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IJIET 2021 Vol.11(2): 82-87 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2021.11.2.1493

Sustainable Information and Learning Access at a Rural University in Zimbabwe through a Mobile Application

Vusumuzi Maphosa, Bekithemba Dube, and Thuthukile Jita

Abstract—The current technological revolution must be harnessed to increase access to information and help communities in developing countries make informed decisions that can improve their standard of life. The purpose of this study was to develop an app that attempts to complement traditional media by improving access to timely and relevant information to enhance teaching and learning in deprived rural contexts. The process was guided by design science research methodology. The paper responds to three questions: the processes considered for effective development of apps in resource-constrained environments; the value of mobile apps in supporting teaching; and how mobile apps transform deprived rural institutions. As part of the design research, the rural-university community was engaged in the construction of an app enabling access to educational information, registration portals, fee balances, and coursework. The findings indicate that the app was useful, easy to learn, and provided utility to its users, which consequently transformed their university life. The paper concludes by arguing that in a deprived learning context, mobile apps have the impetus to bridge the rural-urban dichotomy and recentre rural contexts in a direction for sustainable learning.

Index Terms—Information and communication technology, mobile application, rural context, sustainable learning.

Vusumuzi Maphosa is with Lupane State University, Zimbabwean, South Africa.
Bekithemba Dube and Thuthukile Jita are with University of the Free State, Zimbabwean, South Africa (e-mail: dubeb@ufs.ac.za).


Cite: Vusumuzi Maphosa, Bekithemba Dube, and Thuthukile Jita, "Sustainable Information and Learning Access at a Rural University in Zimbabwe through a Mobile Application," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 82-87, 2021.

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jon-Chao Hong
  • Managing Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2023: 2.8), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net
  • Article Processing Charge: 800 USD


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