Chapter to enhance the quality of life bringing

Chapter 1: Introduction and
Background

1.1 Background
of study

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In the
recent years, information communication technology (ICT) has advanced rapidly.
Furthermore, internet usage among the masses has become common which today we
see people of all ages using the internet while using their personal digital
devices such as smart phones or tablets and so on. Internet and ICT are being
used at every sphere of life where many believe it is to enhance the quality of
life bringing the world in one’s palm and only a click away from finding any
solutions (Majeed, 2015).

In 21st
Century educational system world-wide has undergone a significant
transformation with introduction of collaborative technology (cloud-based) in
teaching and learning. Information is created and shared; a shift in educational
step from faculty-driven lectures to learners-driven collaboration which
changed learners from just consumers to collaborators; and increases students’
involvement in course content, rising active participation in learning
activities (Fagbohun & Adetimirin, 2016).

According to Yadav (2014), cloud computing is
internet-based computing in which   software, information and shared resources are
delivered as a service that computers or mobile devices can access on demand.
Cloud computing is already used extensively in education (Philip &
Khodabandello, 2017; Yadav, 2014). Free or low-cost cloud-based services are
used daily by learners and educators to support learning, content creation,
publishing, collaboration and social interaction (Barhate
& Narale, 2015). Some examples of cloud-based services are Google Apps,
YouTube, Twitter and Drop box. Likewise, by sharing files, documents and IT
services in the cloud, educational institution can concentrate on offering
students, teachers and faculty the essential tools that help them succeed
(Yadav, 2014).

Moreover, since the usage of the mobile devices
and smart phones is increasing day by day, mobile cloud computing systems have
been introduced where more and more people have cloud computing services on
their mobile phones easily accessible at anytime and anywhere (Wang et al.,
2013).

According to Hossain (2017), Mobile Cloud Computing
(MCC) is a new platform combining the mobile devices and cloud computing
to create a new infrastructure, by which cloud performs the heavy lifting of
computing-intensive tasks and storing massive amounts of data. In this new
architecture, data processing and data storage happen outside of mobile devices
(Akherfi et al., 2015; Hossain, 2017). MCC delivers applications to mobile
devices quickly and securely, with capabilities beyond those of local resources
(Hossain, 2017). Because the cloud infrastructure performs intensive computing
tasks and offers unlimited data storage, users or learners can benefit from
engaging with apps in their handheld devices that would not otherwise be
possible (Yellin, 2017). Figure 1.1 shows learning by
Mobile cloud computing.

 

Figure 1.1 Learning
by Mobile Cloud Computing

 

The increase
and popularity of mobile handheld devices, particularly among young students,
will significantly make the future of MCC in higher education bright and
promising; however, MCC in higher education is still in its embryonic stage of
implementation, especially in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia
(Al-Shahrani, 2016). Therefore, an in-depth study of each aspect of this issue
is necessary. To ensure the success of MCC in higher education, it is crucial
to examine the students’ intention to use MCC as the first step in the process
of implementing it into higher education.

1.2  Research problem

Mobile cloud computing plays an essential role
in student life, because the data sharing is very important for learning system
(Majeed, 2015). Most of the cloud services provide security services to secure
mobile cloud data within a cloud. Student and teacher data have lots of
importance because usability and needs related to these data are increasing day
by day. Today there are lots of direct applications for teaching and learning
as opposed to simple platform independent tools and scalable data storage
(Majeed, 2015).

Today students in higher education have immense
level of work that is not paper based. Laptops, pen drives, CDs and other data
storage devices are not reliable anymore as they can be corrupted or deleted,
stolen or misplaced. Therefore, this new
technology of mobile clouding has allowed students to save their data online
which can be accessed from anywhere any time (Feng et al., 2015).

            Al-
Somali and Baghabra (2016) conducted a study on 155 IT professionals from
private and government organizations in Saudi Arabia to investigate the
determinants of IT professionals’ intention to use cloud based applications and
solutions. The findings show that accessibility of the technology, perceived
vulnerabilities, individual characteristics and social image are all important factors
or determinants for using cloud applications and solutions.

 

On spite of rapid
growing of popularity of cloud computing in the mobile environment, only a few
studies have examined how user perceptions are shaped in mobile cloud computing
(Park & Kim, 2014); and these studies provide little information on how
external factors involved in mobile context can determine the intention to
adopt and use MCC especially in developing countries. In addition, students’
attitudes on the basis of their beliefs and intention to use MCC have been
barely studied in the literature. Therefore, this study first ascertains the
frequency of use of MCC by the students at King Abdul-Aziz University
(KAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and then determines the factors
that influence students’ intention to use mobile cloud computing. Based on the
study of Al-Samoli & Baghabra
(2016), seven factors are investigated which include: personal
innovativeness in the domain of IT, social influence, accessibility of the
technology, perceived privacy and security, perceives ease of use, perceives
usefulness and attitude toward using MCC.

