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Using SMS Mobile Technology to Assess the Mastery of Subject Content Knowledge of Science and Mathematics Teachers of Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Authors: Joel S. Mtebe, Aron Kondoro, Mussa M. Kissaka, Elia Kibga


Sub-Saharan Africa is described as the second fastest growing in mobile phone penetration in the world more than in the United States or the European Union. Mobile phones have been used to provide a lot of opportunities to improve people’s lives in the region such as in banking, marketing, entertainment, and paying for various bills such as water, TV, and electricity. However, the potential of mobile phones to enhance teaching and learning has not been explored. This study presents an experience of developing and delivering SMS based quiz questions used to assess mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The SMS quizzes were used as a follow up support mechanism to 500 teachers who participated in a project to upgrade subject content knowledge of teachers in science and mathematics subjects in Tanzania. Quizzes of 10-15 questions were sent to teachers each week for 8 weeks and the results were analyzed using SPSS. Results show that teachers who participated in chemistry and biology subjects have better performance compared to those who participated in mathematics and physics subjects. Teachers reported some challenges that led to poor performance, This research has several practical implications for those who are implementing or planning to use mobile phones in teaching and learning especially in rural secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Mobile learning, e-learning, educational technologies, SMS, secondary education, assessment.

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