1.2   Statement of Problem

Having a Smartphone comes with its various advantages and disadvantages and with its everyday advancing capabilities the institutional environment has influenced the learning process at OOU and this raises questions. 

Once it became possible to surf the web on mobiles, they are so important to our everyday living because they are solutions to assignments, projects and research became easier and quicker to assemble; Presentations became smoother with Smartphones than with laptops but then it soon became obvious that students no longer wish to read and so they lack in depth knowledge to reason when faced with simple issues or problems. With Smartphones now in surplus circulation, they sum up many of the things that are wrong in universities like OOU and Babcock; it has been observed that they have become an ever present source of persistent trouble to lecture halls and worship centres because so many students are involved in texting, taking calls and surfing the Web for unrelated materials and this encourages distractions and makes other students unfocused.

Distraction comes when a cell rings or text enters with a loud ring or beep and more than half of the lecture hall turns to what caused the sudden noise and the lecturer stops talking. Students could choose the right thing which is to silence these phones or put it on vibrate mode but they choose not to.

Smartphones bring about lack of grammar skills; it destroys students use of grammar in speech and mostly in writing during lectures, students no longer know how to write well in lectures (lack of punctuations) because the Smartphones autocorrect their spelling mistakes (inventive spellings e.g (b4 instead of before) and they don’t pay attention to that and in turn they spell poorly during tests and exams. Students also decide not to read or write in lecture halls believing they’ve got their mobiles, this has pushed test cheating on the rise at OOU University; students search the web for answers, they look up stored information, they text answers to friends, and even take pictures of a recent test and share with others. It causes sleep deprivation. Students stay up all night texting or making night calls and makes learning during the day difficult. Smartphones cause difficulty in conveying feelings, emotions and inability to express thoughts and opinions on simple and complex matters.

As technology and the Internet advance every day, mobiles have become status symbols or gods, students cannot do without them. Now, not only do youngsters have to have the right trainer, the right laptop or even the right cars, they have to have the right phone, with all the gadgets and due to all these; name-calling and constant intimidation over children having the ‘wrong,’ Smartphones are unpleasant.

It is against this background that the research examines the influence of Smartphone usage on the Academic Performance of University Students with focus on  Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State in order to know the extent they use Smartphone and for what purposes.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The primary purpose of this study is to assess the Smartphone capabilities and its influence on academics or learning at Olabisi Onabanjo University, to further determine whether and how Smartphones enhance student learning and academic performances at Olabisi Onabanjo University. This research seeks to point out the following objectives:

  1. To examine the extent to which the students of OOU are using Smartphones.
  2. To ascertain the kind of influence that Smartphones are having on students’ academic performance.

1.3       Research Questions

  1. To what extent do students of OOU are using Smartphones?
  2. What influence do smartphones have on students’ academic performance?

1.5   Significance of the Study

The value of this study is to evaluate and see if this research will be beneficial to the management team, students, and technical centers at Olabisi Onabanjo University.

The management team at Olabisi Onabanjo could use this research to create programs and formulate better lecture materials or study guides that include Smartphones as a learning and communication tool and this would in turn boost academic performance.

The outcome of this research will lead to a better understanding of Smartphones, its uses towards academic performance. It will also enable students know their flaws and make corrections to it. The output of this research work will also add to the current literature in Smartphone usage.

The findings will add to the bulk of literature available to the students and researchers who may be interested in carrying out similar

1.6       Scope of the Study

This pre-field is based on the influence of Smartphone usage on the academic performance of Olabisi Onabanjo University students. This study focuses on Smartphone usage in Olabisi Onabanjo University and further investigates the extent to which Smartphones influences students academics, lifestyle and decisions. The findings here would add to the compendium of knowledge and help the Olabisi Onabanjo to implement better management of Smartphones in universities.

1.7   Operational definition of Terms

Information: Is processed data which has the ability to convey meaning, adds and changes the knowledge store of the possessor and creates awareness, reduces uncertainty and also aids uncertainty.

Information and Communications Technology: Refers to the used to handle telecommunications, broadcast media, intelligent building management systems, audiovisual processing and transmission systems, and network-based control and monitoring functions.

Smartphones: a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touch screen interface, Internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded apps.

Mobile learning: is defined as a former of electronic distance education where individuals learn across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices.

Academics: Is a formalistic or conventional education with theoretical or speculative aspects without practical purposes or intention.

Academic Performance: Is defined as the effectiveness by which an individual (student) shows when attempting to achieve excellence or fulfillment in academic or scholarly activities.

Researchcage University, Osogbo :who could be undergraduate or postgraduate students.


WHAT TO EXPECT: (Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)

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