 

1.3  Research questions

The study ought to
answer the following questions:

·       
What is the frequency
of use of mobile cloud computing by students at King Abdul-Aziz University?  

·       
What are the factors
that influence students’ intention to use mobile cloud computing?

1.4 Research
objectives

The main objective of the current research is
to determine the factors that influence students’ intention to use MCC at King
Abdul-Aziz University. Seven factors are investigated: perceived ease of use,
perceived usefulness and attitude toward using MCC (based on Technology
Acceptance Model); and external variables which are grouped into four contexts
or categories: technology context (represented by perceived privacy and security),
organizational context (represented by the accessibility of the technology),
social context (represented by social influence) and individual context
(represented by personal innovativeness in the domain of IT). In addition, the
objective of the study is to ascertain the frequency of use of mobile cloud
computing by the students at KAU. Finally, the study aims to provide different
suggestions and recommendations that could help in successful implementing of
the latest technology, such as MCC, in the university.

1.5 Research Limitation

– Objective
limitation: a limited study on the level of factors that influence the use of
mobile cloud computing at King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah.

– Locative
limitation: at King Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah city.

– Human Frontier: The
study tools are applied only to (163) students of higher education within King
Abdul-Aziz University.

– Temporal
limitation: study was applied during the year 2017/2018.

1.6 The significance of Research

This research is very important for many
different people in the society. First, due to lack of relevant information on
the subject where there is limited information on mobile cloud computing
technology usage by Saudi students have elevated the status and importance of this
study. This study will allow future students to refer to when working on
similar subject. Researchers will have an idea and understanding of the factors
that influence the usage of MCC by Saudi students in the country.

Secondly, the findings of this research will be
beneficial for the policymakers in the educational institutes such as the
management to considers the benefits; which would help in developing policies
that would encourage the students to further take advantage of such
technologies in the educational system. In addition, IT professionals and
experts will consider using mobile cloud computing applications by students to
enhance quality education and successful learning.

Thirdly, teachers will be able to evaluate and
determine the positive aspects of the mobile cloud computing usage, therefore, assignments
will be distributed through the mobile cloud computing technology to students
to achieve maximum benefits. Furthermore, it would enable the teachers to share
data on one single platform, making it easy to distribute data, homework and
work together on class work and home work.

The findings will potentially contribute to
research and practice by revealing the crucial factors that will impact
students’ intention to adopt MCC in the context of developing countries in the
Arab world.

Lastly, this research will be a stepping stone
for the future researchers on the subject as they can further the topic in
greater detail working on finding the relationships between the different
variables comprising in this study or beyond. They can make use of the
limitations and work towards with lesser limitations in a study to further
understand the topic.

1.7 Defining mobile cloud computing (MCC)

Dong and
Chen (2011) stated that mobile information technology is the merging of
information technology in mobile technology. Likewise, the cloud computing
technology has been merged with the mobile technology to provide cloud
computing on the mobile devices. Moreover, Bucki (2017) stated that “mobile
computing is a generic term used to refer to a variety of devices that allow
people to access data and information from where ever they are” (p. 30). It
is sometimes referred to as “human-computer interaction,”. Mobile
cloud computing transports data, voice and video over a cloud of network via a
mobile device.  In addition, Park and Kim
(2014) defined MCC as “an infrastructure and system where both the data storage
and data processing happen outside of the mobile devices” (p. 12). Mobile cloud
computing is defined as the use of cloud computing via a mobile device (Kim
& Ki Kim, 2016).

1.8
Organization of the Dissertation

This study followed a quantitative research
approach and it organized as follows:

Chapter
One – Introduction and Background: This chapter
provides an overview and objectives of the thesis, also there are the
explanations of mobile cloud computing in general. 

Chapter
Two – Literature Review: This chapter presents
the literature related to cloud computing in general and MCC in particular,
especially, in higher education; and focuses on the factors that influence the
adoption of MCC among students. 

Chapter Three – Research
Design and Methodology: This chapter described the research model and presents
the connections between the variables of study tool. In addition, questionnaire
design, statistical measurements, and the degree of reliability are clarified.

Chapter Four – Data
analysis and findings: This chapter presents the collected data analysis
using many statistical tests and summarizes the results of each factor to test
the hypotheses. Also, the frequency of use of mobile cloud computing among students is clarified.

Chapter five – Analysis
Findings and Recommendations: it discusses the research findings
resulted from data analysis and overall conclusion.  Recommendations
and some suggestions of future research are also presented.

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